OPERA1ER kingpin arrested in Interpol operation


A notorious cybercrime group OPERA1ER potentially pocketed up to $30 million in more than 30 attacks across Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Interpol announced that a suspected "key figure" behind the attacks carried out over four years by the OPERA1ER criminal ring has been arrested in Cote d'Ivoire.

The arrest of a group's senior member was a "serious blow" to the criminal organization also known as NX$M$, DESKTOP Group, and Common Raven, it said.

A highly-organized criminal organization has targeted financial institutions and mobile banking services with malware, phishing campaigns, and large-scale email scams.

First identified by Group-IB in 2018, OPERA1ER is believed to have stolen no less than $11 million and potentially as much as $30 million during its attacks, according to Interpol.

The group has carried out more than 30 attacks across 15 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

The suspected kingpin of the organization was arrested in June by Cote d'Ivoire authorities as part of Interpol's Operation Nervone, carried out in cooperation with local and international law enforcement agencies.

The exchange of information between Interpol's Cybercrime Directorate, Group-IB, and third-party stakeholder Orange helped track the group's behaviors and identify a probable location for its activities.

Interpol said that additional information was provided by the US Secret Service's Criminal Investigative Division and Booz Allen Hamilton DarkLabs cybersecurity researchers, who confirmed some leads.

According to Interpol's 2022 African Cyberthreat Assessment Report, cybercrime is a growing threat in West Africa and targets victims worldwide.


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