INTERPOL Dismantles Infamous ’16shop’ Phishing-as-a-Service Platform

The cybercrime platform 16shop sold hacking tools and other malicious tools used to compromise more than 70,000 users in 43 countries.

  • INTERPOL Dismantles ’16shop’: Global effort leads to arrests in Indonesia and Japan, targeting notorious phishing platform.
  • Successful Intelligence Sharing: Cooperation between INTERPOL, law enforcement, and private partners demonstrates effective global cybercrime fighting.
  • Wide-reaching Phishing Impact: ’16shop’ exploited victims worldwide with phishing kits, showcasing the pervasive threat of such attacks.
  • Phishing Dominance: Phishing responsible for up to 90% of data breaches, necessitating urgent countermeasures.
  • Collective Defense: Collaboration among law enforcement and industry remains crucial in battling evolving cyber threats.

In a remarkable feat of international collaboration, INTERPOL has successfully dismantled the nefarious ’16shop’ phishing-as-a-service (PaaS) platform, culminating in the arrest of its operator and two facilitators.

The joint effort between law enforcement agencies and private sector partners demonstrates the power of shared intelligence in combating cybercrime on a global scale. This comes days after INTERPOL managed to shut down a decade-old child abuse network during Operation Narsil.

Targeting the Heart of Phishing Operations

The ’16shop’ platform offered so-called ‘phishing kits’ to hackers eager to exploit unsuspecting Internet users through email scams. Victims were tricked into sharing sensitive information, including credit card details, by clicking on malicious pdf files or links. These ill-gotten gains were then used to defraud victims of their hard-earned money.

Phishing attacks remain the most prevalent cyber threat worldwide, responsible for up to 90 percent of data breaches. The success of such attacks highlights the urgency of tackling this pervasive issue.

INTERPOL Dismantles Infamous ’16shop’ Phishing-as-a-Service Platform
C2 server of 16shop and an Amazon phishing page available on the site

International Partnerships at Work

According to INTERPOL’s press release, the successful takedown of ’16shop’ was the result of a comprehensive operation involving INTERPOL, Indonesian authorities, and counterparts in Japan and the United States. Private sector entities such as Cyber Defense Institute, Group-IB, Palo Alto Networks Unit 42, Trend Micro, and Cybertoolbelt also played instrumental roles.

“Borderless Cyber Impact”

Bernardo Pillot, Assistant Director of Cybercrime Operations at INTERPOL, emphasized the tangible impact of cyberattacks on victims. He stated, “Cyberattacks such as phishing may be borderless and virtual in nature, but their impact on victims is real and devastating.”

Unravelling the Web of Cybercrime

The investigation began with the identification of ’16shop’ by INTERPOL’s cybercrime analysts during a project focusing on cyber threats in the ASEAN region. Collaboration with private sector partners allowed the team to pinpoint the platform’s administrator based in Indonesia.

Leveraging connections with the United States, INTERPOL coordinated with US law enforcement agencies to provide crucial information to Indonesian investigators. This joint effort led to the arrest of the platform’s 21-year-old administrator and the confiscation of electronic devices and luxury vehicles.

Unmasking Facilitators and Future Prevention

The successful capture of the administrator in Indonesia catalyzed further cooperation between Japanese and Indonesian authorities, leading to the arrest of two facilitators. This meticulous unravelling of the criminal network highlights the collective determination to curtail cybercrime.

Brigadier General Adi Vivid Agustiadi Bachtiar, Director of the Indonesian National Police’s Cyber Crime Investigation, underscored the significance of the operation. “This operation is only successful as we work closely with various stakeholders… to stop the crime-ware being offered as a service and also stopping more people from falling victim to phishing attacks,” he stated.

Coherent Intelligence for a Safer Cyberspace

INTERPOL’s cybercrime directorate serves as a critical hub for experts from law enforcement and industry to analyze and disseminate actionable intelligence on cyber threats. This united approach underscores the need for ongoing collaboration to combat the ever-evolving landscape of cybercrime.

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