The ‘iSpoof’ online spoofing service has been dismantled following an international law enforcement investigation which resulted in the arrest of 146 people, including the suspected mastermind of the operation.
More of the arrests, including that of the platform’s leader, were made by London’s Metropolitan Police.
iSpoof offered cybercriminals with “spoofing” servers which allowed them to mask their phone numbers with one belonging to a trusted organization, making it appear to the victims as if their bank called them.
This call number spoofing made it possible for the attackers to conduct social engineering, phishing, and perform “bank helpdesk” scams, stealing money, banking account credentials, and one-time codes.
Europol stated that the services of the website allowed those who sign up and pay for the service to anonymously make spoofed calls, send recorded messages, and intercept one-time passwords.
The users could impersonate an infinite number of entities (such as banks, retail companies, and government institutions) for financial gain and substantial losses to victims.
Between June 2021 and July 2022, iSpoof was used to make 10 million fraudulent calls worldwide.
As per reports, iSpoof caused approximately $120,000,000 in losses, with the service’s operators raking in estimated profits of $3,850,000 in the last 16 months.
The cybercrime department of the Dutch police found the servers hosting iSpoof in Almere, a small town near Amsterdam, during a bank helpdesk fraud investigation.
This led to a new investigation focusing on the service, leading to the discovery of the iSpoof operator’s location in London. They then informed Scotland Yard, which started its own in-depth investigation into the suspect.
Later the police in the Netherlands placed a “tap” on the servers in Almere and gathered insight into how the service worked and who used it.
The covert operation of tracking iSpoof was started by the UK police in June 2021. Then Europol got involved in August 2021 to help the UK police collect evidence and intelligence from global law enforcement partners.
The owner of iSpoof was arrested on Sunday, November 6, 2022, in East London, and known iSpoof websites like “ispoof.cc” and “ispoof.me” were seized.
The administrators of the servers in Almere, two men, aged 19 and 22, were also arrested. Following iSpoof’s takedown, the service’s users from dark web forums were advised to “throw everything away.”