When investigators close ranks in the face of cybercrime
Field policeman Pierre Penalba has finished pursuing the delinquents. For three months the commissioner has hung up his uniform and given up his cap for the private sector. He has since started writing with his wife. Forget? “There are images that cannot be erased,” he replies, his throat tight. Affect, a bulwark for the man who was one of the first French police officers to train and study the dark web. In thirty years of service, the officer will have seen “companies bow to blackmail.” But the worst is “these pedophiles who take responsibility for their rapes and look you straight in the eye”.
Through his self-taught career, Pierre Penalba sums up the turn that the police force has taken over the past decade. Following the example of the FBI, the Department of the Interior has recognized the importance of recruiting profiles specialized in fighting cybercrime, able to track down networks and intervene in cases of harassment, online fraud or anonymous threats.
More than 400 inspectors
The criminal investigation department (PJ) is completely reformed and now has more than 400 specialized investigators. The Cybercrime Sub-Directorate (SDLC) has a reporting platform, Thésée, and several analysis laboratories (Lion) in the region to search phones, recover files or block access. “Police have improved their skills significantly,” notes an observer from Place Beauvau. A necessity as cyber has expanded to include all areas of attack.
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