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Kaspersky has provided INTERPOL with essential threat intelligence during their recent Africa Cyber Surge II operation. This partnership facilitated the identification of compromised digital infrastructures and aided in capturing individuals associated with cybercriminal activities throughout the African continent. This joint venture led to the apprehension of 14 individuals and the discovery of a network infrastructure responsible for financial losses exceeding $40 million.
The Africa Cyber Surge initiative represents an ongoing collaboration involving multiple stakeholders, with the primary objective of combating cyber threats and safeguarding regional communities. Kaspersky had previously participated in the initial phase of the Africa Cyber Surge operation from July to November 2022, which entailed a sequence of operations and investigations targeting cyber threats across Africa.
Launched in April 2023, the Africa Cyber Surge II operation spanned a duration of four months and covered 25 African nations. This initiative was primarily managed by INTERPOL’s Cybercrime Directorate, in association with the INTERPOL Africa Cybercrime Operations desk, as well as INTERPOL’s Support Programme for the African Union (ISPA) in collaboration with AFRIPOL. Significant support for this effort was also extended by the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, the German Federal Foreign Office, and the Council of Europe.
Kaspersky, in alliance with other private partners of INTERPOL, supplied the agency with key indicators of compromise (IoCs). This included details about malicious command and control servers, phishing sites, deceptive domains, and suspicious IP addresses. Consequently, this collaboration paved the way for African law enforcement units to methodically investigate and thwart cybercriminals engaged in activities like cyber extortion, phishing, business email deception, and online fraudulent schemes.
Jürgen Stock, the Secretary-General of INTERPOL, emphasized that the Africa Cyber Surge II operation has bolstered cybercrime departments in participating nations and fostered stronger ties with pivotal entities, including computer emergency response teams and internet service providers. These collaborative efforts are instrumental in minimizing the global ramifications of cyber threats while ensuring regional safety.
Yuliya Shlychkova, Public Affairs Director at Kaspersky, remarked on the company’s commitment to fostering a digitally secure environment. She highlighted the significance of cooperative endeavors involving the private sector, international law agencies, and governmental bodies. The collective efforts, she noted, are essential to enhancing the cybersecurity landscape in Africa, enabling the continent to progress unencumbered by cyber threats.
AFRIPOL’s Acting Executive Director, Ambassador Jalel Chelba, pointed out the growing prominence of digital systems, ICT, and AI. He underscored the imperative need for public and private entities to collaborate in ensuring these technologies remain resilient against malicious exploitation. Coordinated endeavors, such as the Cyber Surge initiative, are quintessential in undermining criminal infrastructures and establishing robust security frameworks at individual, organizational, and societal scales.
Kaspersky’s information-sharing alliance with INTERPOL is rooted in a cooperative agreement from 2019, spanning five years. This pact also encompasses provisions for human resources assistance and specialized training sessions for law enforcement personnel. Following this agreement, both Kaspersky and INTERPOL have sustained a consistent trajectory of synergized operations focused on tackling cyber threats and initiatives geared towards enhancing public awareness regarding contemporary cyber challenges.