A large international operation dismantles “ransomware” networks

A large international operation dismantles “ransomware” networks

The Hague — Police coordinated by the justice agency of the European Union dismantled computer networks that spread extortionist software through emails, in what authorities described Thursday as the largest international operation ever carried out against this lucrative form of cybercrime.

Police arrested four “high-value” suspects, disconnected more than 100 servers and took control of some 2,000 Internet domains.according to the EU judicial cooperation agency, Eurojust.

This week’s major operation, dubbed End of the Game, involved coordinated raids in Germany, the Netherlands, France, Denmark, Ukraine, the United States and the United Kingdom, according to Eurojust. Three arrests were also made in Ukraine and another in Armenia. Searches were carried out in Ukraine, Portugal, the Netherlands and Armenia, the EU police agency Europol added.

The operation was added to other international investigations against malware and ransomware networks, a tactic that locks computer equipment to demand a ransom. The intervention came after a huge botnet called Emotet was dismantled in 2021, Eurojust said. These computer networks are often used for fraudulent purposes.

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