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In The News

Northwave’s role in Operation Endgame: a landmark victory against cybercrime


This week has been monumental in the fight against cybercrime with Operation Endgame and we are proud to have taken part in this significant operation.
With Operation Endgame, global law enforcement agencies, in collaboration with private partners, have executed the most significant strike against cybercrime to date. The operation's scale and thoroughness are unprecedented: five botnets were simultaneously dismantled, four suspects were arrested, over 100 servers were taken down and over 2,000 domains are now under control of law enforcement. And there is more to come, as will be announced on the website Operation Endgame. This far exceeds typical takedowns of cybercrime operations and is expected to have a substantial impact on the cybercriminal ecosystem.

Why this matters?

The cybercriminals behind these botnets continuously infiltrated networks worldwide. They sold this access to ransomware gangs, who then paralysed networks, stole data, and relentlessly extorted victims, including our clients. We witness the devastating effects of ransomware almost daily. This is why we are a founding member of Project Melissa, a groundbreaking public-private alliance against ransomware. As part of Project Melissa, we played a crucial role in the LockBit 3.0 ransomware takedown by providing the Dutch Police with an important lead. This month, once again within Project Melissa, the Dutch Police sought our expertise for Operation Endgame. Leveraging our knowledge of cyber threat actors and our technical skills, we contributed to taking down one of the botnets. This accomplishment makes us proud on the job that we do.

Interview Radio 1 Journaal

Inge van der Beijl, our Director Innovation, was interviewed by Radio 1 Journaal about Operation Endgame and its relation to ransomware. Inge explains that ransomware is still the most severe cybercriminal threat, with 2023 being a record year in terms of attacks and ransom being paid. It remains the most lucrative cybercriminal business model and keeps evolving, with data extortion and attacks through the IT- and software supply chain becoming more prevalent. Organisations across all sectors continue to be extorted by primarily (but not exclusively) Russian ransomware gangs. In some cases, they collaborate with the Russian government. In our field of work, we see the devastating effects of ransomware almost daily.

Listen to the interview on Radio 1 Journaal, where Inge is introduced at 5:10. 

What can you do against ransomware?

Ransomware is a risk that can be managed. As Inge explained, your cyber resilience is crucial. Prepare for the worst, as it is your business continuity, you and your clients’ data, and your reputation that is at stake. Protecting yourself against ransomware starts with base-line measures such as password management, multifactor authentication, update management, and vulnerability management. For more information and advice, check the Whitepaper Ransomware from Cyberveilig Nederland that we, and other partners from Project Melissa, contributed to. For prevention and mitigation advice in English, visit the No More Ransom website.