J-CAT (the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce) was launched today, 1 September, to gather national police intelligence, then drive global action against the key cyber criminals and threats it identifies - from underground forums and malware coding, to banking Trojans, botnets, crime-as-a-service, online fraud and other top-end cyber crimes.
Based in The Hague, J-CAT is described as the first ever permanent cyber crime taskforce – though it has an initial six months to prove its worth – and is headed by Archibald, deputy director of the UK NCA's National Cyber Crime Unit.
He will have a team of up to 18 cyber experts drawn from the countries involved in J-CAT – currently the UK and US, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Austria and Canada.
Australia and Colombia have also committed to the initiative.
Archibald issued a statement saying: “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 co-ordinate the operational response to the common current and emerging global cyber threats faced by J-CAT members.”
Troels Oerting, head of the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), stressed the role of private-sector security firms and government agencies in sourcing the crime intelligence J-CAT will need.
“The goal is to prevent cyber crime, to disrupt it, catch crooks and seize their illegal profits,” he said. “That 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'. I am confident we will see practical tangible results very soon.”
The importance of police and private firms joining forces on crime intelligence was also picked up by cyber crime expert Charlie McMurdie, former head of the Met Police e-Crime Unit and now a senior crime adviser with PricewaterhouseCoopers.