A VPN service used by criminals to distribute ransomware, malware and facilitate other forms of cybercrime has been taken offline following a coordinated international operation by police.
As part of the joint action by Europol, Germany’s Hanover Police Department, the FBI, the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) and others, the 15 servers used by the VPNLab.net service have been seized or disrupted, rendering it no longer available.
Europol said multiple investigations uncovered criminals using the VPNLab.net service to facilitate illicit activities such as malware distribution. Other cases showed the service’s use in the setting up of infrastructure and communications behind ransomware campaigns, as well as the actual deployment of ransomware.
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Europol said that VPNLab.net was established in 2008, offering services based on OpenVPN technology and 2048-bit encryption to provide online anonymity for as little as $60 per year. The service also provided double VPN, with servers located in many different countries. “This made VPNLab.net a popular choice for cyber criminals, who could use its services to carry on committing their crimes without fear of detection by authorities,” the agency said.
Cyber criminals also used