• Safe-net arrested for allegedly aiding criminals cover up their tracks.
  • FBI as well as Europol have stopped Safe-Inet in both the U.S. and Europe.
  • According to Europol claims, cybercriminals, which included ransomware users have held over 100 companies held captive.

Cybercriminals may be making use of VPNs to conceal their identities to carry out illegal operations. It’s a scary scenario for VPN providers who are becoming the victims of these crimes.
In the past, a bulletproof company was shut down after being accused of supporting cybercriminals in concealing their identities. FBI and Europol initiated a swift decision to shut down Safe-Inet which is a well-known VPN service that kept the identities of its customers hidden.

Safe-Inet was convicted of being a supporter of some of the largest cybercriminals, who held hundreds of businesses in their chains. According to Europol press announcement the VPN provider hid logs and facilitated the internet traffic flowing through a variety of VPN connections.

While VPNs typically provide security and help keep their users’ information safe from cybercrimes, Safe-Inet performed the opposite.

Safe-Inet VPN is in the hands of Operation Nova

On the 22nd of December 2020, the FBI and Europol were able to take on Safe-Inet and closed its service. The agencies of law enforcement investigated the VPN provider during a probe known as Operation Nova. The operation was carried out in conjunction together with German Reutlingen Police Headquarters and numerous international entities.

Europol disclosed that Safe-Inet was a partner in assisting ransomware users and other cyber criminals.

Criminals from the underworld paid a huge sum to Safe-Inet to make use of its tools to avoid police agencies. According to Europol the VPN provider was able to provide as many as five levels of concealed VPN connections. About 250 businesses were under surveillance by cyber criminals by using this VPN.

Police agencies blocked various servers and domains from the Safe-Inet during Operation Nova.

The Justice Department of the United States has a response

The Justice Department said that these VPN service providers are deliberately supporting criminal acts, and are accountable for their actions. DOJ (the U.S. Department of Justice) believes that these security-minded VPN services offer a safe environment for criminals. While they are supposed to offer security to users, they’re involved in illegal actions.

The U.S. authorities have also shut down several servers and confiscated three domain names associated with them: SAFE-INET.NET, INSORG.ORG, and SAFE-INET.COM.

The U.S. Justice firmly criticized the use of such platforms to allow criminals to carry on their cyber-crimes.

As of the 20th of December, 2020, more details on the operation have yet to be released. Safe-Inet may have been a victim of these cybercriminals. They did not intend to cause harm to anyone.

However, The Justice Department claims that the VPN provider was in the course of this investigation. Therefore, there’s something serious against the VPN firm which led to it being removed on a solid basis.

Yet, this decision to shut down Safe-Inet was not a pleasant surprise for members of the VPN industry. The reaction from law enforcement agencies could create confusion among VPN providers. It’s true and there’s no law that is above anyone else.

Although several VPN providers have expressed concerns regarding the decision I2Coalition supports this decision. The i2Coalition which has several top VPNs as members has stated that any technology can be used to deceive.

Since there are a lot of users out that use VPN solutions, it’s difficult for providers to even see the way their technology is utilized. Our take is, it’s rather excessive to shut down a whole business without a trial.