US and foreign law enforcement officials have taken control of a popular website where hackers have marketed data stolen from American individuals and corporations, the latest in a long-running effort to crack down on forums where cybercriminals gather.
According to a notice put on RaidForums’ home page on Tuesday, “this domain has been seized” by the FBI, US Secret Service, and Justice Department.
RaidForums is well-known for providing hacked content in English instead of Russian, which is the preferred language of many criminal forums.
The seizure involved law enforcement agencies from the United Kingdom, Sweden, and other nations, according to the statement.
RaidForums, which has roughly 530,000 registered users, has a lot of authority and power among low- and mid-level cybercriminals. According to the Justice Department, Diogo Santos Coelho, RaidForums’ accused inventor, was detained in the United Kingdom on January 31 and would remain in custody until “the conclusion of his extradition processes.”
It’s the most recent phase in a long-term global effort to undermine economies where crime thrives. Last Monday, German police seized the computer systems of Hydra, a well-known Russian dark web bazaar with $5 billion in transactions since 2015.
According to a law enforcement source familiar with the case, US agents had access to RaidForums’ computer infrastructure for several months before the seizure was publicized. This provided investigators with crucial information regarding who had gotten and sold hacked data at the time.
The confiscation of RaidForums is a setback for criminals hoping for a quick buck from data theft. However, researchers believe that the underground market for stolen financial and personal data will continue to thrive since there are several alternative internet markets where such data may be traded. RaidForums makes it exceedingly easy for new and established threat actors to participate in the data breach and leak community due to its low entry barriers.
Raidforums was one of the few English-language cybercriminal sites worth recognizing by inhabitants of well-known Russian-language underground forums. According to the research, it has been a continual and stable platform for hackers all around the world to obtain and sell data practically without fear of interruption.
High-value datasets were often traded on RaidForums and repurposed on Russian-language cybercriminal forums, driving Russian-language hackers to visit RaidForums specifically for this reason. Unlike dark web cybercrime forums, which require special software to access, RaidForums is accessible to everyone with an Internet connection.
Other “clear web forums” that failed to compete with RaidForums may experience an increase in active members as a result of RaidForums’ closure, however, more skilled hackers are likely to migrate into the clandestine dark web forums.