Law enforcement agencies from the United States and Europe seized domain names and servers belonging to a virtual private network (VPN) provider long linked to online cybercrime.
In a press release issued December 22, U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider announced the action, called “Operation Nova,” which disrupted the activities of a so-called “bulletproof hosting service” in coordination with Europol and law enforcement agencies from Germany, France, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
“A ‘bulletproof hosting service’ is an online service provided by an individual or an organization that is intentionally designed to provide web hosting or VPN services for criminal activity,” the press release explained. “By providing these services, the bulletproof hosts knowingly support the criminal activities of their clients and become coconspirators in criminal schemes.”
The VPN providers services facilitated cybercrimes including ransomware, e-skimming breaches, spear phishing, and account takeovers “at a high price to the criminal underworld,” according to the announcement.
Visitors to the three domain names operated by the VPN provides, Insorg.org, Safe-inet.com, and Safe-inet.net are now directed to pages announcing the seizure.