(The Hosting News) – The sinister hacking platform known as ransomware received a major hit recently as authorities working with EUROPOL moved to assume custody of suspects for running a major crime scam.
According to a BBC report Thursday, eleven people from countries including Ukraine, Georgia and Russia were all arrested for using the malware tactic.
Ransomware tricks web users into thinking their computer systems have visited illegal websites containing things like underage pornography. The ransomware criminals then further trick the victim by demanding money to restore web access to their systems.
“The financial cell of the network specialised in laundering the proceeds of their crimes, obtained in the form of electronic money. For this, the gang employed both virtual systems for money laundering and other traditional systems using various online gaming portals, electronic payment gateways or virtual coins. They also used compromised credit cards to extract cash from the accounts of ransomware victims via ATMs in Spain. As a final step, daily international money transfers through currency exchanges and call centres ensured the funds arrived at their final destination in Russia,” explained EUROPOL via a statement from the Netherlands.
The coordinated operation was carried out by Spanish police working with others and included assistance from Interpol.
The scam was first detected around May of 2011 and more than 1,200 victims of the scareware have been reported in just Spain. EUROPOL, meanwhile, emphasized such a number could increase.