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Govt takes eGov offline as precaution after international operation targeting ‘malware dropper botnets’

Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire.

The Gibraltar Government’s eGov services were shut down on Thursday as a precaution following an international law enforcement operation targeting malware infrastructure used by criminals across Europe.

The eGov system was shut down as a precaution while cyber security experts assess any potential impact.

Operation Endgame was the largest ever operation against “malware dropper botnets”, which play a major role in the deployment of ransomware.

Over 100 servers used as infrastructure were seixed in the operation.

The operation, coordinated from Europol’s headquarters, targeted “droppers” including, IcedID, SystemBC, Pikabot, Smokeloader, Bumblebee and Trickbot.

Malware droppers are a type of malicious software designed to install other malware onto a target system.

They are used during the first stage of a malware attack, during which they allow criminals to bypass security measures and deploy additional harmful programs, such as viruses, ransomware, or spyware.

Droppers themselves do not usually cause direct damage but are crucial for accessing and implementing harmful softwares on the affected systems.

“The actions focused on disrupting criminal services through arresting high value targets, taking down the criminal infrastructures and freezing illegal proceeds,” Europol said in a statement.

“This approach had a global impact on the dropper ecosystem.”

“The malware, whose infrastructure was taken down during the action days, facilitated attacks with ransomware and other malicious software.”

Following the action days, eight fugitives linked to these criminal activities, wanted by Germany, will be added to Europe’s Most Wanted list on 30 May 2024.”

“The individuals are wanted for their involvement in serious cybercrime activities.”

No.6 Convent Place said the IT&LD Department, Digital Services and external cyber security experts had taken the eGov platform temporarily offline to allow for extensive security checks.

“The Government apologises for any inconvenience to eGov service users, and aims to restore full service as soon as possible,” No.6 said.

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