VPNLab has been taken offline because its VPN service abused for ransomware attacks and other online crime. Fifteen servers were taken offline in an international operation involving Europol and the Dutch police, among others.
On the website of VPNLab there is now a message from the authorities indicating that the service is no longer accessible since January 17.
“The service provided a platform for serious cybercrime that could be committed anonymously and was involved in several international cyber attacks,” the message says.
The authorities gained access to VPNLab’s servers and seized the customer data stored therein by means of the Co-decided action. The investigation into that data is still ongoing.
VPNLab has been around since 2008 and offers various forms of VPN services for a fee. With a VPN, which stands for Virtual Private Network, it is possible to pretend that you are on the internet from another country.
The authorities came to VPNLab after multiple investigations revealed that cybercriminals were using the service for their practices. With the help of the service, they were able to distribute malicious software and commit ransomware attacks, among other things. VPNLab advertised its services on the dark web, the shielded part of the internet that is widely used by criminals.
The head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Center, Edvardas Sileris, says this action demonstrates that cybercriminals are finding it increasingly difficult to cover their digital tracks. “With every research we do, we gain information for the next,” he says. “Thanks to the information about possible victims, we may have already prevented several serious cyber attacks.”