Europol announced today that it has dismantled a virtual private network (VPN) used by criminals to carry out “ransomware” attacks that put more than 100 companies at risk of cyberattacks.
The European Police Agency revealed that investigators in Europe and North America on Monday seized or disrupted at least 15 servers hosting users as well as the VPNLab.net website, which provided criminal groups with protected communications and the Internet.
“The VPN provider (…) was used to support serious criminal acts, such as carrying out ‘ransomware’ (ransomware attack) and other criminal cyber activities, explained Europol, based in The Hague, Netherlands.
The VPNLab.net platform, created in 2008, was “a popular choice for ‘hackers’ willing to pay a monthly fee of $60 (about 52 euros) to use the services ‘to commit crimes without fear of being detected by the authorities,'” he added.
Several investigations showed that computer “hackers” took advantage of this platform to distribute “malicious software” (malicious code) and hack or destroy computer systems.
“Other cases showed the service was used to build infrastructure and communications to support ‘ransomware’, as well as for its actual dissemination,” Europol said.
After investigation, more than 100 companies were identified as having experienced cyber attacks.
Europol said authorities are working with potential victims to mitigate their exposure.
The operation, led by German police in Hanover (north), included inspectors from several countries of the European Union, as well as counterparts from the United Kingdom, Canada, Ukraine and the United States.
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