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September 2, 2014

UK to lead Europol’s international cybercrime taskforce

Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce will tackle underground forums and banking Trojans.

By CBR Staff Writer

Amid escalating cybercrimes, cybercrime professionals from police forces from across the world have jointly established a new body called Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce or J-CAT, which would combat underground forums and malware, including banking Trojans.

Mainly aimed at strengthening the fight against online crime across the world, the new taskforce, to be based at the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) at Europol, is headed by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) National Cyber Crime Unit deputy director Andy Archibald.

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."

"This is a unique opportunity for international law enforcement agencies to collectively share our knowledge to defend against cyber related attacks, and the UK’s National Crime Agency is proud to be a founding member".

As part of the initial six month pilot, cybercrime police from Austria, Canada, Colombia, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and the US will coordinate study into threats, such as viruses that pinch banking login credentials, and high-profile cyber criminals.

EC3 head Troels Oerting said: "Today is a good day for those fighting cybercrime in Europe and beyond. For the first time in modern police history a multi-lateral permanent cybercrime taskforce has been established in Europe to coordinate investigations against top cybercriminal networks.

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"The Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce will operate from secure offices in Europol’s HQ assisted by experts and analysts from the European Cybercrime Centre. 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."

The newly formed J-CAT will be tasked with collecting information on particular criminal themes from national repositories as well as from appropriate government and private partners and convert it into actionable intelligence, and propose targets and networks for investigations.

It will spans from malware coding, testing, distribution, Botnets, Crime-as-a-Service to online fraud, intrusion and similar top-end crimes.

Further, the new agency will also organise consultation meetings with key players to seek their input on cybercrime threats effecting society on the whole.

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