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European countries have joined the fight against DD4BC (Distributed Denial of Service – DDoS – for Bitcoin), as part of a global response against the cybercriminal organization, resulting in arrests.
Operation Pleiades, which took place last month, saw law enforcement agencies from Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria and the UK team up with Europol to launch this major offensive.
One ‘main target’ was arrested and another suspect detained, it was revealed. A number of property searches were also carried out where an ‘extensive amount of evidence’ was seized.
The operation was initiated by Austria and supported by Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre alongside the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce.
DD4BC has been exploiting the popularity of ‘pseudonyms payment mechanisms’ and has been held responsible for a number of Bitcoin extortion campaigns dating back to 2014.
While the main focus of the group’s cyberattacks has been the online gambling industry, it has recently delved into both the financial services and entertainment sector.
One of the biggest problems with DDoS attacks, explains Europol, is the fact that private companies are not always reporting these incidents, causing difficulties in law enforcement efforts to find and prosecute groups like DD4BC.“Law enforcement and its partners have to act now to ensure that the cyberspace affecting nearly every part of our daily life is secure against new threats.”
“Law enforcement and its partners have to act now to ensure that the cyberspace affecting nearly every part of our daily life is secure against new threats posed by malicious groups,” said Wil van Gemert, deputy director of operations at Europol.
“Police actions such as Operation Pleiades highlight the importance of incident reporting and information sharing between law enforcement agencies and the targets of DDoS and extortion attacks.”
DDoS attacks continue to be a significant threat in the European Union, as well as across the rest of the world.
It has become a very well established criminal enterprise affecting thousands of people globally, with unreported incidents leading to estimations that the number of victims could be far higher.
Author Narinder Purba, We Live Security