FBI and DOJ seize control of infamous BreachForums hacking site | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice have seized control of the infamous BreachForums hacking forum, at least according to a notice on the group’s site.

First reported today by Bleeping Computer, the notice on the BreachForums site (pictured) reads that the website was taken down by the FBI and DOJ with assistance from international partners. The notice goes on to state that the site’s backend data is being reviewed and that anyone who has information about cybercriminal activity on BreachForums should contact the FBI or the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

The seizure of the site comes after the FBI arrested a New York man in March 2023 on suspicion of running the site. Conor Brian Fitzpatrick, who was known online as “Pompompurin” or “Pom,” was sentenced to time served and 20 years of supervised released in January.

The history of BreachForums started with an original hacking forum called RaidForums. Founded in 2015, RaidForums members allegedly stole more than 10 billion unique records from individuals residing in the U.S. and internationally. RaidForums was subsequently taken down by the Justice Department in April 2022.

BreachForums appeared not long after the takedown of RaidForums and was essentially the same site reborn along with some of the same administrators. Those administrators included users going by the names of Baphomet and ShinyHunters, both of which have their online profile pictures included in the BreachForum’s takedown image with prison bars super imposed on them.

Although no new forum to replace BreachForums has been spotted in the wild yet, Narayana Pappu, chief executive officer at data security and privacy compliance solutions company Zendata LLC, told SiliconANGLE that it “is highly likely that the forum will eventually reappear under the same or different name.”

“As far as the previously stolen data leaked on the site, I expect that multiple local copies of it have been downloaded by actors participating in the forums, so there’s continued exposure,” Pappu explained. “Beyond that, the forum operators may have backups of this information unless the FBI/DOJ also got the operators/backups.”

Pappu also noted that “most people participating in these forums are fairly sophisticated and would have protected their identities, however, some folks could be tracked based on their IP addresses, telegram account information, email addresses, et cetera. Therefore, this will likely be a deterrent to some extent.”

Image: BreachForums

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