Asian cybercrime takedown leads to intercept of $83 million in financial theft
Last week, Interpol announced that over the course of six months, it had successfully intercepted a total of $83 million through Operation Haechi-i. The operation was conducted between September 2020 and March 2021, focusing on combatting romance scams, money laundering linked to illegal online gambling, investment fraud, online sextortion, and voice phishing. The international law enforcement agency was able to intercept the funds before they were delivered to the perpetrators by the victims. In one case, a Korean company fell victim to a business email compromise attack after being approached by an alleged trading partner. The illegitimate trading partner requested invoices in which bank details were secretly changed to bank accounts belonging to cybercriminals.
Interpol says that it was able to freeze and intercept roughly half of the $7 million transaction, which was routed by the Korean company to bank accounts in Indonesia and Hong Kong belonging to the threat actors. The investigation for this incident is ongoing. Interpol reports that its Operation Haechi-i has led to the arrests of over 585 cybercriminals, 1,600 bank accounts being frozen, and the opening of 1,400 criminal investigations, 892 of which have been solved.