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Anti-cybercrime unit breaks up group providing servers to cybercriminals

Marko Lukunic/PIXSELL/PAP

After a months-long investigation in cooperation with Europol and the FBI, Poland’s Central Bureau for Fighting Cybercrime (CBZC) has detained five members of an organised crime group that allegedly made its servers available to cybercriminals globally.

Two of the suspects have been placed under arrest by a court with the remaining three being under police supervision. The gang is believed to have been involved in so-called ‘bullet-proof hosting,’ a form of IT hosting enabling users to share content online without fear of its removal. It is commonly used as a cover for cybercrime.

The CBZC announced that on the servers the suspects are accused of having made available, cybercriminals from the world over ran fictitious online shops and phishing campaigns, disseminated spam, conducted cyberattacks and distributed malware. The servers are also thought to have provided a forum to discuss cybercrime activities.

The group is accused of guarding their clients’ anonymity and teaching them how to remain undetected, taking fees for their services in the form of cryptocurrencies to further hide their criminality.

“During a months-long investigation, a huge quantity of data was analysed, including online traffic (and) the flow of money in cryptocurrency portfolios, which made it possible to detect and track down the perpetrators and then to detain five people, including the ringleader,” the CBZC said.

The bureau secured hundreds of servers allegedly shared within the framework of ‘bulletproof hosting’ and several terabytes of data as well as electronic equipment including computers, mobile phones and disks in addition to cryptocurrency.

The CBZC estimates that crimes committed with the group’s help accounted for millions of dollars’ worth of losses with the number of victims, including public institutions and private entities, running into the hundreds of thousands.

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