In a major win against cybercrime, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) seized several domain names tied to Genesis Market, one of the most popular online stores for stolen credentials.
Following the incident, Genesis Market administrative staff “apologized for the inconvenience“.
The Genesis Market takedown was part of a law enforcement operation dubbed ‘Operation Cookie Monster’. Led by the FBI and Dutch National Police, the operation involved 17 countries.
In sync with the investigation, the National Crime Agency (UK) identified hundreds of UK-based users that resulted in 31 warrants being executed.
According to a NCA report, “24 people were arrested in the UK, including two men, aged 34 and 36, who were detained by the NCA in Grimsby on suspicion of Computer Misuse Act and fraud offences.”
Addressing the issue, NCA Director General NECC and Threat Leadership Rob Jones said, “Behind every cyber criminal or fraudster is the technical infrastructure that provides them with the tools to execute their attacks and the means to benefit financially from their offending.”
“Genesis Market was a prime example of such a service and was one of the most significant platforms on the criminal market. Its removal will be a huge blow to criminals across the globe.”
The Genesis Market provided unauthorized access to millions of computers that had fallen prey to harmful software by vending pilfered passwords and other sensitive data.
The perpetrators behind Genesis Market deployed malware that could stealthily extract login credentials and fingerprint information, enabling them to pose as legitimate users and gain entry to restricted services.
Genesis Market users were offered downloadable browser plug-ins that could fetch login information and fingerprints associated with a hacked account, allowing them to impersonate the original user’s online identity effortlessly.
The confiscation order bears the emblems of multiple law enforcement agencies representing a range of nations, such as Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
FBI seizes Genesis Market
Genesis Market came into existence in 2017 and soon became the leading virtual store for purchasing account logins, device fingerprints, and cookies linked with various online services.
The platform’s user base multiplied manifold, and by 2020, it had gained popularity among cybercriminals. Depending on the type of account, buyers could pay less than $10 to access an account for a specific period. .
To locate compromised systems, customers could choose from several search options, such as Internet addresses or domain names linked to stolen credentials.
As a part of Operation Cookie Monster, the FBI raid took over the Genesis Market’s domains. However, the masterminds behind the illegal marketplace remain elusive. The FBI aims to trace any individuals who may have interacted with them.
The cybercriminal world has taken a major hit following the FBI’s action against Genesis Market.
Genesis Market was a one-stop-shop for anyone looking to purchase stolen consumer or corporate account identities.
Although the FBI is yet to release an official statement following the takedown, the Genesis Market domains now display a banner announcing the seizure warrant executed by the bureau.