Five members of the international criminal platform "Avalanche" were detained by police for gathering international banking passwords and making transfers in large amounts of money, from the accounts of individuals.
The press service of the General Prosecutor’s Office said the network "Avalanche" was used as a delivery platform to launch and manage mass global "malignant" attacks and campaigns recruiting "money mules" (people employed to extract money). The global financial losses associated with these cyber attacks of this network, is estimated at hundreds of millions of euros.
Prosecutors and police officers from 30 countries, including Moldova, were involved in the dissolution of this illegal network. 37 homes were searched and 39 servers were seized during the criminal investigation. At the same time, the victims of these programs were found in over 180 countries.
The investigation began in 2012 after infecting a large number of computers, which would block the user’s access. Millions of private and corporate information systems were infected by the program, thus allowing criminals to operate on the network to gather banking passwords and e-mail. With this information, the suspects were able to make bank transfers from the accounts of the victims. The earnings were subsequently targeted by perpetrators stream called "double fast", which was created specifically to secure the earnings from the criminal activity.
The "money mules" scheme within the "Avalanche" platform, involved an organized network of “mules” who would buy goods from using stolen funds, offering the criminals the possibility to launder the money obtained from cyberattacks.
A series of criminal investigations were carried out by the security officers in Moldova, due to which, the subscriber was found, his/her location and other information. Also, the officials of Moldova, together with prosecutors and investigators from Germany have carried out searches in a building of the capital, on November 30th. This property had been involved in the "Avalanche" network, being used as a platform for the delivery and management of global "malignant" cyber attacks.
During the searches, several goods were seized (mobile phones, computers, memory cards), in order to be examined and to determine whether the individuals were involved in the criminal acts or not.
According to the Interim General Prosecutor of the Department of Information Technology and Combating Cyber Crimes within the GPO, Veaceslav Soltan, the platform members will be punished under the national law of each country in which they were detained.