Cybercrime platform to sell stolen data seized by Feds
The popular cybercrime website called Genesis Market was seized Tuesday by a coalition of law enforcement agencies from around the world.
The investigation and subsequent shutdown, dubbed Operation Cookie Monster, was spearheaded by the FBI and the Dutch National Police and included help from more than a dozen other countries.
Genesis Market enabled its members to promote and sell data, including email and social media account credentials such as usernames and passwords, stolen from malware-infected computers.
The cybercrime bazaar worked by offering its members a specially designed browser that allowed them to impersonate victims by using stolen data, including session cookies, to bypass certain security measures and log into services like online banking.
A seizure notice notifying Genesis Market users of the website’s deactivation was visible on the platform on Tuesday. The notice also urges anyone with information about the site’s administrators to contact the FBI.
After the seizure, the FBI revealed that Operation Cookie Monster enabled it to obtain copies of the cybercrime site’s back-end servers, which contained information about “approximately 59,000 unique user accounts.”
The information helped law enforcement conduct about 120 arrests as of Wednesday, as well as 208 property searches and 97 “knock and talk” actions to encourage users, often under the age of 18, to stop engaging in cybercrime.
Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA), which says Genesis Market hosted over “80 million credentials and digital fingerprints stolen from over two million people,” tweeted Wednesday of one such deactivation-related arrest posted to the site.
Since then, the FBI has leaked millions of stolen usernames and passwords from the site to the HaveIBeenPwned online service, which allows users to verify whether or not their information has been compromised. The Dutch police also provided a tool for their citizens to check if their data was present on Genesis Market.
In a statement on the seizure, FBI Director Christopher Wray vowed to continue cracking down on cybercrime.
“Today’s closure of Genesis Market is a testament to the FBI’s commitment to disrupting and dismantling critical services used by criminals to facilitate cybercrime,” Wray said. “The work on this case is a great example of the FBI’s ability to leverage our technical capabilities and work shoulder-to-shoulder with our international partners to deprive cybercriminals of the tools they rely on to kill people around the world.” to bully.”
We crawl the web so you don’t have to.
Sign up for the Daily Dot newsletter to get the best and worst of the web delivered to your inbox every day.
*Initial publication: April 5, 2023 1:28 pm CDT
Mikael Thalen is a Seattle-based tech and security reporter covering social media, data breaches, hackers and more.
https://www.dailydot.com/debug/genesis-market-seizure-arrests/ Cybercrime platform to sell stolen data seized by Feds