Cookson joins CCU exodus to Microsoft


The Metropolitan Police Computer Crime Unit (CCU) is to lose another member of its staff to Microsoft.

Detective constable Andy Cookson will follow recently departed detective sargeant Steve Santorelli to Redmond to take up a post with the software firm.

The move is the latest in a series of moves from global computer crime units to the private sector. But police at the CCU have said they do not expect the exodus to affect investigative work.

"There are lots of people wanting to join the CCU," said detective inspector Chris Simpson of the CCU. "We have a list of seasoned, experienced cops and people from outside the force lined up."

Cookson leaves days after the CCU received the SC Editor's Award at a ceremony in London.

In a recent interview with SC magazine an industry expert lamented the fact experienced policeman are being dragged toward the public sector.

"It's a shame, but the financial incentives are often better," said Mikko Hypponen, director of antivirus research at Finnish antivirus company F-Secure. "It's a tough job for those guys, but they are very skilled, so the money is there for them to move."

Speaking to SC at the recent Infosecurity Europe conference in London one computer crime professional indicated that it may not be financial incentives that lead detectives away to the private sector.

"Actually, the pay is comparable, it's not the only reason," he said.

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