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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

How to Achieve the Best Risk-Based Alerting (Bye-Bye SIEM)

How to Achieve the Best Risk-Based Alerting (Bye-Bye SIEM)
Feb 19, 2024Network Detection and Response
Did you know that Network Detection and Response (NDR) has become the most effective technology to detect cyber threats? In contrast to SIEM, NDR offers adaptive cybersecurity with reduced false alerts and efficient threat response. Are you aware of  Network Detection and Response (NDR)  and how it's become the most effective technology to detect cyber threats?  NDR massively upgrades your security through risk-based alerting, prioritizing alerts based on the potential risk to your organization's systems and data. How? Well, NDR's real-time analysis, machine learning, and threat intelligence provide immediate detection, reducing alert fatigue and enabling better decision-making. In contrast to SIEM, NDR offers adaptive cybersecurity with reduced false positives and efficient threat response. Why Use Risk-Based Alerting? Risk-based alerting is an approach where security alerts and responses are prioritized based on the level of risk they pose to an organization's system

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

Are You Vulnerable to Third-Party Breaches Through Interconnected SaaS Apps?

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websiteWing SecuritySaaS Security / Risk Management
Protect against cascading risks by identifying and mitigating app2app and third-party SaaS vulnerabilities.

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

Europol Shuts Down VPNLab, Cybercriminals' Favourite VPN Service

Europol Shuts Down VPNLab, Cybercriminals' Favourite VPN Service
Jan 18, 2022
VPNLab.net, a  VPN provider  that was used by malicious actors to deploy ransomware and facilitate other cybercrimes, was taken offline following a coordinated law enforcement operation. Europol said it took action against the misuse of the VPN service by grounding 15 of its servers on January 17 and rendering it inoperable as part of a disruptive action that took place across Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Latvia, Ukraine, the U.S., and the U.K. A second outcome of the seizure is that at least 100 businesses that have been identified as at risk of impending cyber attacks are being notified. Europol didn't disclose the names of the companies. Established in 2008, the tool provided an advanced level of anonymity by offering double VPN connections to its clients — wherein the internet traffic is routed through two VPN servers located in different countries instead of one — for as cheap as $60 a year. "This made VPNLab.net a popular

Europol Ordered to Delete Data of Individuals With No Proven Links to Crimes

Europol Ordered to Delete Data of Individuals With No Proven Links to Crimes
Jan 11, 2022
The European Union's data protection watchdog on Monday ordered Europol to delete a vast trove of personal data it obtained pertaining to individuals with no proven links to criminal activity. "Datasets older than six months that have not undergone this Data Subject Categorisation must be erased," the European Data Protection Supervisor ( EDPS )  said  in a press statement. "This means that Europol will no longer be permitted to retain data about people who have not been linked to a crime or a criminal activity for long periods with no set deadline." EDPS' investigation into Europol's handling of sensitive data commenced in April 2019, with the authority noting that the storage of large volumes of data with no Data Subject Categorisation poses a risk to individuals' fundamental rights and amounts to mass surveillance. The cache is said to contain at least four petabytes,  according  to The Guardian. In addition, the ruling also imposed a six-mon

Europol Busts Major Crime Ring, Arrests Over 100 Online Fraudsters

Europol Busts Major Crime Ring, Arrests Over 100 Online Fraudsters
Sep 20, 2021
Law enforcement agencies in Italy and Spain have dismantled an organized crime group linked to the Italian Mafia that was involved in online fraud, money laundering, drug trafficking, and property crime, netting the gang about €10 million ($11.7 million) in illegal proceeds in just a year. "The suspects defrauded hundreds of victims through phishing attacks and other types of online fraud such as SIM swapping and business email compromise before laundering the money through a wide network of money mules and shell companies," Europol  said  in a statement published today.  The group operated out of Tenerife, located in Spain's Canary Islands. The development comes following a year-long sting operation that saw as many as 16 house searches in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Turin, and Isernia, resulting in 106 arrests — mostly in Spain and Italy — and seizure of electronic devices, 224 credit cards, SIM cards, point-of-sale terminals, a marijuana plantation, and equipment used

Authorities Take Down World's Largest Illegal Dark Web Marketplace

Authorities Take Down World's Largest Illegal Dark Web Marketplace
Jan 13, 2021
Europol on Tuesday said it shut down DarkMarket, the world's largest online marketplace for illicit goods, as part of an  international operation  involving Germany, Australia, Denmark, Moldova, Ukraine, the U.K.'s National Crime Agency (NCA), and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). At the time of closure, DarkMarket is believed to have had 500,000 users and more than 2,400 vendors, with over 320,000 transactions resulting in the transfer of more than 4,650 bitcoin and 12,800 monero — a sum total of €140 million ($170 million). The illegal internet market specialized in the sales of drugs, counterfeit money, stolen or forged credit card information, anonymous SIM cards, and off-the-shelf malware. In addition, the months-long intelligence operation also resulted in the arrest of a 34-year-old Australian national near the German-Danish border over the weekend, who is alleged to be the mastermind behind DarkMarket. According to  The Guardian , DarkMarket came to

Europol Shuts Down Over 30,500 Piracy Websites in Global Operation

Europol Shuts Down Over 30,500 Piracy Websites in Global Operation
Dec 04, 2019
In a coordinated global law enforcement operation, Europol has taken down more than 30,500 websites for distributing counterfeit and pirated items over the Internet and arrested three suspects. Among other things, the seized domains reportedly offered various counterfeit goods and pirated products and services, including pirated movies, illegal television streaming, music, electronics, cracked software downloads, counterfeit pharmaceuticals, and other illicit products. However, it should be noted that the seized web domains do not include any major pirate websites on the Internet. During the investigation, international law enforcement officials: shut down a total of 30,506 web domains, arrested three suspects, seized 26,000 luxury clothes and perfumes, seized 363 liters of alcoholic beverages, and seized an unspecified number of hardware devices. The officials also identified and froze more than €150,000 from several bank accounts and online payment platforms. Th

Europol Shuts Down 'Imminent Monitor' RAT Operations With 13 Arrests

Europol Shuts Down 'Imminent Monitor' RAT Operations With 13 Arrests
Nov 29, 2019
In a coordinated International law enforcement operation, Europol today announced to shut down the global organized cybercrime network behind Imminent Monitor RAT , yet another hacking tool that allows cybercriminals to gain complete control over a victim's computer remotely. The operation targeted both buyers and sellers of the IM-RAT (Imminent Monitor Remote Access Trojan), which was sold to more than 14,500 buyers and used against tens of thousands of victims across 124 countries. The infrastructure and front-end sale website of the Imminent Monitor have also been seized as part of this operation, making the Trojan unusable for those who already bought it, as well as unavailable for the new users. Promoted as a legitimate remote administration framework, the hacking tool was widely used to unauthorisedly access targeted users' computers and steal their login credentials for online banking and other financial accounts. According to Europol's press release , aut

'GozNym' Banking Malware Gang Dismantled by International Law Enforcement

'GozNym' Banking Malware Gang Dismantled by International Law Enforcement
May 16, 2019
In a joint effort by several law enforcement agencies from 6 different countries, officials have dismantled a major global organized cybercrime network behind GozNym banking malware . GozNym banking malware is responsible for stealing nearly $100 million from over 41,000 victims across the globe, primarily in the United States and Europe, for years. GozNym was created by combining two known powerful Trojans—Gozi ISFB malware, a banking Trojan that first appeared in 2012 and Nymaim, a Trojan downloader that can also function as ransomware. In a press conference held on Thursday, Europol said the operation was successfully conducted with the cooperation between Bulgaria, Germany, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, and the United States. The United States has charged ten members of the GozNym criminal network, 5 of which were arrested during several coordinated searches conducted in Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. However, rest of the five defendants reside in Russia and a

Europol Shuts Down Two Major Illegal 'Dark Web' Trading Platforms

Europol Shuts Down Two Major Illegal 'Dark Web' Trading Platforms
May 03, 2019
Europol announced the shut down of two prolific dark web marketplaces— Wall Street Market and Silkkitie (also known as Valhalla)—in simultaneous global operations against underground websites for trading drugs, stolen credit card numbers, malicious software, and other illegal goods. Police in western Germany has also arrested three men who were allegedly running Wall Street Market, the world's second largest dark marketplace with more than a million users and 5,400 vendors. Besides this, the operation involving Europol , Dutch police and the FBI also led to the arrests of two major suppliers of narcotics via the Wall Street Market site in Los Angeles, the United States. According to the Europol, the police officers seized the computers used to run the illegal market place, along with more than €550 000 (£472,000 or $621,000) in cash, more than €1 Million in Bitcoin and Monero cryptocurrencies, expensive cars, and other evidence. In a press release published today, Eu
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