Kaspersky , a global cybersecurity and digital privacy company has collaborated with the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) by providing threat intelligence data in its Africa Cyber Surge II operation, which enabled investigators to identify compromised infrastructure and apprehend threat actors suspected of cybercrimes across the African region.
The Africa Cyber Surge II operation was launched in April 2023 and lasted for four months, spanning across 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.
“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. This will further contribute to reducing the global impact of cybercrime and protecting communities in the region,” said Jürgen Stock, INTERPOL Secretary General.
The Africa Cyber Surge operation is a continuous multi-stakeholder effort aimed at fighting cybercrime and protecting communities in the African region.
The first part of the Africa Cyber Surge operation, in which Kaspersky has also taken part, was carried out from July to November 2022, and resulted in a series of operational and investigative activities against the threat actors behind the cybercrimes in 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.
Together with INTERPOL’s other private sector partners, Kaspersky has shared with the international agency 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.
“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,” commented Yuliya Shlychkova, Public Affairs Director at Kaspersky. “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.”
“As digital systems, Information Communication Technologies and Artificial Intelligence grow in prominence, it is urgent that public and private actors work hand in hand to prevent these technologies from being exploited by cybercriminals. Coordinated operations such as Cyber Surge are necessary to disrupt criminal networks and build individual, organisational and society-wide levels of protection,” said AFRIPOL’s Acting Executive Director, Ambassador Jalel Chelba.
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.
Since the document was signed, Kaspersky and INTERPOL have maintained a positive momentum of joint operations aimed at combating cybercrime and awareness-raising projects to help people become more aware of modern-day cyber risks.