The European Union’s law enforcement agency Europol has launched a hacker-tracking agency to strengthen its ability to fight against cybercrime across the globe, technology magazine Wired reports.

The Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT) will be headquartered at Europol’s European CyberCrime Centre, tasked with counteracting cybercrime threats and targets, such as underground forums and malware.

The group has been brought together by the EU Cybertime Taskforce, the FBI and the NCA and will trial over the next six months. Andy Archibald, deputy director of the National Crime Agency’s Cyber Crime Unit in the UK, will head the operation, which currently comprises eleven nations.

Troels Oerting, head of the European Cybercrime Centre, told marketing website The Drum it was a momentous day for those fighting cybercrime. He explained that it marks the first time in modern police history a “multi-lateral permanent” cybertime taskforce has come to be in Europe to combat top cybercriminal networks.

“This is a first step in a long walk towards an open, transparent, free but also safe Internet,” he said.

The collaboration will see the cyber liaison officers share intelligence to hone in on cybercriminal networks; preventing cybercrime for occurring in the first place, whilst also disrupting and catching criminals who have made profits from illegal online practices.

Oerting said he was confident of being able to show some tangible results “very soon”. The agency will police and monitor malware, Botnets, Crime-as-a-Service, online fraud, intrusion and similar top-end crimes.

“The goal cannot be reached by law enforcement alone, but will require a consolidated effort from many stakeholders in our global village,” Oerting added.