Last Updated on 20/01/2022 by Nidhi Khandelwal
Following a coordinated law enforcement investigation, VPNLab.net, a VPN provider used by bad actors to install ransomware and enable other cybercrimes, was taken offline.
Europol said it took action against the misuse of the VPN service on January 17 by shutting down 15 of its servers in Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Latvia, Ukraine, the United States, and the United Kingdom as part of a disruptive action that spanned Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Latvia, Ukraine, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
A second result of the seizure is the notification of at least 100 firms that have been recognised as being at danger of upcoming cyber assaults. The companies’ names were not revealed by Europol.
Investigators discovered evidence of the criminal service being marketed on the dark web, which drew the notice of law enforcement officials. VPNLab.net is believed to have drawn the attention of law enforcement officials when its infrastructure began to be widely used to transmit malware.
Ukraine’s Cyber Police said in a second statement that the VPN service was utilized in more than 150 ransomware outbreaks, resulting in victims paying a total of €60 million in ransom payments.
VPNLab.net’s demise is the latest measure taken by authorities to target VPN providers with known ties to criminal organizations. Safe-Inet, a bulletproof VPN service, was shut down in December 2020, while DoubleVPN was shut down in June 2021.
“The steps taken as part of this investigation show that criminals are running out of options for hiding their footprints online,” said Edvardas Ileris, the head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Center (EC3). “Each investigation we conduct informs the next, and the information we’ve gathered on possible victims suggests that we may have averted numerous major cyberattacks and data breaches.”