International investigators said on Friday they had disrupted a network of cyber-criminals behind ransomware attacks on companies in dozens of countries.
The EU’s police agency Europol said 12 suspects had been targeted in raids in Ukraine and Switzerland this week, following a two-year investigation.
The network would steal into the IT systems of companies through phishing emails and other methods before locking documents and demanding a ransom for the decryption key.
“These cyber actors are known for specifically targeting large corporations, effectively bringing their business to a standstill,” Europol said, listing 1,800 victims across 71 countries.
The police agency said the network “represented a dangerous combination of aggressive disruption and high-stake targets” and that they had gone after “critical infrastructure”, without giving further details.
More than $50,000 in cash was seized along with five luxury vehicles in raids on Tuesday.
The French authorities began investigating the group in September 2019, with more than 50 investigators joining the inquiry from eight counties, including Germany and the United States.
The police agency told AFP it was not yet clear whether the 12 suspects would face prosecution.