Skip to main content

EU pools cybercrime experts to form global cybersecurity super team

The EU's law enforcement agency, Europol, has launched an international cybercrime task force called J-CAT (Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce).

J-CAT is a venture initiated by the EU Cybercrime Taskforce, the FBI, and the NCA (National Crime Agency). Currently Austria, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK, the US, Australia and Colombia have committed to J-CAT.

Read more: The modern CISO: How to stand out from the crowd (opens in new tab)

The head of the European Cybercrime Centre, Troels Oerting, said "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." He concluded that J-CAT is "confident we will see practical tangible results very soon."

The task force will be headed by Andy Archibald, head of the National Cyber Crime Unit, 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."

Read more: Facebook and Twitter still suffering the effects of Snowden's NSA revelations (opens in new tab)

Europol said in a statement that the J-CAT will focus on combating "malware coding, testing, distribution, Botnets, Crime-as-a-Service, online fraud, intrusion and similar top-end crimes."

The J-CAT programme is likely to run for an initial six month period and will work with security experts in the private sector as well as the Computer Emergency Response Team for the EU.

Considering the privacy scandals with the US's NSA (opens in new tab) and the UK's GCHQ (opens in new tab), what privacy concerns will J-CAT's mission for "an open, transparent, free but also safe Internet" have?