Spanish national police have made a significant arrest in connection to the Kelvin Security hacking operation, detaining an alleged key figure involved in money laundering. The individual reportedly entered Spain as a tourist and is believed to be the head of Kelvin Security’s cryptocurrency-focused money laundering operation. The arrest follows an investigation initiated in December 2021 when the hacking group targeted systems of major Spanish cities and regional governments, prompting authorities to take action. Kelvin Security, with a history dating back to 2013, has been implicated in high-profile data breaches globally, targeting organizations such as Vodafone Italy, Dish México, Frost & Sullivan, and BMW, employing a strategy that focuses on critical infrastructure and government agencies.
The Spanish government attributes the Kelvin Security group to the recent cyberattacks, partially based on posts found on criminal forums selling stolen data. According to the Ministry of the Interior, Kelvin Security has been active in selling data pilfered from over 300 organizations in 90 countries over the past three years. Threat intelligence firm Cyfirma suggests that the group is likely based in Russia and has a significant presence on deep and dark web forums. The detained individual was captured on video as police conducted searches in what appears to be a residence, underscoring the global law enforcement efforts against cybercriminals involved in cryptocurrency-driven operations.
Kelvin Security’s recent attack targeted the headquarters of an unnamed multinational energy firm, where they reportedly stole a confidential client list containing over 85,000 names. The group’s modus operandi involves attacking critical infrastructure and government agencies worldwide, aiming to exfiltrate login credentials and sensitive internal information. The arrest and ongoing investigations signal a coordinated effort by law enforcement to address cyber threats, particularly those associated with money laundering in the cryptocurrency realm, emphasizing the global impact of such criminal activities.