Trend Micro Joins INTERPOL in Africa Cyber Surge II Against Cybercrime

Trend Micro collaborates with INTERPOL, aiding in arrests and dismantling cybercrime networks across Africa.

In the ongoing battle against cybercrime, the collaboration between cybersecurity vendors and law enforcement agencies plays a crucial role. Trend Micro, a leading solution and service provider, focuses on safeguarding customers from cyber-attacks. However, the true disruption of threat actors falls under the purview of organizations like INTERPOL and its member agencies.

Trend Micro is dedicated to forming robust partnerships with law enforcement globally. A notable contribution was made to the Africa Cyber Surge II operation, leaving a significant impact across 25 countries in the continent.

Cybercrime has a deep-rooted history in Africa, with scams like the Nigerian 419 being a longstanding example. Today, cybercriminal tactics range from phishing to romance scams, posing a threat to an expanding digital landscape. This realization has led criminal groups to target a potentially vast pool of victims, both locally and internationally.

In response, Trend Micro has joined INTERPOL’s Africa Surge operation, a follow-up to a successful campaign against cybercrime in the region last year. Over a four-month period starting in April 2023, law enforcement agencies from 25 countries participated in this initiative. Under the coordination of INTERPOL’s Africa Cybercrime Operations Desk and ISPA, the Support Program for the African Union in relation to AFRIPOL, 14 arrests were made, and a staggering 20,674 suspicious cybercrime networks were identified, linked to losses exceeding $40 million.

Through collaborative efforts, Trend Micro and INTERPOL shared critical information, including details on malicious servers, victim IPs, phishing links, and more. Additionally, Trend Micro’s Global Threat Intelligence aided in uncovering 1,500 malicious IP addresses, predominantly located in South Africa, Egypt, the Seychelles, Algeria, and Nigeria. These IPs were associated with notorious malware families, such as Quakbot and Emotet, known for enabling ransomware attacks.

Furthermore, Trend Micro detected around 200,000 instances of malicious traffic in Q1 2023, covering scams, malware, phishing, and command and control servers. These activities were often facilitated by bulletproof hosting services in the Seychelles and South Africa.

The partnership also extended to investigating cryptocurrency scams linked to the darknet Hydra marketplace, identifying offshore bulletproof hosters, and providing vital intelligence on suspects engaged in fraud and business email compromise. Through meticulous cross-referencing of various data points, Trend Micro was able to offer invaluable assistance to investigators. This collaborative success marks a significant milestone in the ongoing battle against cyber threats.

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