Thursday, 1 December 2016

The US is joining more than 40 countries in an 'unprecedented' takedown of a massive cybercrime network

An investigator of the Cybercrime Intelligence Unit of Germany's Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) Federal Crime Office is pictured during a media day in Wiesbaden, Germany, July 27, 2016. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

The US is joining with law enforcement agencies in more than 40 countries to take down a massive cybercrime network known as "Avalanche."

According to the Justice Department release, Avalanche servers have been distributing more than two dozen of the worst variants of malicious software, engaged in money laundering, and have hosted more than 800,000 web domains that can be used to infect victims' computers.

“The operation involves an unprecedented and ongoing effort to seize, block and sinkhole more than 800,000 malicious domains associated with the Avalanche network," a joint statement from DOJ said on Thursday. "The operation involves arrests and searches in five countries.  More than 50 Avalanche servers worldwide were taken offline."

Five "key" suspects in the cybercrime ring have been taken into custody, including the alleged ringleader, according to AP.

Fernando Ruiz, Europol's head of operations at its Cybercrime Center, told the AP that Avalanche is "the perfect example of crime as a service." Cybercriminals could contact the administrators of Avalanche, and they would provide everything needed to send spam emails, malicious software, or launder money, Ruiz said.

Avalanche malware has caused users more than $6 million in damages, ZDNet reported.

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