ASEAN Cybercrime Operations Desk

Supporting collective actions against cybercrime in Southeast Asia

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region, with a population of more than 650 million people across 10 countries, is the fastest growing digital market in the world.  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 in tackling these crimes.

In July 2018 INTERPOL established the ASEAN Cyber Capability Desk, with support from the Singapore Government and the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) 2.0 – to address the growing cyberthreats in the region. In 2020, it was renamed as the ASEAN Cybercrime Operations Desk to better reflect its functions and operational relevance to the ASEAN countries.

Through the ASEAN Desk, we support the countries in the region to tackle cybercrime using intelligence development, investigative support and operational coordination. We also help connect law enforcement authorities with the private sector and other partners who can provide valuable data or support.

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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.

The ASEAN Desk serves as the central hub in the region for criminal information and intelligence relating to cybercrime. We leverage the capabilities of INTERPOL’s Cyber Fusion Centre and public-private partnerships to provide a variety of strategic analysis products which enable ASEAN authorities to make informed decisions on preventing and combating cybercrime.

As a key activity, the ASEAN Desk disseminates Cyber Activity Reports to ASEAN countries, providing intelligence on cyberthreats including malware infections, business email compromise fraud, cryptojacking and web skimming attacks.

ASEAN Cyberthreat Assessment 2020 – to help protect digital economies in the region, the report offers analysis and insight into the current cyberthreat landscape, while also highlighting strategies for moving forward.

Investigative and Operational Supports

The borderless nature of cybercrime, combined with jurisdictional limits of law enforcement, present challenges for cybercrime investigations and operations.

We support the cybercrime investigations and operations of ASEAN countries through operational analysis, and the development and coordination of multi-jurisdictional operations targeting the latest cyberthreats.

Operation Night Fury (2019-2020) – we coordinated an operation against a strain of malware targeting e-commerce websites in ASEAN, leading to the arrest of three individuals in Indonesia suspected to be the administrators of seized command and control servers. The ASEAN Desk disseminated Cyber Activity Reports to the affected countries to support their national investigations.

Operation Goldfish Alpha (2019) – saw the ASEAN Desk coordinate region-wide operations against cryptojacking targeting routers, facilitating collaboration between cybercrime investigators and experts from national Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) to located infected routers, alert the victims and assist with patching 78 per cent of the identified devices.

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 to perform the task competently.base.

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