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Feds raid darkish internet market the place 24 Americans’ information was bought • The Register


US regulation enforcement has shut down one other darkish internet market, seizing and dismantling SSNDOB, a web site dealing in stolen private info.

Led by the IRS’ prison investigation division, the DOJ, and the FBI, the investigation gained management of 4 of SSNDOB’s domains, hobbling its capability to generate money. The brokers stated it raked in additional than $19 million since coming on-line in 2015.

Seizure banner from SSNDOB-affiliated websites

Seizure banner from SSNDOB-affiliated web sites

Identity-as-a-service

Prior to the takedown, SSNDOB reportedly had 24 million people’ information obtainable for buy, which it repeatedly marketed on darkish internet boards. Personally figuring out info obtainable on SSNDOB included electronic mail addresses, passwords, bank card numbers, SSNs and extra. 

The staff behind SSNDOB additionally provided buyer help, indicating it was, on the minimal, considerably refined. “The administrators also employed various techniques to protect their anonymity … including using online monikers that were distinct from their true identities, strategically maintaining servers in various countries, and requiring buyers to use digital payment methods, such as bitcoin,” the Department of Justice stated in an announcement.

Because of the worldwide nature of SSNDOB, Latvian and Cyprian police have been additionally concerned within the operation. 

Chainalysis launched its personal report on the SSNDOB investigation which discovered a hyperlink between SSNDOB and Joker’s Stash, a darkish internet market that migrated to blockchain internet hosting to keep away from motion by regulation enforcement.

Between late 2018 and mid 2019, Chainalysis stated, SSNDOB despatched over $100,000 price of Bitcoin to wallets related to Joker’s Stash “suggesting the two markets may have had some relationship to one another, including possibly shared ownership.”

Joker’s Stash voluntarily shut down in early 2021.

The closure of SSNDOB marks one other in a series of darkish internet seizures previously yr. Hydra, one of many longest-running darkish internet markets, not too long ago confronted a coordinated effort from US and German regulation enforcement which took it offline and resulted within the seizure of $25 million in Bitcoin. 

“Identity theft can have a devastating impact on a victim’s long-term emotional and financial health. Taking down the SSNDOB website disrupted ID theft criminals and helped millions of Americans whose personal information was compromised,” stated Special Agent in Charge Darrell Waldon, IRS-CI Washington, D.C. Field Office.

Is SSNDOB actually gone?

Trying to go to one of many 4 websites seized by the DOJ in its raid leads to touchdown on a web page with a banner message indicating the positioning was seized, and the opposite three merely do not join or error out. Doing a seek for SSNDOB reveals that it is not precisely gone, although: a .com handle with the identical title, providing what seems to be the identical companies, remains to be on-line and operational.

An try to enroll in an account on the .com succeeded with out error, and searches turned again optimistic outcomes. It’s not clear, nonetheless, that the positioning is affiliated with the SSNDOB websites the DOJ seized.

A whois lookup of the seized websites, and the still-functional .com, present a number of completely different registrars together with redacted or clearly false info. Nicenic International Group, a Hong Kong-based area supplier, is proven because the registrar for one of many closed websites, in addition to the .com. However, a DOJ spokesperson advised The Register that the .com web site “is not known to be related to the sites we seized.” ®



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