The year 2018 is stacking up to be the year of cybercrime prosecution, with the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) flexing its muscle and truly demonstrating the “long arm of the law.” The number of indictments, extraditions, trials and convictions give us a sense that attorney generals across the United States have been given hunting licenses for cybercriminals.
One recent example is the takedown of two separate cybercriminal entities engaged in digital advertising fraud, which netted the perpetrators tens of millions of dollars. The eight indicted individuals were from the Russian Federation, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Three of the eight indicted have been arrested outside the United States.
Perhaps the more interesting aspect of this indictment and neutralization of the cybercrime infrastructure is the extent of the global public-private collaboration. The DoJ’s press release concerning the arrests and dismantling highlighted this cooperation and it is impressive.
White Ops and Google were highlighted as being instrumental in both the investigation and the botnet takedown. Proofpoint Inc., Fox IT B.V., Microsoft Corp., ESET, Trend Micro Inc., Symantec Corp., CenturyLink Inc., F-Secure Corp., Malwarebytes, MediaMath, the National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance and the Shadowserver Foundation all were given a shoutout for their part in the takedown of the botnet.
It’s impressive enough to have the number of cybersecurity companies and organizations involved working together toward a common cause: neutralizing the cybercriminal. It gets even more impressive when you include the number of countries and law enforcement organizations involved. Malaysia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Poland and the United Kingdom all had a hand; the liaison of their governments’ law enforcement and federal prosecutors falls under the remit of the FBI’s Legal Attaché offices.
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