By John Ensor •
Published: 28 Oct 2023 • 20:20
Two International Hackers Arrested In Alicante.
A multi-national police operation coordinated by Europol has seen a major ransomware gang busted, with two of the main suspects arrested in Alicante.
In a sweeping move against cybercrime, the Guardia Civil recently apprehended two hackers in Alicante. These individuals were key operatives of the infamous Ragnar Locker group, notorious for its aggressive ransomware attacks on global businesses.
The arrests in Torrevieja and Alicante were part of a larger operation that involved an incredible 11 countries. The mission aimed to dismantle the Ragnar Locker group, which has been implicated in multiple cyberattacks on critical infrastructures around the world.
Further to the Alicante detentions, another suspect was arrested in Latvia. In a coordinated effort, officials dismantled ransomware setups in the Netherlands, Germany, and Sweden. Additionally, the data breach website linked to Tor was shut down in Sweden.
The brains behind this widespread ransomware program was identified in the Czech Republic. Moreover, a series of search operations was also carried out in Ukraine.
The French National Gendarmerie spearheaded the investigation. They collaborated with law enforcement agencies from countries that included the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, and the USA.
During these operations, the Guardia Civil confiscated various digital assets. These included three types of cryptocurrencies: bitcoin (BTC), litecoin (LTC), and binance coin (BNB).
Ransomware is a malicious software, that encrypts the vital data stored on a company’s servers. The attackers then demand a ransom, typically in cryptocurrencies, in exchange for the decryption key to recover the information.
The Ragnar Locker group, using its unique ransomware, has been connected to attacks on significant infrastructures like the Portuguese national airline and an Israeli hospital.
Their method involved a dual-threat strategy. First they sought hefty payments for decryption, and secondly promising not to leak the confidential information they had stolen. They expressly threatened victims that they would publish the stolen data if they notified the police.
In October 2021, a combined team from the French National Gendarmerie, the US FBI, Europol, and Interpol visited Ukraine. This collaboration with the Ukrainian National Police led to the capture of two primary members of this criminal syndicate.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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