The world’s largest hacker forum for trading stolen databases shut down
The U.S. authorities blocked the work of RaidForums. That’s what the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement on Tuesday. The site was shut down by law enforcement agencies in the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Portugal and Romania during Operation TOURNIQUET, coordinated by Europol.
U.S. and European authorities blocked RaidForums, “one of the world’s largest hacker forums,” where stolen data was being traded online, its administrator faces charges. According to the prosecution, RaidForums was “a known marketplace for cybercriminals to sell and buy data obtained through hacking.”
U.S. authorities charged the forum’s founder and chief administrator, 21-year-old Diego Santos Coelho of Portugal. He was detained on January 31 in Britain at the request of the U.S. side. The U.S. Department of Justice is seeking his extradition, after which he will appear in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Coelho is charged with six counts, including conspiracy, obtaining access to devices fraudulently and aggravated identity theft in connection with his alleged role as chief administrator of RaidForums from Jan. 1, 2015, through Jan. 31, 2022. In doing so, the defendant and his possible accomplices, according to investigators, designed and administered the software and computer infrastructure of said platform, established rules for users, and advertised RaidForums’ illegal services.
The department said it had received court approval to seize three different domain names hosting the RaidForums website: raidforums.com, Rf.ws and Raid.lol.
According to the U.S. Justice Department, RaidForums had previously been used to sell “hundreds of databases” containing stolen information. The site sold stolen bank account access information, credit card information, login credentials and Social Security numbers.
The RaidForums marketplace, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, had hundreds of pieces of information containing more than 10 billion credentials of individuals living in the United States and other countries.
In addition to illegal data trafficking, back when the forum was founded in 2015, RaidForum served as a platform to organize and support online bullying in the form of suppressing victims’ communication devices by transmitting an overwhelming flow of data or the practice of falsely notifying law enforcement of alleged situations requiring immediate significant or even armed intervention by such agencies.
RaidForums had over 530,000 registered users