THE COMBINED FORCE OF EUROPOL and friends has reached out and smacked down the financial havoc-wreaking Avalanche botnet.
This is a big hit against a massive financial menace according to the boys from Europol, who worked alongside ICANN, the US Department of Justice and prosecutors from 30 countries. International cooperation was needed to take down the sophisticated international network.
Europol says that five people have been arrested and that 37 premises have been raided with 39 servers being seized.
Avalanche is estimated to have taken hundreds of millions of Euros via the malware infected network, and Europol says that the operation is the largest ever use of anti-botnet sinkholing.
Europol added that it was "unprecedented in its scale", with more than "800 000 domains seized, sinkholed or blocked".
"Avalanche has been a highly significant operation involving international law enforcement, prosecutors and industry resources to tackle the global nature of cybercrime," said Rob Wainwright, Europol director.
"The complex trans-national nature of cyber investigations requires international cooperation between public and private organisations at an unprecedented level to successfully impact on top-level cybercriminals.
"Avalanche has shown that through this cooperation we can collectively make the internet a safer place for our businesses and citizens".
Europol has taken a slow path to get to this place, and it says that the investigation started in Germany way back in 2012. Back then, the criminals were able to grab millions of private and business computers, stuff them with malware and harvest bank and email account details. The rest is history now, but it also included the use of online money mules, which is not a very glamorous role, no matter how nice it sounds.
"Avalanche shows that we can only be successful in combating cybercrime when we work closely together, across sectors and across borders," said Julian King, European Commissioner for the Security Union.
"Cybersecurity and law enforcement authorities need to work hand in hand with the private sector to tackle continuously evolving criminal methods. The EU helps by ensuring that the right legal frameworks are in place to enable such cooperation on a daily basis".
Yeah, you tell 'em champ. µ
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