In an unprecedented event the FBI has taken down the seemingly impenetrable Avalanche Network, leading to arrests and the seizing of servers and domains.
The FBI has announced in a blog post that they performed a successful coordinated operation to take down the Avalanche Criminal Network. This operation has been going on for several years and looked to be almost impossible, but we can now mark it down as another win for the good guys. The Avalanche Network was used to distribute malware and phishing attacks, perform denial of service attacks, and aid in shuffling money across borders.
In the successful effort, the FBI seized, sinkholed or blocked 800,000 malicious domains that were being used in the criminal network along with as many as 221 servers. It’s estimated that this criminal network was responsible for infecting approximately 500,000 computers on a daily basis inside the United States and around the World. The total losses caused by this network have been placed in the hundreds of millions of dollars. This network served ransomware along with financial trojans and malware to users around the world stealing money on a daily basis.
Speaking on the successful operation Scott Smith, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Cyber Division said, “This takedown highlights the importance of collaborating with our international law enforcement partners against this evolution of organized crime in the virtual.” The operation resulted in arrests and searches in 4 different countries, further demonstrating the worlds ability to join forces against cyber criminals. According to SC Magazine Fernando Ruiz the head of operations at Europol’s Cybercrime Center said, “We have arrested the top, the head of the snake. We are sure that this will have a very huge impact.” ¹