Kaspersky, INTERPOL arrest cyber criminals in $40m financial losses
Cybersecurity firm, Kaspersky has supported INTERPOL with threat intelligence data in its Africa Cyber Surge II operation, which enabled investigators to identify compromised infrastructure and apprehend threat actors suspected of cybercrimes across the African region.
Kaspersky said the operation resulted in the arrest of 14 perpetrators and the identification of network infrastructure, linked to financial losses of more than $40 million.
The Africa Cyber Surge operation is a continuous multi-stakeholder effort aimed at fighting cybercrime and protecting communities in the region. The first part of the Africa Cyber Surge operation, in which Kaspersky has also taken part, was carried out from July to November 2022 and resulted in a series of operational and investigative activities against the threat actors behind the cybercrimes in the African region.
The Africa Cyber Surge II operation was launched in April 2023 and lasted for four months, spanning 25 African countries. The action was undertaken by INTERPOL’s Cybercrime Directorate, under the auspices of the INTERPOL Africa Cybercrime Operations Desk and INTERPOL’s Support Programme for the African Union (ISPA) about AFRIPOL. The UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, the German Federal Foreign Office, and the Council of Europe also supported the effort.
Together with INTERPOL’s other private sector partners, Kaspersky has shared with the international agency indicators of compromise (IoCs), including malicious command and control servers, phishing links and domains, and scam IPs. As a result, INTERPOL streamlined cooperation between African law enforcement agencies to investigate and disrupt cybercriminals suspected of cyber extortion, phishing, business email compromise and online scams.
INTERPOL Secretary General, Jürgen Stock, said: “The Africa Cyber Surge II operation has led to the strengthening of cybercrime departments in member countries as well as the solidification of partnerships with crucial stakeholders, such as computer emergency response teams and Internet Service Providers. This will further contribute to reducing the global impact of cybercrime and protecting communities in the region.”
Public Affairs Director at Kaspersky, Yuliya Shlychkova, said: “In its mission to build a safer digital world, Kaspersky has been giving due credit to the importance of multilateral cooperation, involving the private sector, international law enforcement and national authorities.
“Only by harnessing the power of effective private-public partnership, can we give an impetus to the further strengthening of the cybersecurity industry in the African region to ensure that African countries can realise their outstanding potential without hindrance and regard for cybercrimes.”
AFRIPOL’s Acting Executive Director, Ambassador Jalel Chelba, said as digital systems, information communication technologies and Artificial Intelligence grow in prominence, public and private actors must work hand in hand to prevent these technologies from being exploited by cybercriminals.
Chelba said coordinated operations such as cyber surges are necessary to disrupt criminal networks and build individual, organisational and society-wide levels of protection.
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