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Showing posts with label Europol. Show all posts

Emotet - 'Most Dangerous Malware in the World' Disrupted by the Law Enforcement Agencies

 

The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement announced that a global collaboration of law enforcement agencies had disrupted Emotet, what it called the ‘most dangerous malware in the world’.

‘Operation ladybird’ was conducted via a collaboration of private security experts with global law enforcement agencies to disrupt Emotet and take charge of Emotet’s command-and-control infrastructure. While conducting the raid Ukrainian police arrested at least two Ukrainian citizens working for the cybercriminal group.

Ukrainian law enforcement published a video showing officers seizing cash, computer equipment, and rows of gold bars. Neither Europol nor the Ukrainian police has shared the details regarding threat actors or their asserted role in the Emotet group. Ukrainian authorities released a statement explaining that “other members of an international hacker group who used the infrastructure of the Emotet bot network to conduct cyberattacks have also been identified. Measures are being taken to detain them”.

Europol stated that “the Emotet infrastructure essentially acted as a primary door opener for computer systems on a global scale”. A malware globally known as Emotet has jeopardized the free-flowing working of the Internet and has grown into one of the biggest botnets across the globe and ruining organizations with data theft and ransomware.

In 2014, Emotet was initially known as a banking trojan, the malware gradually evolved into a powerful weapon used by threat actors across the globe to secure unauthorized access to computer systems. Emotet’s designers known as APT group TA542 shared the malware with other threat actors who used malware to install banking trojans or ransomware, onto a victim’s computer system.

Interpol stated that “the infrastructure that was used by Emotet involved several hundreds of servers located across the world, all of these having different functionalities to manage the computers of the infected victims, to spread to new ones, to serve other criminal groups, and to ultimately make the network more resilient against takedown attempts”.

DarkMarket Taken Down in an international Operation

 

DarkMarket, purportedly the world's biggest dark web marketplace, has been taken down by a Europol-coordinated international operation, as indicated by authorities. Europol upheld the takedown with specialist operational analysis and coordinated the cross-border collaborative effort of the nations.

The Central Criminal Investigation Department in the German city of Oldenburg arrested an Australian resident who is the alleged operator of DarkMarket, close to the German-Danish border over the weekend. The investigation, which was driven by the cybercrime unit of the Koblenz Public Prosecutor's Office, permitted officials to find and close the marketplace, switch off the servers and hold onto the criminal framework – over 20 servers in Moldova and Ukraine upheld by the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA). The stored information will give investigators new prompts to further investigate moderators, sellers, and buyers.

Before its closure, DarkMarket facilitated near 500,000 clients and had encouraged more than 320,000 transactions, as indicated by Europol. The dark web marketplace exchanged everything from drugs and counterfeit cash to stolen Mastercard details and malware. As per Europol's estimate, the site exchanged what might be compared to €140 million in today’s money, in a blend of bitcoin and monero. European authorities intend to utilize held onto DarkMarket servers from Ukraine and Moldova to investigate the buyers and dealers who utilized the site for criminal transactions.

DarkMarket's bust was not the first for German authorities, which have discovered illegal platform operators on German soil lately. In 2019, Koblenz prosecutors declared the disclosure of darknet servers facilitated from a previous NATO bunker in a lethargic German town. Authorities state the probe that revealed DarkMarket included a months-in length international law enforcement operation. US agencies like the FBI, DEA narcotics law enforcement division, and IRS tax authority all added to the investigation, alongside police from Australia, Britain, Denmark, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Moldova, with Europol playing a "coordinating role." 

DarkMarket is the most recent dark web marketplace taken down since the Silk Road bust back in 2015 — in recent years, international law enforcement operations had additionally brought down AlphaBay and Wall Street Market, which were likewise used to sell drugs and other illegal products.