Europol, the US Department of Justice, and Britain’s National Crime Agency have taken down a VPN service they claimed was mainly used by criminals – boasting that they hoovered up “personal information, logs and statistics” from the site.
The DoubleVPN site went dark yesterday after law enforcement agencies swooped on its servers, with a joint public statement this afternoon confirming that the takedown was genuine.
Led by the Dutch national police, servers behind DoubleVPN in multiple jurisdictions were seized by law enforcement.
Europol said the service was “heavily advertised on both Russian and English-speaking underground cybercrime forums,” offering double, triple or even quadruple-layered VPN services to its customers.
This kind of setup is the old hacker joke about staying behind seven proxies put into practice: multiple VPN tunnels, onion-layered inside one another, were supposed to make accessing internet traffic inside them an extra difficult challenge for adversaries – whether law enforcement, criminals, or commercial rivals.
The operation began in October last year, a few months after a Franco-Dutch police operation to take down encrypted comms app EncroChat.