Andy Auld, head of intelligence at SOCA’s e-crime department… used the Russian Business Network (RBN) cybercrime network as an example of the type of criminal enterprise they were targeting. The now disbanded group used an IP network allocated by RIPE, a European body that allocates IP resources, to host scam sites, malware and child porn.
RIPE actions might lend themselves to interpretation, viewed in the harshest terms, as being complicit with cybercriminals and "involved in money laundering offences".
"We are not interpreting it that way. Instead we are working in partnership to make internet governance a less permissive environment," Auld said.
This explains some recent EU discussions about blocking "criminal IP address spaces". RIPE is unimpressed:
Press coverage this week portrayed the RIPE NCC as being involved with the criminal network provider Russian Business Network (RBN). Any connection with criminal activity, or with RBN itself, is completely unfounded.
The press coverage arose from a speech given by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) in the UK. SOCA has since contacted the RIPE NCC with an apology. The RIPE NCC will continue to work with SOCA and other bodies to ensure criminal investigations can be carried out in an efficient manner within established laws and guidelines.