Europol Claims Big Ransomware Win As 12 Suspects ‘Targeted’ For Attacks On 1,800 Victims

Editor in Chief at Forbes covering privacy, cybersecurity, cybercrime security, and surveillance.

European police believe that they’ve made progress in tackling an online criminal operation that’s since been “wreaking havoc” by hitting critical infrastructure companies with ransomware as of the beginning of.

Europol confirmed that 12 people associated with hacking companies or laundering money using Bitcoin were “targeted.” However, it wouldn’t ensure they were arrested or charged, but their properties were searched, and some items were seized. “The judicial process is still ongoing, so we cannot comment on this for the time being,” a Europol spokesperson spoke to Forbes.

These hackers are “known for specifically targeting large corporations, effectively bringing their business to a standstill,” Europol declared. The ransomware variants they employed were named LockerGoga and were used to shut out significant companies since 2019. One of the most notable clients has been Norsk Hydro, a global aluminum producer, the victim of an attack revealed in the year 2019 that caused the company to lose more than $50 million.

On October 26, the police across Ukraine and Switzerland have seized cash worth $52,000, along with five luxury vehicles and numerous electronic devices that are currently being sifted through. A total of 50 international investigators were present in Ukraine at the time to hunt down criminals. “Most of these guesses are considered high-value targets because they are being investigated in multiple high-profile cases in different jurisdictions,” Europol stated in a press release issued on Friday. “The targeted reckon all had different roles in this professional, highly organized criminal organizations.”

It’s unclear what effect the enforcement had on the functioning, the LockerGoga ransomware or other ransomware types employed by this group, such as MegaCortex and Dharma. Europol did not provide further details about the enforcement.

It’s been a good week for researchers investigating ransomware as reports have emerged about the REvil team being accountable for attacks against meat retailer JBS and the IT provider Kaseya clients. The company was interrupted by a different international investigation by the police. It was reported yesterday that the German police led the takedown.

The keys to unlock information encrypted from the Babuk ransomware Babuk ransomware team were released last week, which means businesses that have been hacked don’t need to pay thieves to get their data returned. The most notable targets was the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department, which did not want to pay a $4 million ransom, and it had its data exposed online.

Some severe attacks continue to be launched, but. This week a Russian group declared that they had compromised the National Rifle Association, uploading internal data online to prove it.

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Adam Collins
Adam writes about technology, business and economics. With master's degree in Economics, he's presented six papers in international conferences. As a solivagant in the constant state of fernweh, curiosity is the main weapon in his arsenal.

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