The VPN service VPNLab was taken offline during an international action by Interpol. 15 servers in different countries have been seized and the domain has been taken over by the authorities. Interpol indicates that VPNLab offered its services to cybercriminals who were involved in large-scale ransomware attacks, among other things.
Customer base in your hands
VPNLab was founded in 2008 and specialized in extra heavy encryption and double layers of security. The heavy 2048-bit encryption and the possibility of multiple VPN layers made it easier for criminals to operate under the radar. A notification about the seizure can now be read on the VPNLab website. Authorities have also seized customer data from the service. This data is now being investigated.
Ads on the dark web
Authorities tracked down VPNLab after several investigations revealed that criminals were using the VPN for their attacks. For example, the service was used during the distribution of malware and to set up the communication and infrastructure of ransomware campaigns. This would also be possible with a regular VPN, but Interpol also found out that VPNLab itself is actively advertised on the dark web. This protected version of the internet is widely used by criminals. The service’s advertisements were aimed at recruiting criminal customers.
Hundreds of companies targeted
The Dutch police were also involved in the action, probably because servers of the service were also hosted in the Netherlands. The director of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, Edvardas Sileris, emphasizes that actions like these cybercriminals make it increasingly difficult to cover their digital tracks. “With each investigation, we gain information for the following cases,” he says.
With this case, more than 100 victims and possible targets came into the picture: “Thanks to the information about possible victims, we may have already prevented several serious cyber attacks.” The authorities are working with these companies to prevent further attacks.
Catch up on more articles here
Follow us on Twitter here