If it seems like you are hearing about more hacks, data breaches, viruses, malware, cyberattacks and identity theft these days, it's because there are more incidents than ever. Yes, cybercrime is indeed on the rise. That's probably because people are putting more of their life and finances online with each passing year.
Catching cybercriminals can be a difficult task since clever hackers push the envelope coming up with innovative new ways to trick people out of money and information.
Now it looks like investigators may have a lead in some of the most recent and biggest cybercrime operations. We'll give you the details on what they have come up with.
Evidence Linking Cybercrimes
Evidence has been found linking Angler exploit kit operators and the Lurk malware that was used by a crew of Russians. Lurk is a banking Trojan that recently swiped around 25-million dollars from accounts at Russian financial institutions. The Russian government announced in June that about 50 hackers behind the theft had been arrested.
Right after these hackers were arrested some of the largest worldwide hacking campaigns disappeared. The Necurs' botnet was inactive for about three weeks.
The Dridex and Locky campaigns as well as the Angler exploit kit also disappeared for a while. Security experts think that some of these events could be related.
Researchers with Cisco's Talos say they have found one common email address tying Angler and Lurk together.
Nearly 85-percent of the domains linked to the command-and-control infrastructure for Lurk were registered with the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. That address is also associated with the back-end communication of the Angler exploit kit.
It was used to register the command-and-control infrastructure for Bedep. If Angler found weaknesses on a computer, it could either install the TeslaCrypt ransomware or the Bedep Trojan. In other words, users either found their files locked and held for ransom, or got a flood of other malware on their system.
Read our story on how to protect yourself so you don't fall victim to these types of attacks.
We do not know if connecting this one email address to different attacks will lead to arrests but it is a good starting point in the investigation. Keep checking in with our what's happening now section for any further updates.