Europol takes hacker forum RaidForums offline

Europol, together with the FBI and enforcement agencies from several European countries, have taken down RaidForums. The entire infrastructure has been confiscated. The manager and two of his accomplices have been arrested.

Europol writes this in a press statement.

Largest hacker forum in the world down

RaidForums is the largest hacker marketplace in the world according to the European investigation and enforcement agency. The platform was launched in 2015 and has more than half a million users. RaidForums gained its infamous reputation for selling access to a number of high-profile database leaks from US and UK companies.

The databases contain a variety of personal data, including information about millions of credit cards, bank account numbers, usernames, and passwords. Such data is worth its weight in gold to hackers and cybercriminals: they use the data, for example, for spamming, swatting, phishing, carrying out DDoS attacks or installing ransomware on unsuspecting victims.

These datasets were obtained from cyber-attacks carried out by hackers over the past few years, according to Europol.

RaidForums founder is a 21-year-old man from Portugal

This action – also known as operation Tourniquet – was preceded by more than one year of research. International cooperation with law enforcement agencies from Sweden, Romania, Portugal, Germany, the United Kingdom and the US enabled detectives to investigate and determine the roles of key targets. RaidForums domain names have been taken over by Europol. Those who visit the sites now will see a banner stating that the domain names have been seized.

According to the US Department of Justice, a 21-year-old Portuguese man is the founder and operator of the hacker marketplace. He has been held in a British cell since January 31, pending his extradition to the US.

“Disruption has always been an important technique in the fight against online threat actors. By targeting forums that hide large amounts of stolen data, criminals remain on their guard,” said Edvardas Šileris, head of Europol’s Cybercrime Center. He says Europol will continue to work with its international partners to make cybercrime more difficult and risky.

These Illegal Trading Platforms Preceded RaidForums

It is the second illegal marketplace to be taken offline in a short time. Earlier this month, German police pulled Hydra Market off the air. Narcotics, forged documents, weapons, and ‘digital services’ were sold through the platform. The police seized 23.1 million euros in Bitcoins. The platform had about 17 million customers and more than 19,000 registered sellers.

In January 2021, the German police took DarkMarket offline. More than 320,000 transactions are said to have been made via the platform, with more than 140 million euros being spent in cryptocurrency. In June last year, it was  Slilpp ‘s turn. More than 80 million stolen credentials for bank accounts, online payment services, provider and retailer accounts were traded through the platform.

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