Global Crackdown on Phishing Empire: LabHost Platform Shut Down

Paige Henley
Paige Henley Editor
Published on: April 22, 2024
Paige Henley Paige Henley
Published on: April 22, 2024 Editor

In a sweeping international law enforcement effort, a major online platform known as LabHost, which has been instrumental in supplying cybercriminals with phishing kits, has been dismantled. The operation, led by the Metropolitan Police of the United Kingdom and coordinated by the European Union’s law enforcement agency Europol, involved authorities from 19 countries and has led to the arrest of 37 suspects.

Established in 2021, LabHost was specifically designed to facilitate the creation of fraudulent websites, enabling attackers to deceive individuals into disclosing sensitive information such as email addresses, passwords, and banking details. According to the Metropolitan Police, LabHost had grossed nearly £1 million (approximately $1,173,000) by offering its services to about 2,000 registered users who paid monthly subscription fees.

“With a monthly fee averaging $249, LabHost would offer a range of illicit services which were customizable and could be deployed with a few clicks,” Europol said. “Depending on the subscription, criminals were provided an escalating scope of targets from financial institutions, postal delivery services, and telecommunication services providers, among others. Labhost offered a menu of over 170 fake websites providing convincing phishing pages for its users to choose from.”

Over the course of the operation, which spanned from Sunday to Wednesday, more than 70 locations were searched globally, revealing a vast network of approximately 40,000 phishing domains. These domains targeted a diverse range of victims including financial institutions, postal services, and telecommunications providers.

Europol’s investigation also uncovered that LabHost was responsible for obtaining around 480,000 bank card numbers and over 64,000 PINs, along with more than 1 million passwords for various online services.

Among the tools offered by LabHost was “LabRat,” a campaign management tool that allowed criminals to orchestrate and monitor phishing attacks in real-time. This tool was noted for its ability to circumvent advanced security protocols, including two-factor authentication, thereby enhancing the efficacy of the phishing attacks initiated through the platform.

About the Author
Paige Henley
Published on: April 22, 2024

About the Author

Paige Henley is an editor at SafetyDetectives. She has three years of experience writing and editing various cybersecurity articles and blog posts about VPNs, antivirus software, and other data protection tools. As a freelancer, Paige enjoys working in a variety of content niches and is always expanding her knowledge base. When she isn't working as a "Safety Detective", she raises orphaned neonatal kittens, works on DIY projects around the house, and enjoys movie marathons on weekends with her husband and three cats.