More than 40 homes were searched by agents in Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, and Latvia, with officials from both the US and Europe saying that the ring, known as “QQAAZZ”, included citizens of Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Latvia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Belgium. All of the suspects face criminal charges in the United States, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom. A cyber attack hit at least 150 countries world wide with an estimate 200,000 victims, Europol chief Rob Wainwright was cited as saying in an interview with British broadcaster ITV. The so-called ‘WannaCry’ ransomware cyber attack hit the computers by encrypting files from affected computer units and demanded 300 US dollars through bitcoin to decrypt the files. The ring allegedly laundered cybercriminals’ stolen funds by transferring them between hundreds of accounts held in banks across the world. EPA/LEX VAN LIESHOUT
An exterior view of the new Europol headquarters in The Hague. EPA-EFE//LEX VAN LIESHOUT
European and American officials have arrested 20 people in several countries who are suspected of belonging to an international money-laundering ring that is responsible for processing millions of euros stolen by cybercriminals. This is the only way forward”, said Carlos Cabreiro, the director of Portugal’s National Unit for Fighting Cybercrime. “This operation has shown that through this type of cooperation, we can collectively tackle global cybercrime. It is expected that there are even more attacks on computers recorded at the beginning of the new working week, Wainwright added. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>FBI and Europol smash major money-laundering cybercrime ring
By Elena Pavlovska
epa05964226 (FILE) – An exterior view of the new Europol headquarters, the alliance of the European Union police and a multinational research organization, in The Hague, The Netherlands 01 July 2011, (reissued 14 May 2017). The operation, named “2BaGoldMule”, was coordinated by Europol and led by Portuguese investigators, along with the FBI. Media reports on 14 May 2017 state that experts of Europol expect a wave of further attacks on computers with so-called ‘Ransomware’.