Polish and Swiss law enforcement authorities, supported by Europol and Eurojust, have taken down ‘InfinityBlack’, a hacker group involved in distributing stolen user credentials, creating and distributing malware and hacking tools, and fraud. The hackers created online platforms to sell user login credentials known as ‘combos’. The group was organised into three teams:
- Developers created tools to test the quality of the stolen databases
- Testers analysed the suitability of authorisation data.
- Project managers then distributed subscriptions against cryptocurrency payments.
The hacker group’s main source of revenue came from stealing loyalty scheme login credentials and then selling them on to other, less technical, criminal gangs. These gangs would then exchange the loyalty points for expensive electronic devices.
The hackers created a sophisticated script to gain access to a large number of Swiss customer accounts. Although the losses are estimated at €50,000, the hackers had access to accounts with potential losses of more than €610,000. Fraudsters were spotted when using the stolen data in shops in Switzerland.
Effective Cross-Border Cooperation resulted in arrests
On 29th April 2020, the Polish National Police searched six locations in five Polish regions and arrested five individuals believed to be members of the hacker group. Police seized electronic equipment, external hard drives and hardware cryptocurrency wallets, all worth around €100,000. Two platforms with databases containing over 170 million entries were closed down by the police.
Between 30th April and 2nd May 2019, five arrests were made in the Swiss canton of Vaud. This was as a result of investigative measures taken by specialists from the Cyber Investigation Division (DEC) of the Vaud Cantonal Police. Once the criminal gang cashing out the loyalty points was identified in Switzerland, police exchanged criminal intelligence and uncovered links to members of the separate hacking group in Poland.
Europol enabled close cooperation between cyber units in Poland and Switzerland through the dedicated network of cyber liaison officers (J-CAT) hosted at Europol’s headquarters. Europol also supported the operation by facilitating information exchange and providing technical and analytical support. Eurojust facilitated the transmission of information between the Public Prosecutor’s Offices in Switzerland and Poland.