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To advise the EC on the development of a European Cybercrime Centre, RAND Europe reviewed scholarly literature on the nature, extent, and impacts of cybercrime and collected empirical evidence on the capabilities of 15 EU member states' computer crime units in face to face visits. Findings from the literature and document review suggested a great deal of uncertainty between industry reported figures on the state of cybercrime and official recorded crimes. Nonetheless, the online criminal underground is evolving toward a service based economy. Aspects of forensic capability, investigations, intelligence sharing, training and information exchange were discussed. In addition, RAND Europe consulted Europol, Eurojust, Cepol, Interpol, and the European Network and Information Security Agency on their contribution to tackling cybercrime at the European level. A scenario based workshop was held in Brussels in November 2011 where a range of possible futures were described and considered by participants. The research team's report considers a number of options for the establishment of the ECC and evaluates their strengths and weaknesses according to a range of factors. These include its scope, activities, resources, risks, impacts and interoperability. The study considered a range of options including an ECC hosted by Europol, Eurojust, ENISA and a virtual ECC. The study considered that an ECC hosted by Europol would constitute the most appropriate way forward. The study laid out an implementation plan including expected activities for the first year of the ECC between January–December 2013.

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This study has been carried out for the Directorate-General Home Affairs in the European Commission and conducted by RAND Europe.

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