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Cyber force launch

A Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT) has launched against cybercrime in the European Union and beyond. Hosted at the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) at Europol, in The Hague, the J-CAT, which is being piloted for six months, will coordinate international investigations against key cybercrime threats and top targets, such as underground forums and malware, including banking Trojans. The J-CAT will be led by Andy Archibald, Deputy Director of the National Cyber Crime Unit from the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA).

The J-CAT was initiated by Europol’s EC3, the EU Cybercrime Taskforce, the FBI and the NCA, and the J-CAT comprises a team composed of Cyber Liaison Officers from committed and closely involved Member States, non-EU law enforcement partners and EC3. Key contributors to the intelligence pool will be the EU Member States via EC3, and other law enforcement cooperation partners. Thus far, Austria, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and the US are part of the J-CAT. Australia and Colombia have also committed.

Troels Oerting, Head of the European Cybercrime Centre 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. 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.”

And Mr 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.”


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