A new international cyber-crime taskforce will be piloted in an attempt to better coordinate the global response to online threats.
The Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT) will be based at Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) in The Hague led by Andy Archibald, deputy director of the National Cyber Crime Unit at the UK’s National Crime Agency.
Comprised of a team of cyber liaison officers from a host of EU member states, as well as the USA and Canada, the J-CAT will help to gather data on cyber-threats from governments and private cyber-security players to improve intelligence sharing and help identify targets and networks for investigation.
With the assistance of EC3 the group will gather intelligence on all relevant areas of cyber-crime such as malware coding, testing, distribution, botnets, crime-as-a-service, online fraud, intrusion and underground hacking forums.
Archibald said: “There are many challenges faced by law enforcement agencies with regards to cyber criminals and cyber-attacks. This is why there needs to be a truly holistic and collaborative approach taken when tackling them.
“The J-CAT will, for the first time, bring together a coalition of countries across Europe and beyond to coordinate the operational response to the common current and emerging global cyber threats faced by J-CAT members.”
The taskforce will also organise consultation meetings with key actors in the private sector and the Computer Emergency Response Teams for the EU institutions, bodies and agencies (CERT-EU).
So far, Austria, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and the US are active members of the J-CAT, with Australia and Colombia also committed to the initiative.
Troels Oerting, head of EC3, said: “The aim is not purely strategic, but also very operational. The goal is to prevent cybercrime, to disrupt it, catch crooks and seize their illegal profits. This is a first step in a long walk towards an open, transparent, free but also safe Internet.
“The goal cannot be reached by law enforcement alone, but will require a consolidated effort from many stakeholders in our global village. But the J-CAT will do its part of the necessary ‘heavy-lifting’ and that work started today. I am confident we will see practical tangible results very soon.”