Law enforcement agencies in Europe, the US, and Canada on Tuesday announced the takedown of DoubleVPN, a virtual private network (VPN) service that allegedly helped cybercriminals conduct nefarious activities.
As part of the takedown operation, servers across the world were seized to ensure the disruption of the DoubleVPN service. Furthermore, the service’s web domains now display a law enforcement splash page.
“On 29th of June 2021, law enforcement took down DoubleVPN. Law enforcement gained access to the servers of DoubleVPN and seized personal information, logs and statistics kept by DoubleVPN about all of its customers. DoubleVPN’s owners failed to provide the services they promised,” the splash page reads.
Advertised on underground cybercrime forums for both Russian and English speakers, the service was used by ransomware operators and phishing fraudsters to hide their real location and identity.
The service claimed to provide clients with a high level of anonymity, through single, double, triple and even quadruple VPN-connections.
Leveraging DoubleVPN, cybercriminals were able to compromise networks all around the world, Europol says. VPN-connections were offered for as little as €22 ($25).
The service was taken down as part of an operation led by the Dutch National Police and coordinated by Europol and Eurojust. Law enforcement in Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States also took part in the operation.
“Law enforcement is most effective when working together and today’s announcement sends a strong message to the criminals using such services: the golden age of criminal VPNs is over. Together with our international partners, we are committed to getting this message across loud and clear,” Edvardas Šileris, head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), commented.
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