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Interpol leans on industry for support in latest cyber crime sting

Interpol leans on industry for support in latest cyber crime sting

Local law enforcement joins industry in intelligence sharing

The Interpol Global Centre for Innovation (IGCI) in Singapore

The Interpol Global Centre for Innovation (IGCI) in Singapore

The private sector has yet again come to the aid of law enforcement in an operation which identified nearly 9000 command and control servers and hundreds of compromised websites.

The 8,800 servers discovered by the investigation were being used for various cyber crime related activities including malware distribution, launching Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks and spam distribution. Investigations into the servers are ongoing.

Seven private sector companies - Trend Micro, Kaspersky Lab, Cyber Defense Institute, Booz Allen Hamilton, British Telecom, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks - assisted the investigation and took part in pre-operational meetings in order to develop actionable information packages.

IGCI Executive Director Noboru Nakatani said the operation was a perfect example of how the public and private sectors can work efficiently together in combating cybercrime.

“With direct access to the information, expertise and capabilities of the private sector and specialists from the Cyber Fusion Centre, participants were able to fully appreciate the scale and scope of cybercrime actors across the region and in their countries,” Nakatani said.

The operation was run out of the Interpol Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) and along with industry support brought together investigators from Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam to share information on specific cybercrime situations in each country. Additional cyber intelligence was also provided by China.

As part of the investigation Interpol also identified almost 270 websites infected with a malware code which exploited a vulnerability in the website design application. Among these websites were several unnamed government websites which may have contained personal data of their citizens.

A number of phishing website operators were also identified, including one with links to Nigeria, with further investigations into other suspects still ongoing.

The investigation uncovered one criminal based in Indonesia who was selling phishing kits via the Darknet and had posted YouTube videos showing customers how to use the illicit software.

IGCI Executive Director Noboru Nakatani said the operation was a perfect example of how the public and private sectors can work efficiently together in combating cybercrime.

“With direct access to the information, expertise and capabilities of the private sector and specialists from the Cyber Fusion Centre, participants were able to fully appreciate the scale and scope of cybercrime actors across the region and in their countries,” Nakatani said.

“Sharing intelligence was the basis of the success of this operation, and such cooperation is vital for long term effectiveness in managing cooperation networks for both future operations and day to day activity in combating cybercrime."

Chief Superintendent Francis Chan, Chairman of Interpol’s Eurasian cybercrime working group and Head of the Hong Kong Police Force’s cybercrime unit said the operation helped develop capacity and expertise of officers in the participating countries.

“For many of those involved, this operation helped participants identify and address various types of cybercrime which had not previously been tackled in their countries,” Chan said. “It also enabled countries to coordinate and learn from each other by handling real and actionable cyber intelligence provided by private companies via Interpol, and is a blueprint for future operations.”


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