Ransomware Affiliate Arrested in Romania; 51 Stolen Data Brokers Arrested in Ukraine

Ransomware Affiliate Arrested in Romania; 51 Stolen Data Brokers Arrested in Ukraine

It’s no secret that the number of serious cybersecurity attacks is consistently growing. As much as the authorities are fighting cybercrime, it’s difficult to identify attackers in these types of scenarios. Luckily, Europol, the European Union’s legislation enforcement agency, has recently arrested a Romanian who was a ransomware affiliate responsible for hacking into the data systems of multiple high-profile companies.

This event marks the authorities’ progress in their fight against undying cybercrime. It was not specified which cyber gang this affiliate was a part of. However, the Romanian authorities arrested two affiliates of the REvil ransomware members only a month prior to this event. The members of the REvil ransomware group were responsible for over 5 000 ransomware attacks totaling nearly $600 000 stolen from their victims.

The suspect was charged with having deployed ransomware and put a big Romanian IT enterprise at risk by stealing their economic info and essential documents about their customers and important operational systems. A similar event took place in Ukraine, where the authorities arrested 51 people for promoting over 300 million people’s stolen data.

Catching the guys who steal the data is just the first step. That stolen data usually finds its way to cybercriminals who promote it and sell it for profit. The Ukrainian authorities managed to identify 51 of such promoters who owned people’s stolen data, including financial statements and private info, as well as email and social media data. After a long search, the authorities found the website that was making this data publicly available, and the people responsible for it were taken down.

How to Protect Yourself from Cyber Attacks

Although the authorities are working on protecting us from cyber-attacks and data breaches we’ve got no control over, it’s still not enough to consider your personal data safe online. With that said, here are a few tips to help you protect yourself from cyber-attacks.

#1 Use an Antivirus

Start by installing an antivirus. Yes, this is the textbook lesson about cybersecurity, but you’d be surprised to know how many people don’t even know if they have an antivirus installed on their device. Keep in mind that just installing this piece of software won’t be enough to protect you. Make sure your antivirus is activated and check in every now and then to scan your device for malware and potential threats.

#2 Use a VPN

A VPN or virtual private network is one of the best tools for cyber protection. Most simply put, a VPN is a service that allows you to connect your device to a distant and encrypted server. This allows you to virtually change your location and send all your data through an encryption funnel, which means that it’s protected from any third parties who may be looking for it. A VPN can help you stay off the hackers’ radar, and it comes with additional benefits such as the ability to unblock geographically restricted content and find new shows on your Netflix account simply by changing your virtual location.

#3 Remain Alert

Last but not least, always remain alert regardless of what you’re doing online. Even if you never come across anything suspicious, you want to stay alert just in case someone tries to use your moment of weakness as a way in. Make sure to avoid any suspicious links in your email inbox and stay away from websites without HTTPS. That’s the least you could do yet it makes a huge difference in your overall cybersecurity.

What’s Next?

There’s no telling as to what 2022 might bring from a cybersecurity point of view. Although the authorities are making big progress in identifying cybercriminals and taking them down, there are still millions of people who remain unidentified and who have gotten away with massive data theft. We recommend practicing cybersecurity safety measures to protect your own data as much as possible.

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