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Global Police Operation Shuts Down 600 Cybercrime Servers Linked to Cobalt Strike

Global Police Operation Shuts Down 600 Cybercrime Servers Linked to Cobalt Strike

Jul 04, 2024 Malware / Cyber Attack
A coordinated law enforcement operation codenamed MORPHEUS has felled close to 600 servers that were used by cybercriminal groups and were part of an attack infrastructure associated with the Cobalt Strike tool.  The crackdown targeted older, unlicensed versions of the Cobalt Strike red teaming framework between June 24 and 28, according to Europol. Of the 690 IP addresses that were flagged to online service providers in 27 countries as associated with criminal activity, 590 are no longer accessible. The joint operation, which commenced in 2021, was led by the U.K. National Crime Agency (NCA) and involved authorities from Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, and the U.S. Officials from Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Japan, and South Korea provided additional support. Cobalt Strike is a popular adversary simulation and penetration testing tool developed by Fortra (formerly Help Systems), offering IT security experts a way to identify weaknesses in security
Europol Shuts Down 100+ Servers Linked to IcedID, TrickBot, and Other Malware

Europol Shuts Down 100+ Servers Linked to IcedID, TrickBot, and Other Malware

May 30, 2024 Malware / Cyber Crime
Europol on Thursday said it shut down the infrastructure associated with several malware loader operations such as IcedID, SystemBC, PikaBot, SmokeLoader, Bumblebee, and TrickBot as part of a coordinated law enforcement effort codenamed Operation Endgame . "The actions focused on disrupting criminal services through arresting High Value Targets, taking down the criminal infrastructures and freezing illegal proceeds," Europol said in a statement. "The malware [...] facilitated attacks with ransomware and other malicious software." The action, which took place between May 27 and May 29, has resulted in the dismantling of over 100 servers worldwide and the arrest of four people, one in Armenia three in Ukraine , following searches across 16 locations in Armenia, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Ukraine. The servers, according to Europol, were located in Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Romania, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the
5 Key Questions CISOs Must Ask Themselves About Their Cybersecurity Strategy

5 Key Questions CISOs Must Ask Themselves About Their Cybersecurity Strategy

Jul 08, 2024Cybersecurity / Enterprise Security
Events like the recent massive CDK ransomware attack – which shuttered car dealerships across the U.S. in late June 2024 – barely raise public eyebrows anymore.  Yet businesses, and the people that lead them, are justifiably jittery. Every CISO knows that cybersecurity is an increasingly hot topic for executives and board members alike. And when the inevitable CISO/Board briefing rolls around, everyone wants answers: Are we safe from attacks? Are we making progress? Could happen to us? These are all fair concerns.  The question is, how do we best answer them? A company board deserves clear, concise information tied to business goals , not technical details about fixes or attack methods. A communication gap between the CISO and the board can lead to misunderstandings, increased risk, and potentially devastating cyberattacks. And this is why one of the overriding challenges for CISOs today remains: How to pr
Russian Hacker Dmitry Khoroshev Unmasked as LockBit Ransomware Administrator

Russian Hacker Dmitry Khoroshev Unmasked as LockBit Ransomware Administrator

May 07, 2024 Ransomware / Cybercrime
The U.K. National Crime Agency (NCA) has unmasked the administrator and developer of the LockBit ransomware operation, revealing it to be a 31-year-old Russian national named  Dmitry Yuryevich Khoroshev . In addition, Khoroshev has been sanctioned  by the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCD), the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs. Europol, in a  press statement , said authorities are in possession of over 2,500 decryption keys and are continuing to contact LockBit victims to offer support. Khoroshev, who went by the monikers LockBitSupp and putinkrab, has also become the subject of asset freezes and travel bans, with the U.S. Department of State offering a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to his arrest and/or conviction. Previously, the agency had  announced  reward offers of up to $15 million seeking information leading to the identity and location of k
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ITDR: Addressing the Protection Gap of the Identity Attack Surface

websiteSilverfortThreat Detection / Identity Protection
Learn how security teams evaluate and choose an Identity Threat Detection and Response (ITDR) solution to deliver real-time protection against identity threats.
How Cybercriminals are Exploiting India's UPI for Money Laundering Operations

How Cybercriminals are Exploiting India's UPI for Money Laundering Operations

Mar 04, 2024 Cybercrime / Mobile Security
Cybercriminals are using a network of hired money mules in India using an Android-based application to orchestrate a massive money laundering scheme. The malicious application, called  XHelper , is a "key tool for onboarding and managing these money mules," CloudSEK researchers Sparsh Kulshrestha, Abhishek Mathew, and Santripti Bhujel  said  in a report. Details about the scam  first emerged  in late October 2023, when Chinese cyber criminals were found to take advantage of the fact that Indian Unified Payments Interface ( UPI ) service providers operate without coverage under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to initiate illegal transactions under the guise of offering an instant loan. The ill-gotten proceeds from the operation are transferred to other accounts belonging to hired mules, who are recruited from Telegram in return for commissions ranging from 1-2% of the total transaction amounts. "Central to this operation are Chinese payment gateways ex
LockBit Ransomware Operation Shut Down; Criminals Arrested; Decryption Keys Released

LockBit Ransomware Operation Shut Down; Criminals Arrested; Decryption Keys Released

Feb 20, 2024 Ransomware / Data Protection
The U.K. National Crime Agency (NCA) on Tuesday confirmed that it obtained LockBit's source code as well as a wealth of intelligence pertaining to its activities and their affiliates as part of a dedicated task force called  Operation Cronos . "Some of the data on LockBit's systems belonged to victims who had paid a ransom to the threat actors, evidencing that even when a ransom is paid, it does not guarantee that data will be deleted, despite what the criminals have promised," the agency  said . It also announced the arrest of two LockBit actors in Poland and Ukraine. Over 200 cryptocurrency accounts linked to the group have been frozen. Indictments and sanctions have also been unsealed in the U.S. against two other Russian nationals who are alleged to have carried out LockBit attacks. Artur Sungatov and Ivan Gennadievich Kondratiev (aka Bassterlord) have been accused of deploying LockBit against numerous victims throughout the U.S., including businesses nationw
29-Year-Old Ukrainian Cryptojacking Kingpin Arrested for Exploiting Cloud Services

29-Year-Old Ukrainian Cryptojacking Kingpin Arrested for Exploiting Cloud Services

Jan 13, 2024 Cryptojacking / Cloud Security
A 29-year-old Ukrainian national has been arrested in connection with running a "sophisticated cryptojacking scheme," netting them over $2 million (€1.8 million) in illicit profits. The person, described as the "mastermind" behind the operation, was apprehended in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, on January 9 by the National Police of Ukraine with support from Europol and an unnamed cloud service provider following "months of intensive collaboration." "A cloud provider approached Europol back in January 2023 with information regarding compromised cloud user accounts of theirs," Europol  said , adding it shared the intelligence with the Ukrainian authorities. The Cyber Police of Ukraine, in a separate announcement, said the suspect "infected the servers of a well-known American company with a miner virus" at least since 2021, using custom brute-force tools to infiltrate 1,500 accounts of the firm. "Using the compromised accounts, the hacker gained access to the management of the service," the a
Key Cybercriminals Behind Notorious Ransomware Families Arrested in Ukraine

Key Cybercriminals Behind Notorious Ransomware Families Arrested in Ukraine

Nov 28, 2023 Ransomware / Cybercrime
A coordinated law enforcement operation has led to the arrest of key individuals in Ukraine who are alleged to be a part of several ransomware schemes. "On 21 November, 30 properties were searched in the regions of Kyiv, Cherkasy, Rivne, and Vinnytsia, resulting in the arrest of the 32-year-old ringleader," Europol  said  in a statement today. "Four of the ringleader's most active accomplices were also detained." The  development  comes more than two years after  12 people were apprehended  in connection with the same operation. The individuals are primarily linked to LockerGoga, MegaCortex, and Dharma ransomware families. The suspects are estimated to have targeted over 1,800 victims across 71 countries since 2019. They have also been accused of deploying the now-defunct  Hive ransomware  against high-profile organizations. Some of the co-conspirators are believed to be involved in penetrating IT networks by orchestrating brute-force attacks, SQL injectio
Europol Dismantles Ragnar Locker Ransomware Infrastructure, Nabs Key Developer

Europol Dismantles Ragnar Locker Ransomware Infrastructure, Nabs Key Developer

Oct 21, 2023 Ransomware / Malware
Europol on Friday announced the takedown of the infrastructure associated with Ragnar Locker ransomware, alongside the arrest of a "key target" in France. "In an action carried out between 16 and 20 October, searches were conducted in Czechia, Spain, and Latvia," the agency  said . "The main perpetrator, suspected of being a developer of the Ragnar group, has been brought in front of the examining magistrates of the Paris Judicial Court." Five other accomplices associated with the ransomware gang are said to have been interviewed in Spain and Latvia, with the servers and the data leak portal seized in the Netherlands, Germany, and Sweden. The effort is the latest coordinated exercise involving authorities from Czechia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, and the U.S. Two suspects associated with the ransomware crew were previously arrested from Ukraine in 2021. A year later, another member was apprehended in
EncroChat Bust Leads to 6,558 Criminals' Arrests and €900 Million Seizure

EncroChat Bust Leads to 6,558 Criminals' Arrests and €900 Million Seizure

Jun 27, 2023
Europol on Tuesday  announced  that the takedown of EncroChat in July 2020 led to 6,558 arrests worldwide and the seizure of €900 million in illicit criminal proceeds. The law enforcement agency said that a subsequent joint investigation initiated by French and Dutch authorities intercepted and analyzed over 115 million conversations that took place over the encrypted messaging platform between no less than 60,000 users. Now almost three years later, the information obtained from digital correspondence has resulted in - Arrests of 6,558 suspects, including 197 high-value targets 7,134 years of imprisonment of convicted criminals Confiscation of €739.7 million in cash Freeze of €154.1 million frozen in assets or bank accounts Seizure of 30.5 million pills of chemical drugs Seizure of 103.5 tonnes of cocaine, 163.4 tonnes of cannabis, and 3.3 tonnes of heroin Seizure of 971 vehicles, 83 boats, and 40 planes Seizure of 271 estates or homes, and Seizure of 923 weapons, as well
Authorities Shut Down ChipMixer Platform Tied to Crypto Laundering Scheme

Authorities Shut Down ChipMixer Platform Tied to Crypto Laundering Scheme

Mar 16, 2023 Cyber Crime / Cryptocurrency
A coalition of law enforcement agencies across Europe and the U.S.  announced  the takedown of ChipMixer, an unlicensed cryptocurrency mixer that began its operations in August 2017. "The ChipMixer software blocked the blockchain trail of the funds, making it attractive for cybercriminals looking to launder illegal proceeds from criminal activities such as drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, ransomware attacks, and payment card fraud," Europol  said  in a statement. The coordinated exercise, besides dismantling the clearnet and dark web websites associated with ChipMixer, also resulted in the seizure of $47.5 million in Bitcoin and 7 TB of data. Mixers, also called tumblers,  offer full anonymity  for a fee by commingling cryptocurrency from different users – both legitimate and criminally-derived funds – in a manner that makes it hard to trace the origins. This is achieved by funneling different payments into a single pool before splitting up each amount and transmit
International Law Enforcement Takes Down Infamous NetWire Cross-Platform RAT

International Law Enforcement Takes Down Infamous NetWire Cross-Platform RAT

Mar 10, 2023 Cyber Crime / Cyber Threat
A coordinated international law enforcement exercise has taken down the online infrastructure associated with a cross-platform remote access trojan (RAT) known as NetWire . Coinciding with the seizure of the sales website www.worldwiredlabs[.]com, a Croatian national who is suspected to be the website's administrator has been arrested. While the suspect's name was not released, investigative journalist Brian Krebs  identified  Mario Zanko as the owner of the domain. "NetWire is a licensed commodity RAT offered in underground forums to non-technical users to carry out their own criminal activities," Europol's European Cybercrime Center (EC3)  said  in a tweet. Advertised  since   at least 2012 , the malware is typically distributed via  malspam campaigns  and gives a remote attacker complete control over a Windows, macOS, or Linux system. It also comes with password-stealing and keylogging capabilities. The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ)  said  an investiga
Core Members of DoppelPaymer Ransomware Gang Targeted in Germany and Ukraine

Core Members of DoppelPaymer Ransomware Gang Targeted in Germany and Ukraine

Mar 06, 2023 Cyber Crime / Ransomware
Law enforcement authorities from Germany and Ukraine have targeted suspected core members of a cybercrime group that has been behind large-scale attacks using DoppelPaymer ransomware. The operation, which took place on February 28, 2023, was carried out with support from the Dutch National Police (Politie) and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), according to Europol. This encompassed a raid of a German national's house as well as searches in the Ukrainian cities of Kiev and Kharkiv. A Ukrainian national was also interrogated. Both individuals are believed to have taken up crucial positions in the DoppelPaymer group. "Forensic analysis of the seized equipment is still ongoing to determine the exact role of the suspects and their links to other accomplices," the agency further  said . In a related development, German authorities issued arrest warrants against three alleged DoppelPaymer operatives – lgor Olegovich Turashev , Igor Garshin (aka Igor Garschin
U.K. Police Arrest 142 in Global Crackdown on 'iSpoof' Phone Spoofing Service

U.K. Police Arrest 142 in Global Crackdown on 'iSpoof' Phone Spoofing Service

Nov 25, 2022
A coordinated law enforcement effort has dismantled an online phone number spoofing service called  iSpoof  and arrested 142 individuals linked to the operation. The websites, ispoof[.]me and ispoof[.]cc, allowed the crooks to "impersonate trusted corporations or contacts to access sensitive information from victims," Europol  said  in a press statement. Worldwide losses exceeded €115 million ($ 119.8 million), with over 200,000 potential victims believed to have been directly targeted through iSpoof in the U.K. alone, the Metropolitan Police  noted .  Among the 142 people arrested is the administrator of the website, who was apprehended in the U.K. on November 6, 2022. The website and its server were subsequently seized and taken offline two days later by Ukrainian and U.S. agencies. Per the National Police Corps, the helpdesk fraud  allowed  registered subscribers on the online portal to mask their phone numbers and make calls impersonating banks, retail companies, an
Europol Busts Phishing Gang Responsible for Millions in Losses

Europol Busts Phishing Gang Responsible for Millions in Losses

Jun 22, 2022
Europol on Tuesday announced the dismantling of an organized crime group that dabbled in phishing, fraud, scams, and money laundering activities. The cross-border operation, which involved law enforcement authorities from Belgium and the Netherlands, saw the arrests of nine individuals in the Dutch nation. The suspects are men between the ages of 25 and 36 from Amsterdam, Almere, Rotterdam, and Spijkenisse and a 25-year-old woman from Deventer, according to a  statement  from the National Police Force. Also confiscated as part of 24 house searches were firearms, ammunition, jewelry, designer clothing, expensive watches, electronic devices, tens of thousands of euros in cash, and cryptocurrency, the officials said. "The criminal group contacted victims by email, text message and through mobile messaging applications," the agency  noted . "These messages were sent by the members of the gang and contained a phishing link leading to a bogus banking website." Unsu
10 Most Prolific Banking Trojans Targeting Hundreds of Financial Apps with Over a Billion Users

10 Most Prolific Banking Trojans Targeting Hundreds of Financial Apps with Over a Billion Users

Jun 06, 2022
10 of the most prolific mobile banking trojans have set their eyes on 639 financial applications that are available on the Google Play Store and have been cumulatively downloaded over 1.01 billion times. Some of the most targeted apps include Walmart-backed PhonePe, Binance, Cash App, Garanti BBVA Mobile, La Banque Postale, Ma Banque, Caf - Mon Compte, Postepay, and BBVA México. These apps alone account for more than 260 million downloads from the official app marketplace. Of the 639 apps tracked, 121 are based in the U.S., followed by the U.K. (55), Italy (43), Turkey (34), Australia (33), France (31), Spain (29), and Portugal (27). " TeaBot  is targeting 410 of the 639 applications tracked," mobile security company Zimperium  said  in a new analysis of Android threats during the first half of 2022. " Octo  targets 324 of the 639 applications tracked and is the only one targeting popular, non-financial applications for credential theft." Aside from  TeaBot  (
FBI, Europol Seize RaidForums Hacker Forum and Arrest Admin

FBI, Europol Seize RaidForums Hacker Forum and Arrest Admin

Apr 13, 2022
An international law enforcement operation raided and took down RaidForums, one of the world's largest hacking forums notorious for selling access to hacked personal information belonging to users. Dubbed Tourniquet, the seizure of the cybercrime website involved authorities from the U.S., U.K., Sweden, Portugal, and Romania, with the criminal investigation resulting in the  arrest  of the forum's administrator at his home last month in Croydon, England. The three confiscated domains associated with the illicit marketplace include "raidforums[.]com," "Rf[.]ws," and "Raid[.]lol." Diogo Santos Coelho (aka "Omnipotent"), the said founder and chief administrator, was apprehended in the U.K. on January 31 and is pending extradition to the U.S. Santos Coelho has been charged with conspiracy, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft. In addition to detailing Santos Coelho's central role in designing and administering the soft
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