The Newest Members of the J-CAT Cybercrime Task Force


April 27, 2018

MRC Blog

The April Blog Series: 2018 Trends

Issue 24: The Newest Members of the J-Cat Cybercrime Task Force

Dutch authorities have recently joined the J-CAT (Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce) and there are a number of new Taskforce developments. Norway and Switzerland have applied for full-time membership and were accepted by the member countries. This partnership increases the task force's capabilities and strengthens law enforcement authorities' pursuit against cybercrime.

What is the J-CAT?
The J-CAT was formed in September 2004 to promote collaboration between different law enforcement agencies and pursue action against cybercrime threats. The team also facilitates cross-border investigations by its partners. The current team is comprised of the following countries: Austria, Australia, Canada, Colombia, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands, UK, US, Switzerland and Norway.

The J-CAT is supported by Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (E3), providing daily technical and analytical support and operational coordination. J-CAT is comprised of cyber-liaison offers from 13 EU member states and non-EU partners and 15 law enforcement agencies. As cybercrime occurs all over the world, the J-CAT has specific objectives:

  • High-tech crimes -- These crimes include botnets, intrusion, and malware.
  • Facilitation of crimes -- These crimes include counter-antivirus services, bulletproof hosting, money laundering, and infrastructure leasing and rental.
  • Online fraud -- These crimes include social engineering, carding, and online payment systems.
  • Online child sexual exploitation
The Head of EC3 has said, "The close collaboration between the J-CAT and EC3 has contributed to outstanding results, which exemplify the impact that pro-active law enforcement action can have on thwarting major cyber threats worldwide. We welcome the expansion of the Taskforce and new Chairmanship, and look forward to future operational successes."

The J-CAT continues to be successful. National experts collaborate with EC3 and the team to discuss cases of interest. J-CAT is responsible for choosing which cases to pursue, prioritizing them based on proposals received from country liaison offers. The members of J-CAT determine which proposals are the most relevant; share, collect and provide data on these cases; develop an action plan for the country of the proposal; and follow steps to ensure the case is viable for law enforcement action.

This is a detailed and tedious process that requires a number of collaborative entities dedicated to preventing cybercrime all over the world. By joining J-CAT, Norway and Switzerland have made a commitment to pursue justice against cyber-thieves, working with member agencies to provide the most comprehensive information they can.

With the J-CAT making continuous strides in attacking these problems, their presence will be felt around the world presenting a positive image to those organizations and companies who see the risks in the continuous elevation of cyber criminals.

As more countries join this initiative, it creates a barrier to entry for cyber criminals, as their activities will be more pronounced within these partnering countries. Expect more countries to become a part of this initiative in the future.