$1.3 Million in Crypto Seized in a Global Anti-Ransomware Operation

October 7, 2021

A well planned and joint effort, involving Europol, Interpol, and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has led to the arrest of two “prolific” ransomware operators who allegedly have been responsible for attacks demanding of up to 70 million euros.

On Monday, October 4, The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) announced:

“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 operation included seven property searches, where authorities seized $1.3 million in crypto, $375,000 in cash and two luxury cars worth 217,000 euros.

The arrests took place on September 28 and followed “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.”

The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) commented:

“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 added:

“The criminals would deploy malware and steal sensitive data from these companies, before encrypting their files. They would then proceed to offer a decryption key in return for a ransom payment of several millions of euros, threatening to leak the stolen data on the dark web should their demands not be met.”

On Monday, Interpol also kicked of their three-week cybercrime awareness campaign, #JustOneClick,

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Author: Peter Siu

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