Coordinated action cuts off access to VPN service used by ransomware groups (Bild: Europol)
This week, law enforcement and judicial authorities in Europe, the US and Canada have seized the web domains and server infrastructure of DoubleVPN, writes Europol.
This is a virtual private network (VPN) service which provided a safe haven for cybercriminals to attack their victims. Servers were seized across the world where DoubleVPN had hosted content, and the web domains were replaced with a law enforcement splash page. This coordinated takedown was carried out in the framework of the European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats (EMPACT).DoubleVPN was heavily advertised on both Russian and English-speaking underground cybercrime forums as a means to mask the location and identities of ransomware operators and phishing fraudsters.
The service claimed to provide a high level of anonymity by offering single, double, triple and even quadruple VPN-connections to its clients.DoubleVPN was being used to compromise networks all around the world. Its cheapest VPN-connection cost as little as €22 ($25). This criminal investigation concerns perpetrators who think they can remain anonymous, while facilitating large-scale cybercrime operations.
By taking legal action, including the special investigatory power for digital intrusion, we want to make it very clear there cannot be any safe havens for these kind of criminals. Their criminal acts damage the digitalised society and erode the trust of citizens and companies in digital technologies, therefore their behaviour has to be stopped.Law enforcement is most effective when working together and today’s announcement sends a strong message to the criminals using such services: the golden age of criminal VPNs is over.
Together with our international partners, we are committed to getting this message across loud and clear..
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