Law enforcement agencies from over 50 Interpol member countries have banded together in a three-month operation to combat the rise of global cybercrime. The operation, named Synergia, took place from September to November 2023 and focused on targeting phishing, malware, and ransomware attacks.
During the operation, law enforcement officers were able to identify 1300 suspicious IP addresses or URLs associated with malicious activities. House searches were conducted, which resulted in the seizure of servers and electronic devices. In total, 31 individuals were detained and an additional 70 suspects were identified.
The majority of command-and-control (C2) servers that were taken down were located in Europe, leading to the arrest of 26 individuals. Additionally, Hong Kong and Singapore police dismantled 153 and 86 servers, respectively, while South Sudan and Zimbabwe reported the highest takedowns on the African continent, resulting in the arrest of four suspects. Kuwait worked closely with internet service providers (ISPs) to identify victims and minimize the impacts of cybercrime.
According to reports, 70% of the identified C2 servers have already been taken down, with the remaining under investigation.
Bernardo Pillot, assistant director of the Interpol Cybercrime Directorate, emphasized the importance of international collaboration in safeguarding the digital space. “The results of this operation, achieved through the collective efforts of multiple countries and partners, show our unwavering commitment to protecting our digital ecosystems and ensuring a safer, more secure online experience for all,” Pillot said.
Interpol, along with its Gateway Partners Group-IB, Kaspersky, TrendMicro, Shadowserver, and Ad hoc partner Team Cymru, provided analysis and intelligence support throughout the operation. Group-IB, in particular, reported identifying over 500 IP addresses hosting phishing resources and 1900 IP addresses associated with ransomware, Trojans, and banking malware.
Dmitry Volkov, CEO and co-founder of Group-IB, emphasized the critical role that collaboration and effective data sharing play in reducing the global impact of cybercrime. “Operation Synergia has shown that the synergy of global law enforcement, national cyber police forces, and the private sector is paramount. Together, we forge a collective front, sharing cyber intelligence and best practices to fight cybercrime,” Volkov said.
The successful outcome of Operation Synergia highlights the significance of international cooperation in combating the global rise of cybercrime. The collaborative efforts between law enforcement agencies, cybersecurity firms, and international organizations serve as an example of the crucial role played by global partnerships in maintaining a secure and safe digital environment for all.