An alleged prolific cybercriminal has been apprehended in Morocco following a joint two-year investigation by INTERPOL, the Moroccan police and Group-IB.
Acting under the signature name of ‘Dr Hex’, the suspect is believed to have targeted thousands of unsuspecting victims over several years through global phishing, fraud and activities involving credit card fraud.
He is also accused of defacing numerous websites by modifying their appearance and content, and targeting French-speaking communications companies, multiple banks and multinational companies with malware campaigns.
The suspect is also alleged to have helped develop carding and phishing kits, which were then sold to other individuals through online forums to allow them to facilitate similar malicious campaigns against victims.
These were then used to impersonate online banking facilities, allowing the suspect and others to steal sensitive information and defraud trusting individuals for financial gain, with the losses of individuals and companies published online in order to advertise these malicious services.
Under Operation Lyrebird, INTERPOL’s Cybercrime Directorate worked closely with Group-IB and with Moroccan Police via the INTERPOL National Central Bureau in Rabat to eventually locate and apprehend the individual who remains under investigation.
INTERPOL Executive Director of Police Services Stephen Kavanagh said: “This is a significant success against a suspect who is accused of targeting unsuspecting individuals and companies across multiple regions for years, and the case highlights the threat posed by cybercrime worldwide.”
“The arrest of this suspect is down to outstanding international investigative work and new ways of collaboration both with Moroccan police and our vital private sector partners such as Group-IB.”
Group-IB determined that the suspect was involved in attacks on 134 websites from 2009-2018, leaving behind his signature name on web pages. Its participation in the operation came under Project Gateway, an initiative which facilitates cooperation and information sharing between INTERPOL and private sector partners.
In May INTERPOL launched a new cyber operations desk to boost the capacity of 49 African countries to fight cybercrime. The Africa desk will help shape a regional strategy to drive intelligence-led coordinated actions against cybercriminals and support joint operations such as Lyrebird.