BreachForums, an internet bazaar for stolen knowledge, seized by FBI


The front page of BreachForums.
Enlarge / The entrance web page of BreachForums.

The FBI and legislation enforcement companions worldwide have seized BreachForums, a web site that brazenly trafficked malware and knowledge stolen in hacks.

The web site has operated for years as an internet buying and selling submit the place criminals may purchase and promote all types of compromised knowledge, together with passwords, buyer data, and different often-times delicate knowledge. Last week, a web site person marketed the sale of Dell buyer knowledge that was obtained from a help portal, forcing the pc maker to subject a obscure warning to these affected. Also final week, Europol confirmed to Bleeping Computer that a few of its knowledge had been uncovered in a breach of certainly one of its portals. The knowledge was put up on the market on BreachForums, Bleeping Computer reported.

On Wednesday, the traditional BreachForums entrance web page was changed with one which proclaimed: “This web site has been taken down by the FBI and DOJ with help from worldwide companions.” It went on to say brokers are analyzing the backend knowledge and invited these with details about the location to contact them. A graphic proven prominently on the prime confirmed the discussion board profile photographs of the location’s two directors, Baphomet and ShinyHunters, positioned behind jail bars.

The FBI additionally created a devoted subdomain on its IC3.gov area that mentioned: “From June 2023 till May 2024, BreachForums (hosted at breachforums.st/.cx/.is/.vc and run by ShinyHunters) was working as a clear-net market for cybercriminals to purchase, promote, and commerce contraband, together with stolen entry gadgets, technique of identification, hacking instruments, breached databases, and different unlawful companies.” The web page supplied a type that guests may fill out to offer ideas. At the time this submit went reside, breachforums.ic3.gov was not out there.

The FBI and the Department of Justice declined to remark.

The motion on Wednesday is the second time inside a 12 months that the web knowledge bazaar has been taken down by legislation enforcement. Last June, a special area used to host the location was seized three months after the FBI arrested its alleged founder and operator. Conor Brian Fitzpatrick, then 21 years previous, pleaded responsible to a number of expenses. In January, he was sentenced to twenty years of supervised launch. Prosecutors mentioned that beneath Fitzpatrick, BreachForums had supplied entry to the private info of thousands and thousands of US residents.

Shortly after the June takedown of the location, a brand new particular person stepped ahead and revived the discussion board by internet hosting it on a brand new area, which the FBI mentioned had modified 3 times. This time round, the FBI additionally seized the official BreachForums Telegram channel and a second one belonging to Baphomet. Both channels displayed the identical graphic showing on the newly seized BreachForums web site. It’s not clear how authorities took management of the Telegram channels.

The declare that authorities have entry to the BreachForums’ backend knowledge raises the chance that they’re now in possession of electronic mail addresses, IP addresses, and different knowledge that could possibly be used to prosecute web site customers.

In 2022, the FBI seized RaidForums, one other web site for purchasing and promoting malware and compromised knowledge.

Listing picture by Shutterstock



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