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Int’l Law Enforcement Agencies Launch Cyber Operation to Take Down ‘Avalanche’ Malware Network

cyber-hack-network-computerPolice authorities in Germany have collaborated with Interpol, Europol, U.S. Justice Department and the FBI to take down an international cyber network that works as a delivery platform to launch malware attacks and money mule schemes worldwide.

The Avalanche network has been in operation since 2009 and has caused approximately $6.4 million in damages associated with cyber attacks on internet-based banking systems in Germany, Europol said Thursday.

Investigators and prosecutors from 30 countries collaborated to dismantle the network through a Nov. 30 operation that led to the arrest of 5 individuals, seizure of 39 servers, search into 37 premises and closure of 800,000 domains through the use of the sinkholing process.

Sinkholing is a method that works to redirect traffic between a criminal network and infected computers to servers operated by a law enforcement agency or an information security firm.

“Avalanche has been a highly significant operation involving international law enforcement, prosecutors and industry resources to tackle the global nature of cyber crime,” said Europol Director Rob Wainwright.

The operation has also put 221 servers offline through abuse alerts to hosting providers.

Other organizations and agencies that were involved in the dismantling operation include Eurojust, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, German Federal Office for Information Security, FKIE, Registrar of Last Resort and Shadowserver Foundation.

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