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Interpol Arrests 14 in $40 Million Cybercrime Crackdown

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ByEsme Greene

Sep 12, 2023
Interpol Arrests 14 in $40 Million Cybercrime Crackdown
Esme Greene
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In a sweeping operation titled ‘Africa Cyber Surge II’, Interpol, in collaboration with various law enforcement agencies, arrested 14 suspected cybercriminals believed to be responsible for stealing a staggering $40 million. The operation, initiated in April 2023, covered 25 African countries and successfully disrupted over 20,000 cybercrime networks.

These networks were involved in a range of illegal cyber activities, including extortion, phishing, BEC scams, and other online frauds.

Key points from the operation include:

  • Takedown of hundreds of malicious IP addresses known for hosting malware.
  • Identification of 3,786 malicious command and control servers.
  • Discovering over 14,000 victim IPs linked to data theft.
  • Unearthing 1,415 phishing domains and links.
  • Unmasking 939 scam IP addresses.
  • Detection of over 400 other harmful URLs, IPs, and botnets.

Cybersecurity firm Group-IB played a pivotal role in this operation by providing significant intel on malicious cyber activities emanating from Africa. They supplied vital data like domains, URLs, and server IP addresses which were subsequently used in various takedown initiatives.

A breakdown of the operation’s successes includes:

  • Arrest of 3 individuals in Cameroon connected to an $850,000 online art scam.
  • Detention of a scammer in Nigeria who defrauded a victim in Gambia.
  • Apprehension of 2 money mules in Mauritius associated with scams on messaging platforms.
  • Gambia’s proactive measures led to the takedown of 185 malicious IPs.
  • Cameroon’s authorities shut down 2 darknet websites.
  • Kenyan authorities neutralized 615 malware hosters.

Interpol’s recent activities showcase its relentless pursuit against cybercriminals. Just ten days prior, Interpol announced the closure of the infamous ’16shop’ phishing platform and the arrest of its primary operator. In July, a key member of the cybercrime group OPERA1ER was detained, holding them accountable for 35 attacks causing damages exceeding $11 million.

Last year’s ‘Africa Cyber Surge’, held in November 2022, witnessed the arrest of 11 cybercriminals, the shutdown of a darknet market retailing hacking tools, and disruption of 200,000 infrastructure points aiding malicious cyber activities.

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Esme Greene

Esme brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our website, specializing in all aspects of DarkWeb security. With a deep understanding of the intricate workings of the DarkWeb and its associated cybersecurity risks, Esme curates insightful and informative content for our readers.