This VPN service used by ransomware gangs was just taken down by police

An underground virtual private network (VPN) service used by cyber criminals to hide their activities while conducting ransomware attacks, phishing campaigns and other malicious hacking operations has been taken down in a major international law enforcement operation.

DoubleVPN offered users the ability to mask their locations and identities, allowing cyber criminals to carry out activities anonymously, according to police.

Now its servers and web domains have been seized by a coordinated law enforcement takedown led by the the Dutch National Police (Politie) and involving agencies including Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), Eurojust, the FBI, and the UK National Crime Agency.

DoubleVPN was heavily advertised across Russian and English-speaking dark web cybercrime forums as means for criminals, including ransomware gangs and phishing operations, to hide their activities, according to Europol. The cheapest VPN connection on offer cost just $25, while more expensive services offered what’s described as double, triple and even quadruple VPN connections to criminal clients.

Servers hosting DoubleVPN around the world have been seized and web domains relating to the service have been replaced with a takedown notice, reading: “On 29th of June 2021, law enforcement took down DoubleVPN. Law enforcement gained access to the servers of DoubleVPN and seized personal information, logs and statistics kept by DoubleVPN about all of its customers. Double VPN’s owners failed to provide the services they promised.”

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