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FBI Cracks Down the Darknet Marketplaces, Targeting Users

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ByHarper Stewart

Jun 29, 2023
FBI targets Darknet market users in crackdown
Harper Stewart
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The Federal Bureau of Investigation is taking action against websites that sell anything from weapons to stolen private data, and it is going after both the operators of the websites and their users.

FBI Goes After Dark Web Criminals 

The drive to shut down sites that support internet criminals has been spurred by a recent rise in ransomware attacks and other destructive cyber activities. However, the tactic hasn’t always worked. A fresh variation emerges after every takedown, luring users with it. Because of this, the FBI is looking into both the owners and visitors of these websites.

In an announcement on the agency’s takedown of Genesis Market, a sizable online black market, on Wednesday, a senior FBI official said, “We’re not only trying to attack the supply side, but we’re also attacking the demand side with the users.” If you use these kinds of websites to participate in this kind of action, there are repercussions.

Genesis Market Shutdown Details

The shutdown of Genesis Market on Tuesday, a five-year-old illegal marketplace referred to by the authorities as a “initial access broker,” provides a glimpse into this kind of online criminal activity. Additionally, it demonstrates how the FBI is progressively pursuing illicit marketplace users as well as their administrators.

In addition to selling stolen account access credentials, U.S. investigators claimed Genesis Market was “one of the most prolific” initial access dealers active on the darknet.

The Justice Department referred to Genesis Market as a “key enabler of ransomware,” and said that it offered “the type of access sought by ransomware actors to attack computer networks in the United States and around the world.”

Breach Forums, a criminal forum and marketplace with more than 340,000 users, was shut down by the FBI in March. According to the Justice Department, members of the Breach Forums website discussed methods and procedures for stealing and using stolen data. The FBI official stated, “We’re going after the people who use a service like Genesis Market, and we’re doing it on a worldwide basis.

Gathering Information About the Users

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and its foreign law enforcement partners confiscated Genesis Market’s servers and domains in order to bring it down. According to a senior Justice Department official who spoke at the conference, the FBI was able to gather information about 59,000 unique user accounts as a result.

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Harper Stewart

With a deep understanding of the complexities of the Dark Web, Harper curates informative and thought-provoking content for our readers. Her knowledge of the hidden corners of the internet and cybersecurity helps shed light on the often mysterious and illicit activities that take place in this realm.