A photo of the suspect taken from footage released by the Kuwaiti Interior Ministry. Image Credit: Kuwaiti Interior Ministry

Cairo: Kuwaiti police arrested an Asian resident involved in ransomware attacks launched by an international ring in several countries including Kuwait, the Interior Ministry has said.

The suspect, a 21-year-old student, is a member of the seven-member gang implicated in such malicious attacks in 16 countries around the globe.

Acting upon information from Interpol, the Kuwaiti Cybercrime Combatting Directorate tracked the student’s social media account and kept him under surveillance for eight months.

The suspect’s location was defined. He was arrested in an Interpol-overseen operation that netted other suspects around the world at the same time, the ministry said.

The detentions were carried out in an operation dubbed the “Gold Dust”, Kuwaiti media said.

The seven suspects mounted around 7,000 cyber attacks and demanded over 200 million euros in ransoms from victims.

Ransomware is a form of malware designed to encrypt files on a device and block access to them. The victim is asked to pay ransom in exchange for decryption.