AFRIPOL signs MoU with Group-IB to strengthen Africa’s cybersecurity capabilities

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 20 February 2024:

The partnership between AFRIPOL and Group-IB, aligned with their mutual commitment to combating cybercrime, is designed to enhance cybersecurity across Africa. This is achieved by exchanging intelligence on threats, sharing insights about cybercriminals and their networks, and conducting collaborative investigations and operations against cybercrime within the region. Photo above: Group-IB CEO Dmitry Volkov (left) and Jalel Chelba, Ag Executive Director of AFRIPOL (right)

Group-IB will share its technological advancements and specialized knowledge in cyber investigations, reverse engineering, and incident management with AFRIPOL’s personnel throughout the African member states, as the organization intensifies its efforts to address cybercrime continent-wide.

AFRIPOL has initiated partnerships with global, regional, and local law enforcement bodies to assist African police forces in addressing transnational organized crime, terrorism, and cybercrimes. The past year was marked with the completion of the highly successful Africa Cyber Surge operation organized jointly by AFRIPOL and INTERPOL Support Program for the African Union in relation to AFRIPOL (ISPA), a multinational cybercrime suppression initiative focused on identifying cybercriminals and compromised infrastructure in Africa.

During the four-month operation, Group-IB provided timely cyber threat intelligence to facilitate cooperation between INTERPOL’s Cybercrime Directorate, AFRIPOL and African countries. Several key results of the operation included amongst others the arrest of 10 individuals linked to scam and fraud activities worth $800,000, the takedown by the authorities in Eritrea of a darknet market that was selling hacking tools, and action taken against more than 200,000 pieces of malicious infrastructure that was facilitating cybercrime across Africa.

The execution of this Memorandum of Understanding comes after a fruitful collaboration among Group-IB, AFRIPOL, and the African Union (AU), during which Group-IB supplied intelligence on threats, support for investigations, and efficient services for ad-hoc incident responses. The collaboration will lead to the development and execution of shared initiatives by Group-IB and AFRIPOL, focusing on the surveillance of cyber threats, the prevention of scam and phishing activities, the tracking of compromised payment details, the enhancement of cyber threat awareness, and, naturally, apprehension efforts—all aimed at a singular objective: combating cybercrime.

The Acting Executive Director of AFRIPOL, Jalel Chelba, stated, “Africa is witnessing the fastest growth in internet and mobile telephony at present. This digital expansion offers numerous advantages to African nations while simultaneously making them vulnerable to cybercriminals who exploit cyberspace for illicit activities. Therefore, combating cybercrime necessitates robust collaboration among all relevant stakeholders, both from the public and private sectors. Such partnerships are crucial for enhancing the capabilities of AFRIPOL’s Member States to dismantle criminal networks and build protection at individual, organizational, and societal levels.” He further noted that this MoU with GROUP-IB “initiates a collaboration that will empower African countries to tackle cybercrime with greater effectiveness and efficiency, thereby boosting confidence in the African cyberspace.”

“An agreement with AFRIPOL is a major milestone in Group-IB’s history as it allows us to further extend our mission of fighting cybercrime on the African continent,” comments Dmitry Volkov, CEO and co-founder of Group-IB. “The Middle East and Africa region has been a key focus for the company. We established our Middle East & Africa Digital Crime Resistance Center in Dubai in 2021. As a private sector partner of INTERPOL, Group-IB was involved in multiple INTERPOL-led operations targeting scammers in the region, including Nervone, Falcon I and II, Delilah, and Lyrebird. During these initiatives, our team helped to track down and identify the cybercriminals involved in massive BEC and phishing operations worldwide. By pooling our expertise, resources, and knowledge, AFRIPOL and Group-IB we will be able to create a safer cyberspace in Africa.”

“Group-IB’s agreement with AFRIPOL underscores our commitment to Africa and solidifies our company as a cornerstone in the region’s cybersecurity defense. We are looking forward to building upon our track record of successful collaborations with law enforcement agencies on the continent by investing in the region and expanding our presence, centered on high-quality education and offering our sector-leading incident response and digital forensics capabilities. This signifies not only our dedication, but also our confidence in the immense potential for growth in Africa,” Ashraf Koheil, Group-IB’s Regional Sales Director META, said.

Photo above: Ashraf Koheil, Group-IB’s Regional Sales Director META (left), Jalel Chelba, Ag Executive Director of AFRIPOL (middle) and Group-IB CEO Dmitry Volkov (right)


AFRIPOL is an institution of the African Union tasked with enhancing the collaboration among police forces of AU Member States to prevent and combat transnational organized crime, terrorism, and cybercrime. The organization’s statutes were endorsed by the Conference of AU Heads of State and Government in January 2017 and became effective forthwith. It aids the police services of its 55 member states by bolstering their capabilities and facilitating the exchange of resources and expertise to advance investigations and break up organized networks responsible for diverse and often interconnected cybercriminal activities.

AFRIPOL developed a strategy to combat cybercrime, which is fully in line with the African Union’s strategic plan. This strategy recognizes the importance of working in a spirit of collaboration with the various fights against all forms of crime in order to guarantee the coherence and effectiveness of the approach aimed at combating transnational crime and tackling all dimensions of the problem. Thanks to its strategy to combat cybercrime, AFRIPOL confirms its role as an information sharing platform, operational coordinator and facilitator of national, regional and international initiatives to combat cyber threats on the African continent and in close coordination with the international organizations that are active in this field. AFRIPOL works under the leadership of the Political Affairs, Peace and Security Commission (AUC-PAPS) to harmonize the various initiatives aiming to combat cybercrime and to make AU countries benefiting from them.

In this mater, AFRIPOL establishes solid partnerships between the different actors in the fight against cybercrime. The exchange platform that AFRIPOL intends to set up for the fight against cybercrime in Africa will make it possible to consolidate the efforts made by the 55 member states of the African Union, while supporting the security forces of its member states, to put in place harmonious legislation that allows the exchange of information and the sharing of expertise across the continent.

This assistance at the legislative and regulatory levels will be complemented by technical aid, manifested through training and collaborative efforts, aimed at enhancing the operational effectiveness of the cybercrime units within the police forces of the African Union member states.

About Group-IB

Group-IB, with its headquarters in Singapore, is one of the leading solutions providers dedicated to detecting and preventing cyberattacks, investigating high-tech crimes, identifying online fraud, and protecting intellectual property. The company’s Threat Intelligence and Research Centers are located in the Middle East (Dubai), Asia-Pacific (Singapore), and Europe (Amsterdam).

Group-IB’s Unified Risk Platform is an ecosystem of solutions that understands each organization’s threat profile and tailors defenses against them in real-time from a single interface. The Unified Risk Platform provides complete coverage of the cyber response chain. Group-IB’s products and services consolidated in Group-IB’s Unified Risk Platform include Group-IB’s Threat Intelligence, Managed XDR, Digital Risk Protection, Fraud Protection, Attack, Surface Management, Business Email Protection, Audit & Consulting, Education & Training, Digital Forensics & Incident Response, Managed Detection & Response, and Cyber Investigations.

Group-IB’s Threat Intelligence system has been named one of the best in its class by Gartner, Forrester, and IDC. Group-IB’s Managed XDR, intended for proactively searching for and protecting against complex and previously unknown cyber threats, has been recognized as one of the market leaders in the Network Detection and Response category by KuppingerCole Analysts AG, the leading European analyst agency, while Group-IB itself has been recognized as a Product Leader and an Innovation Leader.

Gartner has named Group-IB a Representative Vendor in Online Fraud Detection for its Fraud Protection. In addition, Group-IB was granted Frost & Sullivan’s Innovation Excellence award for Digital Risk Protection (DRP), an Al-driven platform for identifying and mitigating digital risks and counteracting brand impersonation attacks, with the company’s patented technologies at its core.

Group-IB’s technological leadership and R&D capabilities are built on the company’s 20 years of hands-on experience in cybercrime investigations worldwide and over 70,000 hours of cybersecurity incident response accumulated in our leading DFIR Laboratory, High-Tech Crime Investigations Department, and round-the-clock CERT-GIB.

Group-IB is an active partner in global investigations led by international law enforcement organizations such as Europol and INTERPOL. Group-IB is also a member of the Europol European Cybercrime Centre’s (EC3) Advisory Group on Internet Security, since 2015. In 2017, Group-IB signed an agreement with INTERPOL to become an official private-sector partner of the international crime fighting organization.


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