This project strengthens the ability of countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to combat cybercrime and work together as a region. The project also fosters regional strategic discussion, identifies trends and provides a foundation for improved information exchange.

Comprising all 10 ASEAN member countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam), the project was initially funded for two years (2016-2018) by the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) 2.0, via the ASEAN Secretariat and with the Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs as the project proponent.

The second phase of the project began in 2019. Building on findings and feedback from the first phase, it will focus on cybercrime strategy development, specialized cybercrime training and digital evidence.

Phase 1 (2016 – 2018)

A total of 15 training sessions and related meetings were conducted during the two years, bringing together 320 participants from across the region and more than 70 trainers and expert speakers from all over the world. The main activities are outlined below.

National Cyber Reviews

A National Cyber Review was conducted in each beneficiary country; this is a comprehensive assessment of a country’s capability to prevent, detect and investigate cybercrime, looking at law enforcement capabilities as well as legislation.

Following the review, a tailored report was produced outlining recommendations for enhancing the existing institutional, operational, legal and technical frameworks for dealing with cybercrime.

Specialized training

Practical training made up an important part of the project and covered topics including digital forensics, malware analysis, cyber investigations and the Darknet. As a result, participants improved their capabilities in data extraction and interpretation, cyber security and online investigations.

Research seminars

Through periodic research seminars, the project served as a platform for law enforcement, academia, and the public and private sectors to discuss current cybercrime threats and trends, both globally as well as those more prevalent in Southeast Asia. Some 30 law enforcement officers across the ASEAN region shared experiences on national cyber efforts and challenges with their peers, researchers and experts from both the private sector and INTERPOL.

Sharing best practice

Workshops provided participants with a platform to exchange information and best practices for combating cybercrime.

2017 – workshop on acquiring cybercrime investigation-related information across multi-jurisdictions for law enforcement agencies and judicial authorities. It brought together some 30 participants to discuss the processes and challenges related to identifying and obtaining digital evidence legally and efficiently. Support was provided by instructors from the US Department of Justice.

2018 – workshop including a scenario-based table-top exercise on multijurisdictional challenges and sharing of best practices. The workshop was also extended to participants of 12 countries from South America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, providing a unique opportunity to learn about the challenges and best practices from beyond the ASEAN region. The exercise was supported by instructors from the Hong Kong and Singapore Police Forces.

 

Phase 2 (2019 – 2021)

Addressing the findings from the Phase I, the initiative continues on to its Phase II. While continuing with the overall objectives, Phase II aims to fill in the gaps and address the findings as informed by Phase I. It aims to achieve the following:

  • A regionally applicable high-level Cybercrime Strategy Guidebook to help the participating countries to be able to put in place strategy that will allow them to respond to cybercrime more effectively, in consultation with relevant stakeholders;
  • Conduct of four (4) trend-based trainings and two (2) workshops to further enhance capacities of regional law enforcement officers to investigate cybercrime and participate in international investigations;
  • Development and promotion of an e-learning module for first responders on the handling and preservation of digital evidence; and
  • Conduct of two (2) tailored workshops on the role and utility of digital evidence and collaboration with national cybercrime.

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