AMSTERDAM - The virtual private network service DoubleVPN has been taken offline as part of an international investigation, Dutch police confirmed. The company is said to have offered secure and shielded internet connections that provided a safe haven for cybercriminals to attack their victims.
The company is also suspected of being a criminal organization, money laundering, and involvement in the crimes committed by its customers using DoubleVPN's services, Dutch police stated. In this investigation, the Dutch police and the Public Prosecution Service said they were able to penetrate DoubleVPN's infrastructure. In the Netherlands, the police and the judiciary are legally authorized to enter computers secretly and remotely for the purpose of investigating serious crimes.
"The people behind DoubleVPN thought they can remain anonymous when facilitating large-scale cybercrime operations, but they are certainly not," said public prosecutor Wieteke Koorn. "By taking legal action and breaking into their infrastructure digitally, we make one thing very clear: there is no safe harbor for these types of criminals."
DoubleVPN was a small VPN provider, but very important to cybercriminals, Dutch police said. It was used by ransomware spreaders and phishing fraudsters, among others. The service offered customers maximum anonymity by offering quad VPN connections. The cheapest service cost €22 per month.
DoubleVPN servers were seized and its infrastructure disabled in numerous countries, including the Netherlands, Germany, the United States and Canada. Bulgaria, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland also played a role in the investigation. The company's webpage was replaced with a notice from an international collective of law enforcement agencies that participated in the operation.