Europol and other agencies close Avalanche cyber crime scheme

7 December 2016

A notorious network of online hackers Avalanche established in 2009 consisting of up to 600 servers across the glove and hosting previously over 800 thousand web domains was taken down by the joint forces of Europol, FBI and German police with the participation of law-enforcement agencies from 30 nations including National Crime Agency (NCA) at the United Kingdom. The operation for closing the criminal chain came after four-year investigation conducted by German police.

Coordinated efforts of the law-enforcement agencies resulted in closing about 830,000 malicious wen domains disturbing the communication between the perpetrators and the machines they were administering.

In the course of the international operation five criminals were arrested, 37 premises were frisked, 39 servers sized, 221 servers turned off due to notifications about abuse sent to the hosting providers. According to the case report victims of the cybercriminal scheme were identified in more than 180 countries.

As the perpetrators were renting the servers they were attacking users through cyber fraud campaigns by distributing junk mails which infected their PCs with malicious software to commit identity theft. Avalanche enrooted viruses on at least 500 thousand computers across the globe.

A representative from the National Cyber Crime Unit at the UK NCA notes that the extent of the cyber crime was incredible and boasted that the efforts made by the global agencies was unparalleled too, making a conclusion that the internet is no longer a safe place for fraudsters.

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