11 agosto 2023
This week, the Polish Central Cybercrime Bureau (Centralne Biuro Zwalczania Cyberprzestępczości) under the supervision of the Regional Prosecutor's Office in Katowice (Prokuratura Regionalna w Katowicach) took action against LolekHosted.net, a bulletproof hosting service used by criminals to launch cyber-attacks across the world.
Five of its administrators were arrested, and all of its servers seized, rendering LolekHosted.net no longer available.
This latest success in the fight against cybercrime follows a complex investigation supported by Europol and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Criminal hideouts for lease
Bulletproof hosting is a service in which an online infrastructure is offered, and operators will generally turn a blind eye to what customers use their rented domains for.
However, being willing to ignore the transgressions of clients does not mean that law enforcement will take the same stance.
The complex investigation into LolekHosted.net revealed how the service facilitated the distribution information-stealing malware, and also the launching of DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks, fictitious online shops, Botnet server management and distribution of spam messages worldwide.
The suspects marketed privacy as a key feature of this service, using slogans such as “You can host anything here!” and “no-log policy”. Payments were to be made in cryptocurrencies.
Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) provided analytical support linking available data to various criminal cases within and outside the EU, and supported the investigation through operational analysis, crypto tracing, and forensic analysis.
The Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT) hosted at Europol’s headquarters facilitated the information exchange. This standing operational team consists of cybercrime liaison officers from different countries who work on high-profile cybercrime investigations.