EUROPOL HAS LAUNCHED a cooperative cybercrime busting outfit called J-Cat, or the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce.
J-Cat is headed by UK law enforcement official Andy Archibald, who has had an immediate impact as deputy director of the UK National Cyber Crime Unit.
"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," Archibald said.
"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 is made up of representatives from forces of member states in Austria, Canada, the US, the UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Spain. Australia and Colombia are also expected to join. It has the backing of the European Union (EU) Cybercrime Taskforce, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the UK National Crime Agency.
The team will work on gathering evidence and starting investigations, and will, for example, highlight suspect networks and targets.
This groundswell of support comes at a good time, according to Europol's European Crime Centre, and is the beginning of a concerted assault on cybercriminals. However, it added that there must be stakeholder support if its activities are to be successful.
"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," said Troels Oerting, head of the European Cybercrime Centre.
"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." µ