Over 60 “hackers” arrested in joint operation between FBI, NCA, Europol and other law enforcement agencies in global crackdown on cybercrime black market
The “Notorious” cybercrime forum Darkode, frequented by Lizard Squad and other hacking groups, has been taken offline in a coordinated international law enforcement clampdown across 18 countries.
The site has been seized by authorities, which now displays a notice of the clampdown from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in conjunction with Europol and 17 other international law enforcement agencies including the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA).
Over 60 hackers were identified and arrested by the joint cyber operation, including Israel, Germany, the UK, Sweden, Denmark, India and Romania, where 16 individuals were arrested, according to reports.
A NCA spokesperson confirmed the operation Wednesday to the Guardian, but details of its action were not yet available. It is understood that the FBI’s Pennsylvania field office led the operation.
Darkode’s forum has been used by cybercriminals as a black market to trade stolen data, credit card information, email addresses, hacking tools and information on bugs and vulnerabilities used to coordinate attacks on companies, agencies and governments.
Established in 2007, Darkode operated as a place to sell hacking tools. It was an invitation-only site, closed off from the outside world and hosted on so-called “bulletproof” web servers that resist law enforcement action.
Security researchers began taking an interest in 2011, leading to the site’s administrators clamping down on access. An internet relay chat server was set up, which was then used by hacking group Lizard Squad, who were responsible for a variety of cyberattacks on Sony, Microsoft, Taylor Swift and others.
According to reports in Brazil, an investigation into hackers in the country was opened in March this year by Federal Police in conjunction with the FBI, leading to the arrest of several people and seizure of the site’s equipment.
DeepDotWeb Had contact with a regular Darkcode user who told us:
Its being rumored that the main admins were able to kill the servers, however no evidence had surfaced these claims nor the claims that any of the darkode admins themselves have been arrested.
And added that its still isn’t clear who are the users who got busted so everyone needs to be careful and try to weed their contacts while conducting business with them over instant messaging or PM’s on other forums.
Everyone is really paranoid
He added later. We will keep following and updating once more info becomes available.