The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region is the fastest growing Internet market in the world, with a digital economy that is projected to grow significantly during the next ten years.
As digital technologies become more and more integrated into daily life in the region, the impact of cybercrime is predicted to increase exponentially. Sophisticated cybercriminals will continue to take advantage of the borderless virtual world and the challenges this poses to global law enforcement.
Under the mandate of reducing the global impact of cybercrime and protecting communities for a safer world, in 2018 INTERPOL established the ASEAN Cyber Capability Desk to drive intelligence-led and coordinated actions against cybercrime in ASEAN through the implementation of a harmonized regional coordination framework.
Enhancing Cybercrime Intelligence
Timely and accurate intelligence is the cornerstone of any effective law enforcement response to cybercrime, which by its nature is constantly evolving in both scale and complexity.
As part of the ASEAN Desk’s mandate under INTERPOL’s ASEAN Joint Operations Against Cybercrime project, it leverages the capabilities of INTERPOL Cyber Fusion Centre and public-private partnerships to provide ASEAN authorities with cybercrime intelligence at the strategic, operational and tactical levels.
As a key activity, by the end of 2019 the ASEAN Desk had disseminated 35 Cyber Activity Reports to ASEAN countries, providing intelligence on cyberthreats including malware infections, business email compromise fraud, cryptojacking and web skimming attacks.
Joint Cybercrime Operations
The borderless nature of cybercrime, combined with jurisdictional limits of law enforcement, present challenges for cybercrime investigations and operations.
The ASEAN Desk aims to address these challenges by strengthening regional and international law enforcement cooperation by coordinating joint operations targeting the latest cyberthreats. Private sector partners can provide expertise on specific topics.
Operation Goldfish Alpha in 2019 saw the ASEAN Desk coordinate region-wide operations against cryptojacking targeting routers
Promoting Good Cyber Hygiene
Given the fast-paced cybercrime, prevention must be a key aspect of any cybercrime-fighting strategy. To this end, the ASEAN Desk promotes good cyber hygiene throughout the region, empowering communities to stay safe and protect themselves from becoming victims of cybercrime.
Ensuring police and judicial authorities are able to detect, investigate and prosecute cybercrime is also important to protecting society. The ASEAN Desk therefore works closely with other INTERPOL initiatives, such as the ASEAN Cyber Capacity Development Project, so that the authorities across ASEAN have an adequate cyber knowledge base.