Dutch Police Arrest Three Ransomware Actors Extorting €2.5 Million
Dutch police have made significant progress in the fight against ransomware. On February 27, 2023, the Amsterdam cybercrime police team came to know about this. The team then arrested three young men for ransomware activity. These threat actors got €2.5 million from extorting small and large organizations in multiple countries.
The arrests under ransomware attack
The three suspects, all young men belongs to 18 and 21 age. these people now under charge of stealing sensitive data from victim networks and demanding a ransom. Attackers’ aim was to target thousands of companies in various industries, including online shops, software firms, social media companies, and institutions connected to critical infrastructure and services.
The threat actors demanded between €100,000 and €700,000, depending on the size of the organization they hacked. The extortion involved threats of leaking the data or destroying the company’s digital infrastructure. It is unclear if the hackers also did encryption of files during the attacks or just stole data. Actors also gave the threat of leak it unless the victim paid a ransom.
The Dutch police say that even when victims paid the ransom, the hackers still sold the stolen data.
It is a estimate that the hackers stole personal data belonging to tens of millions of individuals. It includes names, email addresses, telephone numbers, bank account numbers, credit card details, account passwords, license plates, and passport details.
Investigation of ransomware
“The cybercrime team took the investigation in March 2021 in response to a declaration of data theft. The threat to a large Dutch company,” reads the police announcement. The investigation revealed that the hackers targeted companies in multiple countries and generated millions of euros in ransom payments.
This information can be used in phishing and social engineering attacks and various fraudulent activities. Amsterdam’s cybercrime unit also took notice of a worrying trend among data brokers who now process stolen data. It is to refine the records and make the databases easily searchable. This gives them better sales prospects and maximizes their profits from successful network intrusions.
The arrest of these three individuals is a significant victory in the fight against ransomware. The success of this investigation and subsequent arrests should serve as a warning to other ransomware actors that law enforcement is actively pursuing them. The cybercrime police team in Amsterdam should be commended for their dedication and commitment to bringing these criminals to justice.