International effort takes down VPN service, VPNLab, used for criminal activity

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Jan 18, 2022 | CYBERSCOOP

A virtual private network service used for malware distribution, ransomware operations and other cybercrime activities was taken offline Monday as law enforcement officials from nearly a dozen countries jointly seized its website and customer data.

Multiple investigations into the distribution of malware and other illicit activities alerted authorities to, according to the European law enforcement agency Europol, which announced the takedown Tuesday. Authorities “seized or disrupted 15 servers” that hosted the site’s infrastructure, the agency said.

“This service provided a platform for the anonymous commission of high value cybercrime cases, and was involved in several major international cyberattacks,” a message posted to the site’s home page reads. “Law enforcement has now gained access to the servers and seized the customer data stored within. The investigation regarding customer data of this network will continue.”

Led by German police, the operation included the Netherlands, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Latvia, Ukraine, the U.S. and the United Kingdom.

The service, which dates back to 2008, offered encryption of internet traffic and online anonymity for as little as $60 per year, the agency said, making it “a popular choice for cybercriminals,

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