911[.]re, a proxy service that since 2015 has sold access to hundreds of thousands of Microsoft Windows computers daily, announced this week that it is shutting down in the wake of a data breach that destroyed key components of its business operations. The abrupt closure comes ten days after KrebsOnSecurity published an in-depth look at 911 and its connections to shady pay-per-install affiliate programs that secretly bundled 911’s proxy software with other titles, including “free” utilities and pirated software.
Cybercrooks increasingly are anonymizing their malicious traffic by routing it through residential broadband and wireless data connections. Most often, those connections are hacked computers, mobile phones, or home routers. But this is the story of a sprawling “bulletproof residential VPN” service that appears to have been built by acquiring chunks of Internet addresses from some the largest ISPs and mobile data providers in the United States and abroad.