A campaign conducted by Interpol, called Africa Cyber Surge II, has enabled investigators to apprehend suspected cybercriminals across the African region. The operation resulted in the arrest of 14 perpetrators and the identification of network infrastructure linked to financial losses of more than $40-million.
The Africa Cyber Surge operation is a continuous multi-stakeholder effort aimed at fighting cybercrime and protecting communities in the region. Kaspersky supports Interpol with threat intelligence data. The first part of the Africa Cyber Surge operation was carried out from July to November 2022, and resulted in a series of operational and investigative activities against those responsible for cybercrimes in the African region.
The Africa Cyber Surge II operation was launched in April 2023 and lasted for four months, spanning 25 African countries. The action was undertaken by Interpol’s Cybercrime directorate, under the auspices of the Interpol Africa Cybercrime Operations desk, and Interpol’s Support Programme for the African Union (ISPA) in relation to Afripol. The effort was also supported by the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, the German Federal Foreign Office, and the Council of Europe.
Together with Interpol’s other private sector partners, Kaspersky has shared indicators of compromise (IoCs), including malicious command and control servers, phishing links and domains, and scam IPs. As a result, Interpol streamlined cooperation between African law enforcement agencies to investigate and disrupt cybercriminals suspected of cyber extortion, phishing, business email compromise and online scams.
“The Africa Cyber Surge II operation has led to the strengthening of cybercrime departments in member countries as well as the solidification of partnerships with crucial stakeholders, such as computer emergency response teams and Internet Service Providers,” said Jürgen Stock, Interpol secretary general. “This will further contribute to reducing the global impact of cybercrime and protecting communities in the region.”
Yuliya Shlychkova, public affairs director at Kaspersky, said: “In its mission to build a safer digital world, Kaspersky has been giving due credit to the importance of multilateral cooperation, involving the private sector, international law enforcement and national authorities. Only by harnessing the power of effective private-public partnership, can we give an impetus to the further strengthening of the cybersecurity industry in the African region to ensure that African countries can realise their outstanding potential without hindrance and regard for cybercrimes.
The data sharing exchange between Kaspersky and Interpol is part of a five-year cooperation agreement, signed by both parties in 2019, which also provides for delivering human resources support and training to the law enforcement agency.