shut down the VPN used to spread the ransomware used by cybercriminals for distribution ransomwarea and malware, but also for other criminal activities, was removed from the network on January 17 after a coordinated international police operation.

During a police operation led by Europol and Eurojust, involving German, Dutch, Canadian, Czech, French, Hungarian, Latvian and Ukrainian police, as well as the British National Crime Agency and the US FBI, 15 servers seized by VPNLab were seized. .net, which is why this service is no longer available.

Another result of the seizure is that at least 100 companies have been informed that they have been identified as targets of upcoming cyber attacks. Europol did not disclose the names of the companies, nor for which malware and ransomware was used.

Launched in 2008, provided cybercriminals with a high level of anonymity by offering dual VPN connections to its clients (Internet traffic is routed through two VPN servers in different countries instead of one), at a cost of $ 60 per year.

“This has made a popular choice for cybercriminals, who have been able to use its services to continue committing their crimes without fear of being discovered by the authorities,” Europol said in a statement. statement for the media, adding that the service “was involved in several major international cyber attacks”. caught the attention of the police when its infrastructure began to be widely used to spread malware, and investigators at the time discovered that the service was also advertised on the dark web.

In a separate statement, the Ukrainian cyber police announced that this VPN service was used in more than 150 ransomware infections, after which the victims paid a total of 60 million euros for ransom.

The police action against is the latest in a series of actions taken against VPN providers with proven links to criminal groups. In December 2020, the VPN service Safe-Inet was shut down, and after that, in June of the following year, the DoubleVPN.

“The actions carried out as part of this investigation clearly show that criminals are running out of ways to hide their tracks online,” said Edward Schilleris, head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Center (EC3).

Source: by

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