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Cybercrime: FBI, Europol arrest ransomware operators, seize $1.3m in cryptocurrencies

*The combined transnational security agencies arrested two of the ‘prolific’ ransomware operators, and confiscated $1.3million in cryptocurrencies from the gang

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Following their alleged execution of a string of attacks, demanding ransoms of up to 70 million Euros from victims, a coordinated strike involving Europol, Interpol, and the United States (US) Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has led to the arrest of two ‘prolific’ ransomware operators.

It was gathered the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol), which announced the development Monday, October 4, 2021, said that the combined transnational security agencies also confiscated $1.3million in cryptocurrencies from the gang.

Two prolific ransomware operators suspected of carrying out a string of attacks had demanded ransoms of up to 70 million Euros ($81million), before they were arrested September 28, in Ukraine.

Report indicates the arrests followed “a coordinated strike between the French National Gendarmerie (Gendarmerie Nationale), the Ukrainian National Police (Національна поліція України) and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), with the coordination of Europol and Interpol,” European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) explained.

The authorities conducted seven property searches, and seized $375,000 in cash, two luxury vehicles worth 217,000 euros, and $1.3 million in cryptocurrencies in the process.

According to Europol, the organised 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.

The security agency stated: “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.”

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