The European Union have revealed a new attack on cyber-criminals which will allow them to remotely search suspect computer systems.

The new five-year EU plan aims to target machines being used to distribute spam and other forms of malware and will see European police forces working together to track down criminals and improve public awareness of the threats posed online.

As part of the scheme, police forces from across Europe will be encourage to share information which they feel could help to track down high-tech criminals, improve cross border policing standards and raise public awareness over emerging threats.

Other “practical measures” include encouraging the sharing of information between police forces in member nations and private companies on investigative methods and trends.

In particular the strategy aims to tackle the trade in images of children being sexually abused, with the EU claiming that “half of all internet crime involves the production, distribution and sale of child pornography”.

“The strategy encourages the much needed operational cooperation and information exchange between the Member States,” said EC vice-president Jacques Barrot in a statement.

“If the strategy is to make the fight against cyber crime more efficient, all stakeholders have to be fully committed to its implementation,” he added.

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