Global operation takes down hackers’ leaked data market

Apr 12, 2022, 6:57 AM | Updated: Apr 18, 2022, 8:41 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Western law enforcement agencies have dismantled an online marketplace used to buy and sell hacked and stolen personal data belonging to millions of people, and have brought criminal charges against the platform’s founder and chief administrator, officials announced Tuesday.

Authorities say the RaidForums website trafficked in hundreds of databases of sensitive data, including credit card and Social Security numbers and bank account information, that had been hacked or stolen from victims.

In addition to seizing three domains that hosted the website, officials have also arrested 21-year-old Diogo Santos Coelho of Portugal, who prosecutors say controlled and administered the platform between 2015 and this past January, when he was taken into custody in the United Kingdom.

The U.S. is seeking his extradition to federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, on charges including conspiracy, access device fraud and aggravated identify.

“The takedown of this online market for the resale of hacked or stolen data disrupts one of the major ways cybercriminals profit from the large-scale theft of sensitive personal and financial information,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr., head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, said in a statement.

The site, founded in 2015, offered special access and features for members willing to pay — including a “God” membership that prosecutors say enabled nearly unlimited access. The site also sold “credits” to members that enabled them to download means of identification and information from stolen databases, and also allowed them to earn credits by posting instructions on how to commit illegal acts, according to an indictment.

“Disruption has always been a key technique in operating against threat actors online, so targeting forums that host huge amounts of stolen data keeps criminals on their toes,” said Edvardas Sileris, head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre. “Europol will continue working with its international partners to make cybercrime harder — and riskier — to commit.”

The FBI and Justice Department and other Western law enforcement agencies, including Europol and agencies in Sweden, Portugal, Germany and the UK, were involved in the operation.

Alex Holden, the founder of Hold Security, said RaidForums was the largest English-speaking forum and marketplace for cybercrooks and its takedown will be “a major problem for the bad guys who trade based on their reputation.”

But as the criminals migrate to different forums, he said, “they will have to mark their territory, assert their position, which only means more breaches” and more online dumping of stolen data.

____

Associated Press writers Mike Corder in The Hague, Netherlands, and Frank Bajak in Boston contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

How major US stock indexes fared Thursday 8/11/2022

An afternoon pullback left stock indexes on Wall Street mixed Thursday, erasing most of their morning gains fueled by another encouraging report about inflation. The S&P 500 closed 0.1% lower. The Nasdaq also fell, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose slightly. Investors weighed new data showing inflation at the wholesale level slowed more than […]
15 hours ago
FILE - A membrane covers hundreds of feet of garbage and various pipes that direct leachate to a tr...
Associated Press

Landfill odor: Health problems, but no elevated cancer risk

Missouri’s health department on Thursday announced findings of a lengthy examination of the troubled Bridgeton Landfill in suburban St. Louis, determining that the foul odor emitting from the landfill created health problems but did not increase the risk of cancer. The finding of the yearslong investigation by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services […]
15 hours ago
Associated Press

Bream selected as Fox Sunday host; Wallace gets CNN show

NEW YORK (AP) — Shannon Bream, a Fox News Channel veteran who is the network’s chief legal correspondent, is the new anchor of the “Fox News Sunday” political talk show, filling a role left vacant when Chris Wallace left last December. Meanwhile, CNN said Thursday that Wallace’s interview program will air on the network Sundays […]
15 hours ago
Associated Press

Mexico raises key interest rate to 8.5%, highest in 16 years

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s central bank has raised its interbank interest rate by 0.75% to 8.5% Thursday — the highest level in the 16 years since comparable bank policies went into effect. The Bank of Mexico cited continuing inflationary pressures, and predicted inflation would peak at 8.5% in the third quarter. “Inflationary pressures derived […]
15 hours ago
FILE - Attorney Drew Findling makes remarks regarding his client, Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hil...
Associated Press

Trump hires prominent Atlanta attorney for election probe

ATLANTA (AP) — Donald Trump has hired a prominent Atlanta criminal defense attorney known for defending famous rappers to represent him in matters related to the special grand jury that’s investigating whether the former president illegally tried to interfere with the 2020 election in Georgia. Drew Findling’s clients have included Cardi B, Migos and Gucci […]
15 hours ago
The motion by the Justice Department to the U.S. District Court South District of Florida to unseal...
Associated Press

Unseal warrant for Mar-a-Lago search, AG Garland asks

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is asking a federal court to unseal the warrant the FBI used to search the Mar-a-Lago estate of former President Donald Trump, Attorney General Merrick Garland said Thursday, acknowledging extraordinary public interest in the case about classified records. The request is striking because such documents traditionally remain sealed during […]
15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Global operation takes down hackers’ leaked data market