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US leads seizure of one of world’s largest hacker forums and arrests administrator

US leads seizure of one of world’s largest hacker forums and arrests administrator

Enterprise SecurityGovernmentTop Stories

The Department of Justice has announced the seizure of the RaidForums website, a popular marketplace for cybercriminals to buy and sell hacked data, and unsealed criminal charges against RaidForums’ Founder and Chief Administrator, Diogo Santos Coelho. Coelho was arrested in the UK on January 31, at the United States’ request and remains in custody pending the resolution of his extradition proceedings.

Court records indicate that the US recently obtained judicial authorisation to seize three domains that long hosted the RaidForums website. These domains were ‘raidforums.com’, ‘Rf.ws’ and ‘Raid.lol’. According to the affidavit filed in support of these seizures, from in or around 2016 through February 2022, RaidForums served as a major online marketplace for individuals to buy and sell hacked or stolen databases containing the sensitive personal and financial information of victims in the US and elsewhere, including stolen bank routing and account numbers, credit card information, login credentials and social security numbers.

“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. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “This is another example of how working with our international law enforcement partners has resulted in the shutdown of a criminal marketplace and the arrest of its administrator.”

“Our interagency efforts to dismantle this sophisticated online platform – which facilitated a wide range of criminal activity – should come as a relief to the millions victimised by it, and as a warning to those cybercriminals who participated in these types of nefarious activities,” said US Attorney, Jessica D. Aber for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Online anonymity was not able to protect the defendant in this case from prosecution and it will not protect other online criminals either.”

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