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Crackdown on African Cybercrime Leads to Arrests, Infrastructure Takedown

Interpol on Friday announced the arrest of ten individuals suspected of participation in $800,000 scam and fraud operations with global impact.

Interpol on Friday announced the arrest of ten individuals suspected of participation in $800,000 scam and fraud operations with global impact.

The arrests were made as part of a four-month effort (July to November 2022) called ‘Africa Cyber Surge Operation’ and focused on countering cybercrime across Africa. According to Interpol, law enforcement from 27 countries joined the operation.

As part of the operation, law enforcement in Eritrea dismantled a dark web marketplace selling hacking tools and various cybercrime-as-a-service components.

In Cameroon, Africa Cyber Surge Operation led to multiple cryptocurrency scam cases being resolved, while in Tanzania it resulted in the recovery of over $150,000 from data infringement and copyright cases.

Law enforcement agencies took action against over 200,000 pieces of malicious cyber infrastructure facilitating cybercrime across the continent, including botnets, phishing, spam, and online extortion activities.

“Participating countries were able to improve their own national cyber security by patching network vulnerabilities and cleaning-up defaced government websites and securing vulnerable critical infrastructure, thereby reducing the risk of potentially catastrophic attacks,” Interpol notes.

The operation received support from multiple private cybersecurity firms, including British Telecom, Cyber Defense Institute, Fortinet, Group-IB, Kaspersky, Palo Alto Networks, Shadowserver, and Trend Micro.

Related: 75 Arrested in Crackdown on West-African Cybercrime Gangs

Related: Crackdown on BEC Schemes: 100 Arrested in Europe, Man Charged in US

Related: FBI: 65 People Arrested Worldwide in BEC Bust

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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