Europol shuts down Ukraine cyber ring

A major Ukrainian cybercrime group has been abolished thanks to the collaboration of six European countries, Eurojust, and Europol.

Eight homes were searched and five suspected parties arrested, leading to computer equipment being seized, along with  other devices to be subjected to examination by forensics experts.

The organisation was essentially a JIT (joint investigation team), which is able to be created when at least two European countries come to an agreement for a fixed duration on a set strategy for a particular purpose.

The purpose in this case was to combat an advanced cybercrime group, which was believed to be developing and administering SpyEye and Zeus trojans, as well as channelling and profiting from related crimes.

Europol said that the suspects adapted malware for numerous internet banking systems, not only in Europe, but also in other continents. Agency director Rob Wainwright said that the operation was among Europol’s most significant for some time, and that it took a global investigation team to take on the group. He added:

“With our international partners, we are committed to fighting the threats brought about by malware and other forms of cyber-crime, to realise safer technology infrastructures and online financial transactions for businesses and people the world over.”

It took a European-wide team to take down the group and this probably won’t be the last time that Europol has to step in when a sector is being targeted. Individual SMEs, however, have to take care of themselves. By looking at their IT security recruitment policy and asking themselves if they are really doing enough would be a good place to start.

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