In order to launch cyberattacks around the world, fraudsters employed a secure hosting service provider named Lolek Hosted, which has now been shut down by European and American law enforcement agencies.
In a statement, Europol announced that LolekHosted.net was no longer accessible since all of its servers had been seized, and 5 of its top executives had been detained.
“The service enabled the emergence of DDoS attacks, the creation of bogus online stores, the control of botnet servers, and the global distribution of spam messages,” it continued.
Three further inmates, according to Polish officials who executed the arrests, have been placed under preventative procedures such as police supervision, bail, and a ban on departing the nation. Dozens of servers holding terabytes of data, computer hardware, and mobile phones have all been seized in addition to the arrests.
The seizure, which happened to be carried out on August 8, 2023, is a sign of the government’s escalating attempts to undermine the fundamentals of cybercriminal networks and shut down access points for illicit riches.
The anonymity and confidentiality characteristics that guaranteed a no-log policy and the option to accept cryptocurrency payments were essential to Lolek Hosted’s offers.
Because the owners of such platforms frequently voluntarily turn a blind eye toward the type of data that could be published and transmitted via the domains rented by their customers, bulletproof hosting services have been controversial for a long time.
Due to this, they have become desirable havens for criminal organizations wanting to spread malware, plan botnet assaults, as well as carry out numerous forms of fraud and cybercrime.
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) asserts that Lolek Hosted “facilitated the operation of ransomware attacks and the subsequent laundering of the illicit proceeds.”
The company’s 36-year-old founder, Artur Karol Grabowski, has been charged with enabling users to create profiles with false data, disregarding abuse reports made against users by third parties, and informing users of legal inquiries made by law enforcement.
“Grabowski acquired the domain ‘LolekHosted.net’ in 2014, and claimed that its offerings were ‘bulletproof,’ provided ‘100% privacy hosting,’ and enabled users to host “anything but child porn,'” the DoJ said in a unified news release.
Additionally, Lolek Hosted is believed to have assisted in the execution of about 50 NetWalker ransomware operations, with the servers acting as middlemen for its clients’ illegal access to target networks and storage of hacking tools and victim data.
Grabowski, who is still at large, gets a maximum sentence of 45 years in prison if found guilty on all counts of conspiracy to commit computer fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit global laundering of funds. Moreover, a $21.5 million seizure order has been issued against him.
The cooperative project comes as Europe and the United States have made it a priority in recent years to dismantle criminal infrastructures that enable threat actors to carry out harmful operations, such as brute-force, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS), phishing, and ransomware assaults.
It also comes after Mihai Ionut Paunescu’s conviction in June 2023 for running PowerHost[.]ro, a bulletproof hosting service that allowed the installation of the Gozi, BlackEnergy, SpyEye, and Zeus backdoors.
About The Author:
Yogesh Naager is a content marketer that specializes in the cybersecurity and B2B space. Besides writing for the News4Hackers blog, he’s also written for brands including CollegeDunia, Utsav Fashion, and NASSCOM. Naager entered the field of content in an unusual way. He began his career as an insurance sales executive, where he developed an interest in simplifying difficult concepts. He also combines this interest with a love of narrative, which makes him a good writer in the cybersecurity field. In the bottom line, he frequently writes for Craw Security.
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