DOJ seizes popular hacking forum
The Department of Justice on Tuesday seized control of a popular hacking forum in a coordinated effort with foreign agencies to crackdown on illegal cyber activities.
The website, RaidForums, is a major online marketplace where cybercriminals buy and sell stolen data that contains personal and financial information, including bank routing and account numbers, credit card information, login credentials and Social Security numbers.
The Justice Department also charged the forum’s founder and chief administrator, Diogo Santos Coelho, who is originally from Portugal. Coelho was arrested in the United Kingdom in January and faces extradition to the U.S. He was charged with six counts including conspiracy, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with his role as chief administrator of the forum.
“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,” Kenneth Polite, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s criminal division, said in a statement.
The seizure of RaidForums is the latest take down of cybercriminals by U.S. and foreign authorities. Just last week, the Treasury Department sanctioned Russia’s largest darknet market, Hydra Market, for participating in cybercrimes and other illegal activities.
Hydra, which launched in 2015, is involved in ransomware, hacking, identity theft, counterfeit currency and illicit drugs. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said it identified about $8 million in ransomware proceeds that went through Hydra’s virtual currency accounts.
The Justice Department also accused Coelho of personally selling stolen data on the platform and facilitating illicit transactions while working as a middleman between RaidForums members.
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