A multinational law enforcement team has launched efforts to dismantle a global criminal network of computer servers called Avalanche.
Avalanche has hosted more than two dozen types of malware and facilitated numerous money laundering campaigns.
The effort was announced in a joint statement Thursday from Leslie Caldwell, assistant attorney general at the Justice Department’s criminal division; Soo Song, acting U.S. attorney of the Western District of Pennsylvania; and Robert Johnson, an FBI special agent.
“The Avalanche network, which has been operating since at least 2010, is estimated to involve hundreds of thousands of infected computers worldwide,” the statement noted.
“The monetary losses associated with malware attacks conducted over the Avalanche network are estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide, although exact calculations are difficult due to the high number of malware families present on the network.”
The operation was launched Wednesday and involves the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania; FBI – Pittsburgh Division; DoJ’s computer crime and intellectual property section; Germany’s public prosecutor and Luneburg police; Europol; Eurojust; and investigators and prosecutors from approximately 40 countries.
The multinational group will work to seize, block and sinkhole more than 800,000 malicious domains as well as conduct searches and arrests in five countries, according to the statement.
Approximately 50 Avalanche servers worldwide has been taken offline.
DoJ plans to release more information on the operation and the Western Pennsylvania victims of Avalanche-based malware attacks.