Following an International Law Enforcement investigation, the iSpoof online spoofing service has been taken down. The takedown has also resulted in the arrest of 143 suspects, including the service’s operator. Over 100 of these arrests were made by London’s Metropolitan Police.
The service helped cybercriminals spoof servers allowing them to impersonate phone numbers as belonging to a trusted organisation and reducing chances of detection or raising suspicion when working on social engineering, phishing and scamming campaigns.
According to Europol, the website had made over €3.7 million in 16 months. UK authorities estimate losses at around €49 million, with worldwide losses estimated to be in excess of €115 million.
Both domains for the service, ‘ispoof.me’ and ‘ispoof.cc’ have been seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the United States Secret Service (USSS). The domains were seized on November 6, the same day the website owner was arrested.
The site was hosted on servers in Almere, a small town near Amsterdam, during a bank helpdesk fraud investigation being conducted by the cybercrime department of the Dutch Police. Two server administrators, aged 19 and 22, were also arrested.
The arrests are also a direct result of the Dutch Police finishing its own investigation into the service, triggered by the detection of the servers in Almere. They further placed a tap on the servers to discover more about how the service worked and its users. The Police are currently working on identifying more users based on the evidence collected from the seized servers.
They were also assisted by Scotland Yard, which had its investigation on the suspects. According to the UK Police, hidden tracking of the service started in June 2021 and worked from there to map the network. Europol joined the investigation in August 2021 to help the UK Police gather evidence and intelligence from global partners.