The mind-numbing frequency with which new data breaches and attacks happen these days can sometimes cause the impression that cybercriminals have free reign to do what they want.
In reality, law enforcement organizations in the US and in several other countries have been recently notching up some important and impressive wins against cybercriminals. Just like a majority of large cybercrime operations are international in scope, the arrests, website takedowns, and prosecutions have also often been the result of extensive collaboration between US agencies and their counterparts around the world.
The most recent case in point are indictments that were announced against members of GozNym, a cybercrime operation that is believed to have stolen millions of dollars from the online bank accounts of companies in the US and elsewhere.
It's too soon to see what impact these actions will have on cybercrime activity over the next few years. In some cases, law enforcement actions have had an immediate short-term impact. Last year's takedown of the Webstresser DDoS-for-hire service, for example, is believed to have contributed to a broad decline in distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) activity through most of last year. Often, though, such positive outcomes have been transient and temporary at best.
Even so, the increasing number of successful law enforcement actions and prosecutions suggest that cybercriminals have plenty of reason to be looking over their shoulders. Here, in no particular order, are some of the more significant arrests, indictments, and takedowns over the past 18 months.