Cyber Alliances: Group-IB Throws Punch in Operation Nervone

Estimated read time 2 min read

Let’s kick off with the big news – Group-IB, that Singaporean cybersecurity titan, just played a pivotal role in Operation Nervone, an INTERPOL-led initiative. The mission? Bring down OPERA1ER, a notorious cybercrime syndicate wreaking havoc in French-speaking Africa. This move under the watchful eyes of AFJOC, ISPA, AFRIPOL, DITT, Group-IB, and Orange-CERT-CC, led to the detention of a key OPERA1ER member. Big win for the good guys!

Sticking to Group-IB’s No-Cybercrime Stance

Group-IB’s always had a clear stand on cybercrime – zero tolerance. The company, a trusted INTERPOL partner, is now puffing its chest with pride at its role in Operation Nervone. It’s been a big player in previous operations too, like Falcon I, Falcon II, and Delilah, which bagged over a dozen cyber outlaws in Nigeria.

Who is This OPERA1ER Anyway?

In 2022, Group-IB and their Orange CERT buddies exposed OPERA1ER, an ungodly cyber villain with a bank account heavier by $11 million. Their special report, “OPERA1ER: Playing God without permission“, revealed their scary talent for hitting the financial sector hard. Think banks, mobile banking services, telecom companies across the globe, from Côte d’Ivoire to Argentina.

OPERA1ER: Playing God without permission | Picture by Group-IB

OPERA1ER’s bread and butter?

Phishing emails, malware, and red teaming frameworks like Metasploit and Cobalt Strike. Their emails, most often in French, would masquerade as tax notices or job offers. Their mission? Cold, hard cash. Their approach led to them cracking open internal payment systems and letting the money flow. In one instance, they had over 400 subscriber accounts operated by money mules cashing out the stolen funds. Sneaky, right?

A United Front in Cybersecurity

In this cyber tug-of-war, Group-IB pulled hard. They collaborated with Orange-CERT-CC, throwing light on OPERA1ER, picking apart their infrastructure, and tracing digital breadcrumbs. All this work pointed to one key player. This big catch was also thanks to efforts by several law enforcement agencies and government bodies from INTERPOL member states.

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Reza Rafati

Reza Rafati, based in the Netherlands, is the founder of An industry professional providing insightful commentary on infosec, cybercrime, cyberwar, and threat intelligence, Reza dedicates his work to bolster digital defenses and promote cyber awareness.

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