Site had personal info of millions of people
RaidForums, the largest English-language marketplace for stolen personal data, has gone offline. A coalition of law enforcement agencies has taken down the site, where traders bought and sold the data of millions of people. Diogo Santos Coelho, a 21-year-old Portuguese man who allegedly ran RaidForums from 2015 to this January, is in police custody and the U.S. is seeking his extradition. The forum contained Social Security numbers and credit card and bank information.
“The takedown of this online market for the resale of hacked or stolen data disrupts one of the major ways cybercriminals profit from the large-scale theft of sensitive personal and financial information,” Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr., head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, said in a statement.
RaidForums members uploaded information hacked from databases and earned “credits” on the site for instructing others on how to gain more data. “God”-level members had nearly unlimited access to millions of people’s information.
The FBI and Justice Department collaborated with Europol and agencies in several European countries to take down the site and arrest Coelho, who was a teenager when he began running RaidForums. Coelho was arrested in the U.K. in January, and another suspected site founder was arrested in the U.K. in March.
“Disruption has always been a key technique in operating against threat actors online, so targeting forums that host huge amounts of stolen data keeps criminals on their toes,” Edvardas Šileris, head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, told The Associated Press. “Europol will continue working with its international partners to make cybercrime harder — and riskier — to commit.”
While the ringleaders are in custody, there are countless RaidForums members who are still free, likely migrating to other sites, making this just one step in a seemingly unending battle against cybercrime. The site had more than half a million registered members, according to cybersecurity firm Recorded Future.