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A recent worldwide operation by the international police agency Interpol aimed to take down the “16shop” PhaaS platform, which has been active on the dark web for almost six years and is a favorite among hackers.
A 21-year-old Indonesian man suspected of running the platform as well as two other people working on it, one of whom also resided in Indonesia and the other in Japan, were detained during the operation. The platform’s functionality was interfered with, and the authorities seized the culprits’ luxury goods and technical equipment.
The hacking tools supplied by 16shop, which is also implicated in the operation, have reportedly been discussed on darknet forums since November 2017 and have been purchased by more than 70,000 people in 43 different countries. These technologies made it easier for con artists to use phishing emails to mislead Internet users into giving up their personal or financial information so they could steal money.
Phishing kits were designed to steal login information and credit card information from customers of well-known businesses including Apple, PayPal, American Express, Amazon, and Cash App. Depending on the target brand, many of them were offered for sale for comparatively low prices, ranging from $60 to $150. For instance, the Amazon package cost less than the American Express bundle by approximately $90.
Over 150,000 phishing sites have reportedly been made utilizing 16shop tools, according to Group-IB. Users in Germany, Japan, France, the USA, Great Britain, Thailand, and other nations were assaulted by platform users. Although the accused lived in Asia, a US-based corporation housed 16shop’s servers.
Since phishing-as-a-service programs automate cyberattacks, anybody can conduct a phishing attack with just a few clicks, according to Interpol. Group-IB specialists stress that using tools that might be acquired from 16shop, even cyber criminals with little hacking and programming abilities can swiftly and in huge numbers construct phishing websites.