Cybersecurity

Feds help bag international malware platform

world map

The FBI, acting as part of an international law enforcement coalition, has taken down a major international cybercriminal platform.

Europol said on Dec. 1 that the international coalition’s enforcement operation resulted in five arrests, the seizure of 39 web servers, along with almost a million web domains. The assets, according to Europol, were used to launch and manage mass global malware attacks and money mule recruiting campaigns.

The cyberattacks originated from the “Avalanche” platform, said the international law enforcement organization, and caused millions in damages to online banking systems in Germany alone. The platform had been in operation since 2009 and the arrests and seizures were the result of a four-year-long investigation.

Separately, the U.S. recently marked up a success of its own in preventing a ransomware attack on some Treasury Department offices, according to the White House’s top information security officer.

According to Federal CISO Greg Touhill, two employees at a Treasury Department bureau were recently targeted by ransomware that had been circulating through the financial services community.

In remarks at a Dec. 2 AFCEA NOVA lunch presentation, Touhill said the department detected, neutralized and restored the network at the two remote bureaus -- proof, he suggested, that federal agencies are becoming more resilient in the face of relentless malware attacks.

“They took a punch and kept on going,” he said.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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