Under the leadership of the FBI, international law enforcement agencies have seized a big dark web marketplace, Genesis Market, popular with cybercriminals, where stolen passwords were sold for as little as $1 each. The crackdown dubbed ‘Operation Cookie Monster’ seized passwords for services such as online banking, Facebook, Amazon, PayPal, and Netflix, as well as digital fingerprints that can be exploited by criminals to bypass online security checks.

Operation Cookie Monster: Suspects Arrested From Around the World

The coordinated raids around the world included more than 200 searches and 120 arrests from different parts of the world. “There’s consequences if you’re going to be using these types of sites to engage in this type of activity,” a senior FBI official said during a media briefing on the agency’s takedown of Genesis Market.

The officials said that Genesis Market was not only a seller of stolen account access credentials but was also one of the most prolific initial access brokers operating on the dark web. Attorney General Merrick Garland hailed the operation as an unprecedented takedown of a major criminal marketplace that enabled cybercriminals to victimize individuals, businesses, and governments around the world.

Crackdown on Breach Forums

Last year, the FBI launched a crack on a criminal forum and marketplace, Breach Forums having more than 340,000 members. According to the justice department, the users discussed tools and techniques for hacking and exploiting hacked information on the forum. “We’re going after the users who leverage a service like Genesis Market, and we are doing that on a global scale,” said the FBI.

Also read: Hackers Allegedly put Sensitive Data of AKD Securities for Sale on Dark Web


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