A global virtual private network (RPV, or VPN, in English) used by hackers to carry out ransomware attacks has been taken down, Europol, the European Union’s police agency, announced on Tuesday.
On Monday, an investigation team in Europe and North America seized or disrupted at least 15 servers hosting users and the VPNLab.net site, which offered hacker groups secure communications and Internet access, according to what Europol, based in The Hague, said.
” The VPN provider […] was used to support serious criminal acts such as deployment of ransomware and other cyber criminal activities. »
The platform created in 2008 was
a popular choice for hackers, willing to pay a subscription fee of US$60 (CA$75) to use its services
in order to commit their crimes without fear of detection by the authorities, added the European police agency.
Multiple investigations have shown that hackers were exploiting the platform to distribute malware, designed to infiltrate or disrupt computer systems.
Other cases have shown the use of the service in setting up infrastructure and communications behind ransomware campaigns as well as in their actual deployment, said Europol.
As a result of the survey, more than 100 companies were identified as being exposed to cyberattacks.
Law enforcement is working with potential victims to mitigate their exposure, according to Europol.
The investigation team was led by the German police in Hanover. Several countries took part in the operation, including France, Great Britain, Canada, the Netherlands, Ukraine and the United States.