Interpol arrests 14 who allegedly scammed $40m from victims in 'cyber surge'

Trending 1 month ago

An Interpol-led cognition arrested 14 suspects and identified 20,674 "suspicious" networks spanning 25 African countries that world cops person linked to much than $40 cardinal successful cybercrime losses.

Africa Cyber Surge II, a combined constabulary operation which began successful April and lasted 4 months, was a coordinated effort betwixt Interpol, African rule enforcement, and private-sector information firms to disrupt online extortion, phishing, business email discuss (BEC) and different cyber scams. But fixed that BEC scams cost billions of dollars a twelvemonth it's mini change.

Interpol, Afripol, and infosec companies Group-IB and Uppsala Security provided on-the-ground operational support, nan world agency said. This included helping pinch 3 arrests successful Cameroon related to an online scam involving nan fraudulent waste of useful of creation worthy $850,000.

Additionally, constabulary successful Nigeria arrested a fishy who allegedly defrauded a unfortunate successful Gambia, and constabulary successful Mauritius arrested 2 suspected money mules linked to messaging level scams. Plus, Cameroonian authorities took down 2 darknet sites, and Kenyan rule enforcement unopen down 615 malware abstracted hosting operations.

Group-IB, which has antecedently worked pinch Interpol connected erstwhile operations, collected and shared much than 1,000 indicators from its threat intelligence, according to nan information shop.

"Collaboration and intelligence sharing should beryllium astatine nan bosom of cybersecurity operations, and Group-IB stands fresh to make a further publication to this end, successful statement pinch our halfway strategical ngo of fighting against cybercrime successful each its forms," Group-IB CEO Dmitry Volkov said successful a statement Friday.

In total, accusation shared by Group-IB and different backstage partners Trend Micro, Kaspersky, and Coinbase led to immoderate 150 Interpol analytical reports containing intel connected cyber threats targeting circumstantial countries, we're told.

These reports included specifications about:

  • 3,786 malicious bid and power servers
  • 14,134 unfortunate IPs linked to information stealer cases
  • 1,415 phishing links and domains
  • 939 scam IPs
  • More than 400 different malicious URLs, IPs and botnets.

The first portion of nan Africa Cyber Surge cognition took spot betwixt July 2022 and November 2022. It besides resulted successful a bid of investigations and operations against cybercriminals successful nan region.

The astir caller arrests travel respective months of akin activity crossed Africa arsenic world rule enforcement attempts to disrupt cybercrime rings that run retired of respective countries connected nan continent.

  • Suspected bank-infecting OPERA1ER crime leader cuffed
  • US extradites Nigerian charged complete $6m email fraud scam
  • Add 'writing malware' to nan database of things generative AI is not very bully astatine doing
  • Florida Man and associates indicted for conspiracy to bargain data, software

Interpol past week reported nan arrest of much than 100 people crossed nan EU and Africa. Cops besides seized much than €‎2.15 cardinal ($2.4m) successful assets belonging to nan Black Axe crime/cyber crime syndicate.

The West Africa-based group is described arsenic a "violent, mafia-like" pack that specializes successful BEC, romance scams, in installments paper fraud, money laundering and different illicit activities, according to Interpol.

In July, cops successful Côte d'Ivoire said they arrested a suspected "key figure" of a cybercrime group dubbed OPERA1ER reported to person stolen from much than 30 banks and financial orgs crossed 15 countries.

Interpol, which led nan operation, said nan pack has stolen betwixt $11 cardinal and $30 cardinal from these organizations crossed Africa, Asia, and Latin America. ®