Security & Fraud

Pittsburgh Business Lost Almost $400K In Cyberhacks

Avalanche Strikes US Business

Federal prosecutors and FBI agents in Pittsburgh said that a business in Pennsylvania incurred significant financial impacts due to an international cybercrime operation taken down by federal authorities and the European Union last week.

The business reportedly lost more than $387,000 before a multinational operation to dismantle a complex, criminal network of worldwide computer servers known as Avalanche was put in place.

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

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.

According to Business Insider, recently unsealed documents confirmed that the business located in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, had the $387,500 drained from the its online account.

A different business located in New Castle was also targeted twice, but the cybercriminals were unsuccessful in their attempts to steal more than $120,000 from the company.

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.


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