Twelve suspected members of a global network of cybercriminals have been tracked down thanks to an international police operation. This was stated in a statement issued by the European Police Service Europol. The network has carried out ransomware attacks against critical infrastructure, such as governments and multinational companies around the world.
The attacks by the criminal organization are believed to have killed more than 1,800 in 71 countries. On Tuesday, suspects’ homes were searched in Ukraine and Switzerland. More than $52,000 (44,500 euros) in cash was confiscated, as well as five luxury cars, expensive watches and data carriers such as phones and laptops.
Some suspects are said to have engaged in hacking of IT networks using, for example, stolen access data and spoofed emails. Others explored the network and searched for vulnerabilities, while others spread ransomware. After a ransomware attack, the victim received a message demanding payment in bitcoins for decryption keys. A number of suspects are said to have laundered the loot.
The suspects have not yet been arrested.
Police forces from eight countries participated in the operation: Norway, France, the Netherlands, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland and the United States. Europol and Eurojust coordinated the work.
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