Global law enforcement operation targets surge in online crime
Interpol says it has arrested more than 1,000 people and seized more than $ 27 million in illicit funds as part of a global campaign to fight cybercrime.
The international crime agency said the operation, dubbed “HAECHI-II,” saw law enforcement agencies from 20 countries come together to target specific types of online fraud, such as scams. dating, investment fraud and money laundering associated with illegal online gambling.
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In total, the four-month operation saw the arrest of 1,003 people and enabled investigators to close 1,660 cases.
In addition, 2,350 bank accounts linked to illicit proceeds of online financial crime have been blocked, more than 50 Interpol advisories have been published and 10 new criminal modus operandi have been identified.
Interpol said the close collaboration between specialist police units around the world “has also generated important information on emerging trends in online financial crime.”
Based on the information gathered during Operation HAECHI-II, the agency issued several purple notices, which are international police alerts that seek or provide information on the modus operandi, objects, devices and methods of cover-up used by criminals.
The opinions are then shared with the 194 member countries of Interpol so that the police can exchange information on new criminal methods and establish links between cases.
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“A purple notice requested by Colombia during the operation details a mobile application loaded with malware using the name and brand of the Netflix show ‘Squid Game’,” Interpol explained.
“Impersonating a product affiliated with the popular TV series, the app was actually a Trojan virus which, when downloaded, was capable of hacking a user’s billing information and subscribing to “premium” paid services without explicit user approval.
“Although reported in Colombia, the app has also targeted users in other countries.”
An Interpol statement said the surge in online financial crime triggered by the coronavirus pandemic “shows no signs of slowing down.”
As previously stated by The daily sip, the shift to remote working for many organizations across the world has seen an increase in targeted attacks by cybercrime gangs.
The Interpol operation also saw officials piloting a new global stop-payments mechanism – the Anti-Money Laundering Rapid Response Protocol (ARRP) – which, according to Interpol, “has been critical in intercepting successfully illicit funds in several HAECHI-II cases “.
“It is only through this level of global cooperation and coordination that national law enforcement agencies can effectively combat what is a parallel pandemic of cybercrime,” noted Secretary General Jürgen Stock.
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