Kaspersky aids INTERPOL to combat cybercrime in Africa
Kaspersky provided threat intelligence data to INTERPOL during its Africa Cyber Surge II operation, allowing investigators to apprehend threat actors accused of cybercrime.
According to the cyber security firm, the operation resulted in the arrest of 14 culprits and the discovery of network infrastructure associated with financial losses totalling more than $40 million.
The Africa Cyber Surge operation is a multi-stakeholder effort that is ongoing in order to combat cybercrime and protect communities in the region.
The first phase of the Africa Cyber Surge operation, in which Kaspersky also participated, ran from July to November 2022, and resulted in a series of operational and investigative operations against the threat actors behind African cybercrime.
The Africa Cyber Surge II operation began in April 2023 and will continue four months, spanning 25 African countries.
Under the auspices of the INTERPOL Africa Cybercrime Operations desk and INTERPOL's Support Programme for the African Union in respect to AFRIPOL, the action was carried out by INTERPOL's Cybercrime Directorate.
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the German Federal Foreign Office, and the Council of Europe all contributed to the initiative.
Kaspersky, along with INTERPOL's other private sector partners, has provided the international agency with indicators of compromise , such as malicious command and control servers, phishing links and domains, and scam IPs.
As a result, INTERPOL has expedited collaboration among African law enforcement authorities in order to investigate and prevent cybercriminals accused of cyber extortion, phishing, business email hacking, and online scams.
“The Africa Cyber Surge II operation has led to the strengthening of cybercrime departments in member countries as well as the solidification of partnerships with crucial stakeholders, such as computer emergency response teams and Internet Service Providers. This will further contribute to reducing the global impact of cybercrime and protecting communities in the region,” said Jürgen Stock, INTERPOL secretary general.
“In its mission to build a safer digital world, Kaspersky has been giving due credit to the importance of multilateral cooperation, involving the private sector, international law enforcement and national authorities,” commented Yuliya Shlychkova, public affairs director at Kaspersky.
Shlychkova added: “Only by harnessing the power of effective private-public partnership, can we give an impetus to the further strengthening of the cybersecurity industry in the African region to ensure that African countries can realise their outstanding potential without hindrance and regard for cybercrimes.”
“As digital systems, Information Communication Technologies and Artificial Intelligence grow in prominence, it is urgent that public and private actors work hand in hand to prevent these technologies from being exploited by cybercriminals. Coordinated operations such as Cyber Surge are necessary to disrupt criminal networks and build individual, organisational and society-wide levels of protection,” said AFRIPOL’s acting executive director, ambassador Jalel Chelba.
The data exchange between Kaspersky and INTERPOL is part of a five-year collaboration deal inked by both sides in 2019 that also includes human resources support and training for the law enforcement organisation.
Kaspersky and INTERPOL have maintained a positive momentum of collaborative operations targeted at combating cybercrime and awareness-raising campaigns to help people become more aware of modern-day cyber threats since the document was signed.