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LabHost Bust Commentary from Semperis

April 2024 by Marc Jacob

Today’s news that the UK’s Metropolitan Police took down an international group of cybercriminals running the scammer site, LabHost, should be celebrated as they have made tens of millions of dollars defrauding victims across the world for several years through phishing attacks. This bust and the global takedown of the LockBit ransomware gang is a reminder to all cybercrime groups that there is a global hunt underway for cybercrime gangs and their ring leaders.

Today’s news shouldn’t be celebrated as an end to cybercrime and the scams carried out on businesses and individuals. The scammers and ransomware groups will continue to exist because there’s simply too much money involved and it’s easy to execute a successful cyberattack on unsuspecting victims. Ransomware operators offer access to companies to less skilled hackers, in a similar way to LabHost, who provided templates and an easy-to-follow tutorial allowing criminals with little or no IT skills to use the service.

Today, ransomware operators run successful ransomware as a service (RaaS) campaigns with affiliates, in which the affiliates are given access to networks by operators who then take a cut of any ransom payments made on successful attacks. Popular RaaS kits allow less skilled hackers to “enjoy” the fruits of illegal and destructive activity even without having the technical skillset for writing new ransomware.

For future victims of phishing scams, it is essential for individuals to raise their situational awareness with their personal devices. Never click on links from unsuspecting sites and don’t open attachments from anyone you don’t know. Also, there is a ridiculously small chance that a co-worker is going to email you asking you to wire 50,000 EUR on behalf of the company. When that happens, you know it’s a scam. Simply delete the email.

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