• Thu. Oct 19th, 2023

Genesis Market is Taken Down by the US Authorities

Avatar photo

ByDavid Brown

Jun 23, 2023
US authorities take down Genesis Market
David Brown

A multinational operation dubbed “Operation Cookie Monster“, which involved 17 countries reportedly led to the takedown of Genesis Market’s clearnet domains and the arrest of over a hundred of its users. Genesis Market is a private market that sells stolen account information, known as ‘bots’ by the market’s admins. 

The FBI initiated investigations into Genesis Market in August 2018 and during the operation, ordered 115 bots from the market and paid in Bitcoin. Investigators followed the trail of Bitcoin payments to hosting service providers in the US that provided services to Genesis market. Information obtained from the hosting providers led the officers to the market’s backup network. A warrant was then issued to seize the market’s domains.

The Investigation

In the end of 2020, the officials compiled a “forensic image” of Genesis Market’s server, revealing that the market had around 33,000 users, 900,000 bots for sale, and more than $4 million in crypto deposits. Investigators gained access to users’ information, but soon after that, the market owners replaced hosting providers and took their servers from the United States. 

In May 2022, investigators accessed the market’s database again and found that it had increased to 59,000 users, which had deposited over $8 million in crypto, and over 1.5 million bots were for sale. On April 4, 2023, 11 clearnet domains connected with the market were seized and taken offline in an international operation. 

The authorities in different countries carried search warrants and arrested 119 suspects linked to the market’s most ‘prolific’ users. The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is convinced that the admins of Genesis Market are located in Russia. The market has been sanctioned for its users’ attacks on the US financial sector, crucial infrastructure, and government agencies. The market’s onion domain remains online.

Avatar photo

David Brown

With years of expertise in the field, i am bring a wealth of knowledge and insights to our platform. Our editor’s extensive research and understanding of the drug landscape ensure that their content is accurate, informative, and engaging.