Europol carried out a coordinated arrest of computer criminals who used tools for DDOS attacks against various targets worldwide. The organization has publicly disclosed details about the operation on their website.
Europol Operation Carries out a Large Operation Against DDOS Attackers
Europol has carried out a large-scale operation against cyber crime criminals, specifically the ones who use DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) tools to take down servers of various institutions, private users and companies. The law enforcement organization has partnered with authorities from Australia, France, Belgium, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal, Norway, Romania, the United Kingdom, the United States, Sweden and Spain. As a result 34 criminals have been arrested and 101 suspects have been interviewed.
The specialist European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) that is operated by the agency has supported the individual countries in identifying the suspects and carrying out the necessary operations. The results have shown that most of the attackers are young adults under the age of 20. The participating countries collaborated using the EMPACT (European Multidisciplinary Platform against Criminal Threats) to project the cyber attacks that can strike critical infrastructure and information systems in the EU territories. The arrested individuals are suspected of paying and using stressers and booter services which are used to launch predefined DDOS attacks against various sites and servers.
The operation is characterised by the Europol experts as a preventative measure. The Head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre Steven Wilson commented the following in an official statement:
“Today’s generation is closer to technology than ever before, with the potential of exacerbating the threat of cybercrime. Many IT enthusiasts get involved in seemingly low-level fringe cybercrime activities from a young age, unaware of the consequences that such crimes carry. One of the key priorities of law enforcement should be to engage with these young people to prevent them from pursuing a criminal path, helping them understand how they can use their skills for a more constructive purpose. “
The Europol action is used to start a large-scale prevention campaign in the participating countries to raise awareness of the risk that is associated with young adults involved in computer crimes. Europol and the associated national law enforcement agencies believe that the majority of the illegal actions is due to the lack of knowledge about the consequences. They believe that the teenagers and adults who engaged in cybercrime can use their skills for a positive use. Their aptitude for gaming, coding and programming can be used to grow the individuals into successful citizens that can inspire others instead of being arrested for crimes.
We remind everyone that this operation has been produced shortly after the organization shut down the dangerous Avalanche botnet.
For more information you can read the full press release on Europol’s site.