Cybercriminals targeting VPNs!

22 December 2020 Internet, IT & e-Discovery Blog Blog
Authors: Peter Vogel

The US Attorneys’ Office posted a news release that “that law enforcement in the United States has worked jointly in support of an international takedown of a virtual private network (VPN), dubbed “Operation Nova.”  Domain names offered by an organization engaged in “bulletproof hosting” that provided assistance to cyber-criminals were seized, and related servers were shut down. U.S.-based servers used in the scheme were taken offline by U.S. authorities, while International partners did the same.”  The December 22, 2020 news release entitled “U.S. LAW ENFORCEMENT JOINS INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS TO DISRUPT A VPN SERVICE USED TO FACILITATE CRIMINAL ACTIVITY” included these comments:

The investigation revealed that three domains— INSORG.ORG; SAFE-INET.COM; SAFE-INET.NET.—offered “bulletproof hosting services” to website visitors. 

A “bulletproof hosting service” is an online service provided by an individual or an organization that is intentionally designed to provide web hosting or VPN services for criminal activity. 

These services are designed to facilitate uninterrupted online criminal activities and to allow customers to operate while evading detections by law enforcement. 

Many of these services are advertised on online forums dedicated to discussing criminal activity. 

A bulletproof hoster’s activities may include ignoring or fabricating excuses in response to abuse complaints made by their customer’s victims; moving their customer accounts and/or data from one IP address, server, or country to another to help them evade detection; and not maintaining logs (so that none are available for review by law enforcement). 

By providing these services, the bulletproof hosts knowingly support the criminal activities of their clients and become coconspirators in criminal schemes.

Do you think this will help protect our VPNs?

This blog is made available by Foley & Lardner LLP (“Foley” or “the Firm”) for informational purposes only. It is not meant to convey the Firm’s legal position on behalf of any client, nor is it intended to convey specific legal advice. Any opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Foley & Lardner LLP, its partners, or its clients. Accordingly, do not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a licensed attorney. This blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Communicating with Foley through this website by email, blog post, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship for any legal matter. Therefore, any communication or material you transmit to Foley through this blog, whether by email, blog post or any other manner, will not be treated as confidential or proprietary. The information on this blog is published “AS IS” and is not guaranteed to be complete, accurate, and or up-to-date. Foley makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation or content of the site. Foley expressly disclaims all other guarantees, warranties, conditions and representations of any kind, either express or implied, whether arising under any statute, law, commercial use or otherwise, including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Foley or any of its partners, officers, employees, agents or affiliates be liable, directly or indirectly, under any theory of law (contract, tort, negligence or otherwise), to you or anyone else, for any claims, losses or damages, direct, indirect special, incidental, punitive or consequential, resulting from or occasioned by the creation, use of or reliance on this site (including information and other content) or any third party websites or the information, resources or material accessed through any such websites. In some jurisdictions, the contents of this blog may be considered Attorney Advertising. If applicable, please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Photographs are for dramatization purposes only and may include models. Likenesses do not necessarily imply current client, partnership or employee status.

Authors