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Interpol shuts down 16shop, a phishing service marketplace

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Indonesia-based phishing marketplace, 16shop, responsible for selling hacking tools that facilitated attacks on over 70,000 people in 43 countries, was shut down on Tuesday following a joint operation by Interpol, several national authorities and cybersecurity companies.

The notorious phishing-as-a-service marketplace sold phishing kits to cybercriminals who used them to defraud people on the internet via email scams, where typically the person is redirected via a link or PDF to a site requesting their credentials, including financial information. It is estimated that up to 90 percent of data breaches result from successful phishing scams.

16shop was flagged by the private sector partners while researching cyber threats in the ASEAN region. Soon after, Interpol was able to identify and locate the admin of the platform in Indonesia.

The intel gathered by Interpol was sent to the Indonesian National Police’s Directorate of Cyber Crimes, allowing them to arrest the 21-year-old admin and seize all his electronics and luxury vehicles.

“In recent years, we have seen an unprecedented increase in both the number of cyber threats and their sophistication, with attacks becoming more tailored as criminals aim for maximum impact and profit,” said Assistant Director Pillot.

Two other facilitators of 16shop were arrested in Indonesia and Japan by local authorities.

The arrests were made possible via the joint operation between the INTERPOL General Secretariat’s cybercrime directorate, national law enforcement in Indonesia, Japan and the United States, as well as private companies, including Cyber Defense Institute, Group-IB, Palo Alto Networks Unit 42, Trend Micro and Cybertoolbelt.

“Phishing isn’t a new phenomenon, but when the crime-ware is being offered widely on subscription and to automate phishing campaigns, it enables any person to leverage this type of service to launch a phishing attack with a few clicks,” said Brigadier General Adi Vivid Agustiadi Bachtiar, Director of the Indonesian National Police’s Cyber Crime Investigation.

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CT Editorial Team