September 29, 2023

A four-month worldwide crime-fighting operation in Africa resulted in 14 arrests and the elimination of infrastructure utilized by cybercriminals throughout the continent.

The “Africa Cyber Surge Operation II” was carried out by Interpol, Afripol and cybersecurity corporations Group-IB and Uppsala Safety, which supplied on-the-ground help.

In a launch on Friday, Interpol outlined the operation’s achievements, which included the arrest of three folks in Cameroon suspected of taking part in an internet rip-off involving fraudulent artwork gross sales value $850,000. Two darknet websites had been additionally taken down in Cameroon.

Within the tiny West African nation of Gambia, “185 web protocols linked to malicious actions” had been eliminated, and in Kenya 615 malware hosters had been taken down.

On the island of Mauritius, authorities arrested two cash mules allegedly connecting to scams on messaging platforms.

In line with Interpol, the operation resulted within the identification of greater than 20,000 “suspicious cyber networks” linked to greater than $40 million in losses.

A lot of the operation, which spanned 25 international locations on the continent, was bolstered by information-sharing, with Group-IB, Development Micro, Kaspersky, and Coinbase all relaying intelligence to regulation enforcement companies. In all, greater than 3,700 command-and-control servers used for malicious actions, 939 malicious IP addresses and 1,415 phishing hyperlinks and domains had been recognized.

“Coordinated operations comparable to Cyber Surge are essential to disrupt prison networks and construct particular person, organizational and society-wide ranges of safety,” stated Afripol Appearing Govt Director Jalel Chelba.

The operation follows an identical initiative carried out in 2022, which resulted within the arrest of 10 suspected cybercriminals, the elimination of an Eritrean darkish internet platform promoting hacking instruments, and the takedown of about 200,000 items of malicious infrastructure.

Earlier this month, Interpol introduced a crackdown on West African organized crime teams like Black Axe, leading to greater than 100 arrests, the seizure of greater than 200 financial institution accounts linked with on-line crimes and the seizure of about $2.3 million. That operation concerned 21 international locations world wide.

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James Reddick

James Reddick has labored as a journalist world wide, together with in Lebanon and in Cambodia, the place he was Deputy Managing Editor of The Phnom Penh Publish. He’s additionally a radio and podcast producer for retailers like Snap Judgment.