29 Oct, 2023 @ 17:15
1 min read

Spain’s Civil Guard arrests hackers in Alicante who targeted 168 different companies via ransomware

Russian hackers target Spanish government websites to disrupt Granada immigration summit
Image by Robinraj Premchand from Pixabay

SPAIN’S Civil Guard has arrested two international hackers in Alicante province who used ransomware to attack 168 different companies. 

The operation was carried out in conjunction with Europol, and targeted a criminal organisation called Ragnar Locker, which specialises in extorting firms by taking control of their computer systems and data. 

The major international operation involved 11 different countries, and saw the two suspects arrested in the cities of Torrevieja and Alicante, as well as a third arrest made in Latvia. 

The alleged creator of the ransomware software being used by the hackers was located in Czech Republic, according to a statement from the Spanish Civil Guard, while a number of searches were also carried out in Ukraine. 

The raids carried out by the police yielded computer equipment used by the criminals, as well as funds stored in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, litecoin and binance coin. 

Russian hackers target Spanish government websites to disrupt Granada immigration summit
Image by Robinraj Premchand from Pixabay

Ransomware attacks work by hackers using malware to encrypt a company’s data, demanding a payment before they will grant a password to recover the information.

The criminal group targeted in the operation is alleged to have attacked critical infrastructure, such as the Portuguese national airline and a hospital in Israel. 

The gang would demand huge payments from the targeted firms if they wanted their systems back, as well as threatening to publish stolen data if the companies went to the police.

Read more:

British hacker arrested in Spain for taking control of Obama’s Twitter account given five years

Spanish FA say cyber hackers stole private conversations to pass onto media outlets

Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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