Security & Fraud

International Organizations Take Down Criminal Servers

For anyone who is still a bit shaken given the recent international media attention to and coverage of cybersecurity vulnerabilities, here is some good news.

The U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI issued a joint statement today (Dec. 1) that detailed their ongoing combined efforts with other U.S. and over 40 international organizations — including Europol and Eurojust — to dismantle a worldwide network of criminal computer servers.

“November 30 began the start of a multinational operation to dismantle a complex, criminal network of worldwide computer servers known as Avalanche,” the statement reads. Avalanche has been operating since at least 2010.

Avalanche servers reportedly hosted over two dozen of the most malicious types of malware. Hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide are estimated to be affected. The criminal servers also hosted a number of money laundering campaigns. Over 50 Avalanche servers have been taken offline thus far.

The joint operation is working on seizing, blocking and dismantling more than 800,000 domains associated with the Avalanche network. The operation involves arrests and searches in five as-of-yet-unnamed countries.

The combined monetary losses affiliated with Avalanche malware attacks were estimated by the organizations to be valued in the range of hundreds of millions of dollars, although exact calculations are reportedly still hard to come by due to the variety of malware families present.

The organizations note that they will release more detailed information to the public early next week.

The news of this organization’s dismantlement should come as some relief for anyone concerned about mounting expert testimony that the U.S. is nowhere near well-equipped to deal with a major cyberattack.

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