Interpol Arrests 14 Suspected Cybercriminals For Stealing $40 Million

Cyber Security Threat Summary:
“An international law enforcement operation led by Interpol has led to the arrest of 14 suspected cybercriminals in an operation codenamed 'Africa Cyber Surge II,' launched in April 2023. The four-month operation spanned 25 African countries and disrupted over 20,000 cybercrime networks engaged in extortion, phishing, BEC, and online scams, responsible for financial losses of over $40,000,000. Along with the arrests, the authorities have also taken down hundreds of malicious IP addresses that hosted malware and helped distribute dangerous software” (Bleeping Computer, 2023).

In total, the operation has led to the discovery of 3,786 malicious command and control servers, 14,134 victim IPs linked to data stealer cases, 1,415 phishing links and domains, 939 scam IPs, and over 400 other malicious URLs, IPs, and botnets. Furthermore, law enforcement authorities were able to conduct 3 arrests in Cameroon for $850,000 stolen in online art scams, one arrest in Nigeria, and 2 arrests in Mauritius for defraudtation and messaging platform scams. As part of the operation, authorities have also taken down 185 malicious IPs, 2 darknet sites, and 615 malware hosters.

Security Officer Comments:
The latest takedown was made possible with the help of cybersecurity firm Group-IB, which provided thousands of indicators related to malicious infrastructure, including domains, URLs, as well as IP addresses used in phishing and malware attacks. The firm has also played a role in previous operations including one launched in July 2022, codenamed Africa Cyber Surge operation. In total, this operation lead to the arrest of 10 suspects which amounted to 800,000 dollars in financial damages, as well as the takedown of more than 200,000 pieces of malicious infrastructure.