Update: January 19, 2022 06:09 STI
Washington [US], Jan 19 (ANI): The FBI, Europol, the European Union law enforcement agency and Canada announced on Tuesday that they have shut down 15 computer servers that have been used in “major international cyberattacks.”
The 10-country sting operation involved police from Germany to the UK to Ukraine. The crackdown targeted a popular virtual private network (VPN) service that police say cybercriminals were using to cover their tracks while breaching numerous organizations and trying to extort them, law enforcement said this week. reported CNN.
Europol said that after seizing the servers, investigators identified “more than 100 companies” that were at risk of being hacked by cybercriminals, including ransomware groups.
This is the latest effort by North American and European law enforcement to dismantle ransomware groups that threaten critical infrastructure on both continents.
US and European law enforcement in the fall arrested two people in Ukraine who allegedly demanded a multimillion-dollar ransom following hacks from European and US organizations, CNN reported.
A note from investigators greeted visitors to the website of VPNLab.net, the targeted VPN service: “THIS DOMAIN HAS BEEN SEIZED.” The memo said law enforcement would continue to comb through VPN data in an effort to track hackers.
“Cybercriminals using this VPN were carrying out attacks all over the world,” Europol spokeswoman Claire Georges told CNN.
The administrator of a popular cybercrime forum in Russian and English with more than 180,000 registered users has been advertising the VPN service since 2009, according to Mark Arena, CEO of cybersecurity firm Intel 471.
The news comes as US officials say they believe Russia, in a rare move, arrested the person responsible for the ransomware attack on a major US pipeline operator last May, CNN reported. (ANI)