Yesterday over on Cisco's blog, the vendor's Talos security research group revealed how it took down a significant hacker network. With the help of Level 3, they tracked down and shut off a significant ransomware revenue stream based on the Angler Exploit Kit.
Computers taken over by the hackers could keep owners from their data until a payment is made. Basically, the two were able to track and shut down the network activity of the command and control servers for as much as 50% of the malicious activity. How much malicious activity? Estimates are that the amount shut off could have been generating $30M each year, leaving another $30M still operating out there.
Kudos to Cisco and Level 3 for collaborating to make things just a bit safer out there on the internet.
Yet one can't help but wonder just why it is that private companies seem to be responsible for so much of what law enforcement ought to be doing. While the revenue stream has been shut off, nobody is going to jail just yet over this. You'd think that given the amount of money involved and the general interconnectedness of the world that we'd be able to figure out whose pocket it winds up in.
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