[This story is running in the print edition of The Seattle Times Nov. 15, 2013.]
In a building on the north side of Microsoft’s Redmond campus, there is much talk of stopping the bad guys.
By that, the Microsoft employees do not mean Google, Apple or Amazon.com.
Rather, the investigators, forensics experts, engineers and lawyers staffing Microsoft’s new Cybercrime Center talk about stopping criminals: software pirates, criminal syndicates that run botnets and exploiters of children.
Microsoft opened the doors Thursday to its multimillion-dollar Cybercrime Center, a 16,800-square-foot facility that is one part crime-fighting headquarters and one part sleek showcase for Microsoft technologies.
Part of the reason Microsoft developed the center was to make sure it had the latest state-of-the-art tools it needed to fight increasingly savvy criminals.
“As the cybercriminals are getting more sophisticated, our abilities are getting more sophisticated,” said David Finn, associate general counsel of Microsoft’s digital-crimes unit, during a tour of the facility Thursday.
The center brings together company units that focus on piracy and intellectual property theft, and on digital crimes, including botnets and malware and technology-facilitated child sexual exploitation.
About 35 of Microsoft’s 100 employees worldwide employed in those units are now based in the Cybercrime Center, which also includes Microsoft technologies such as Site Print, which can map online organized-crime networks, and PhotoDNA, which helps find and remove some of the worst images of child porn online.
Large touch screens from Perceptive Pixel, a company Microsoft purchased in 2012, line the walls, showing off Excel Power Map, a 3-D data-visualization tool.
[Continue reading the story here.]
And here’s a video from Microsoft on the new center: