Microsoft unveils state-of-the-art Cybercrime Center

REDMOND, Wash. -- Microsoft introduced a new strategy in the war against online criminals with the launch of its Cybercrime Center.

Some of the best and brightest minds in technology are now taking on the world's worst cyber criminals, and their new base of operations is the microsoft campus in redmond.

"I think the opening of the center really marks a new era in our battle against cyber crime," said David Finn, the chief of Microsoft's digital crimes unit.

The Cybercrime Center maps, tracks and traces organized crime groups. A major part of the effort is to disrupt botnets, which are networks of hacked computers used to defraud people and financial institutions.

"We analyze that malicious code, we understand it, and then we track and trace and ultimately go after those organized crime groups," Finn said.

Experts in the forensics lab tackle intellectual property crimes, including software piracy and software counterfeiting. The secure facility provides additional space for law enforcement to work side-by-side with Microsoft's security engineers and digital forensics specialists.

"We are playing offense against those organized crime groups," Finn said. "We are using big data. We are using business intelligence. We are using cloud services."

While Microsoft suffers direct losses at the hands of cyber criminals, these groups also take a personal and financial toll on millions of consumers around the world. Victims range from the elderly who are defrauded, to children who are sexually exploited.

Given all the resources, Microsoft says its Cybercrime Center will make it safer for people online worldwide.

"The opening of the Cybercrime Center is an exciting day for the internet. it's a bad day for the cyber criminals," Finn said.

Microsoft employs more than 100 people devoted to fighting cyber crime. About a third are headquartered at the new center.