BreachForums, a key English-language cybercrime forum, seized by the FBI | #cybercrime | #infosec

The FBI, the Department of Justice and a range of international law enforcement agencies seized on Wednesday a notorious website used to buy and sell stolen and hacked data. 

The operation to seize BreachForums is the second time in the past year that authorities have seized the site. A previous iteration was seized in June 2023, after U.S. authorities arrested Conor Fitzpatrick, the creator and administrator of the site where cybercriminals bought and sold hacked and stolen data, compromised credentials, and more. Within a month of the seizure, BreachForums was reconstituted and has been operational ever since.

A seizure notice posted to the site Wednesday said the site had been seized by the FBI and the DOJ, along with enforcement agencies in the U.K., New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, Ukraine and Iceland.

The seizure includes BreachForums’ Telegram channel, as well as the channel operated by a persona known as Baphomet, a BreachForums admin under Fitzpatrick prior to his arrest, and the one who led the site’s resurgence. 

It’s not clear whether the operation only involves the seizure of just the site and Telegram channels, or whether there have also been any arrests. 

The FBI also set up a reporting form asking for information related to BreachForums in any of its iterations. 

“From June 2023 until May 2024, BreachForums (hosted at and run by ShinyHunters) was operating as a clear-net marketplace for cybercriminals to buy, sell, and trade contraband, including stolen access devices, means of identification, hacking tools, breached databases, and other illegal services,” the form reads. 

The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

AJ Vicens

Written by AJ Vicens

AJ covers nation-state threats and cybercrime. He was previously a reporter at Mother Jones. Get in touch via Signal/WhatsApp: (810-206-9411).

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