Europol launches international cybercrime task force

The FBI and the UK National Crime Agency are part of the team

Europol launched a cybercrime task force Monday to fight online crime in the EU and other countries.

The Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT) will be piloted for six months and hosted at Europol's European CyberCrime Center (EC3), the organization said in a news release.

The J-CAT will coordinate international investigations to take action against key online threats and top targets, such as underground forums and malware, including banking Trojans, Botnets and online fraud, Europol said.

EC3, the EU Cybercrime Taskforce, the FBI and the U.K. National Crime Agency (NCA) are part of the initiative. Andy Archibald, deputy director of the National Cyber Crime Unit from the NCA will lead the task force.

The J-CAT team consists of liaison officers from EU member states and non-EU law enforcement partners. So far, Canada, Austria, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. are part of J-CAT, Europol said, adding that Australia and Colombia have also committed to the initiative.

"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," said Troels Oerting, head of EC3, adding that he is confident that the team will show "practical tangible results very soon."

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

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