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31 People Arrested in Global Cybercrime Crackdown

Law enforcement in 50 countries partner to take down ransomware, banking malware, and phishing threats. 

Law enforcement in 50 countries arrested 31 individuals in a global operation targeting ransomware, banking malware, and phishing.

Named Synergia and running from September to November 2023, the operation resulted in the identification of more than 1,300 suspicious command-and-control (C&C) servers, 70% of which have been taken down.

The Interpol-led operation extended to the APAC, EMEA and other regions, involving 60 law enforcement agencies across 50 participating countries.

Most of the C&C servers that were taken down were in Europe, with 153 and 86 other servers shut down in Hong Kong and Singapore, respectively. The malicious infrastructure was distributed across over 200 web hosting providers worldwide.

Authorities in Europe arrested 26 individuals, with four others arrested in South Sudan and Zimbabwe. An additional 70 suspects were identified, Interpol announced.

Authorities in Bolivia focused on identifying malware and resulting vulnerabilities, while those in Kuwait worked with internet service providers to identify victims.

Law enforcement also performed house searches and seized servers and electronic devices presumably used to perpetrate cybercrime.

Cybersecurity firms Kaspersky, Group-IB, Shadowserver, Team Cymru, and Trend Micro assisted law enforcement throughout the operation.

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“The three-month long Operation Synergia was launched in response to the growth, escalation, and professionalization of transnational cybercrime and the need for coordinated action against emerging cyber threats,” Group-IB notes.

The cybersecurity firm says it identified more than 500 IP addresses used for phishing, as well as over 1,900 IP addresses associated with other threats, including banking trojans, ransomware, and other malware.

“The results of this operation, achieved through the collective efforts of multiple countries and partners, show our unwavering commitment to safeguarding the digital space. By dismantling the infrastructure behind phishing, banking malware, and ransomware attacks, we are one step closer to protecting our digital ecosystems and a safer, more secure online experience for all,” Interpol assistant director Bernardo Pillot said.

Related: The Ransomware Threat in 2024 is Growing: Report

Related: 3,500 Arrested, $300 Million Seized in International Crackdown on Online Fraud

Related: Spain Arrests Hackers in Crackdown on Major Criminal Organization

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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