The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol), International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in a coordinated strike, arrested (on Sept. 28) 2 high-profile ransomware operators. These culprits are alleged of demanding ransom of over EUR 70 million. The authorities in their crackdown managed seizing US$1.3 million in cryptocurrencies.
Interpol recently announced the following:
Two prolific ransomware operators suspected of carrying out a string of attacks, demanding ransoms of up to EUR 70 million [$81 million], have been arrested in Ukraine.
The culprits were caught in “a coordinated strike between the French National Gendarmerie (Gendarmerie Nationale), the Ukrainian National Police (Національна поліція України) and the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), with the coordination of Europol and Interpol.”
Undertaking 7 property searches, the authorities seized US$375,000 in cash, 2 luxury vehicles valued at EUR 217,000, and US$1.3 million in cryptocurrencies.
The organized crime group is suspected of having committed a string of targeted attacks against very large industrial groups in Europe and North America from April 2020 onwards.
Europol also explained that the criminals tended to plant malware for stealing sensitive company data, prior to file encryption. A decryption key was then used to command payment of ransom ranging into millions of euros. Upon being denied the ransom payment, the culprits used to threaten with data leaking on the dark web.