A joint operation between Europol and US police has tracked down and dismantled the RaidForums hacking group, which specializes in breaking into databases and stealing valuable information from them and then putting it up for sale
The entire operation – coordinated by Europol’s Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce – was called Operation Tourniquet and lasted nearly a year. During this time, investigators were able to gather extensive material that allowed them to unravel the hackers operating within this extremely dangerous group.
According to law enforcement, they broke into hundreds of databases in recent years and stole at least 10 billion unique records from them that contained sensitive information about their owners. When the hackers were arrested in the United Kingdom, police officers seized large amounts of cash and froze more than half a million dollars worth of crypto assets.
Shutting down this illegal online marketplace for trading stolen data is one of the biggest law enforcement successes we’ve seen in recent times. It led to the arrest and incarceration in UK custody of a number of hackers (including its head Diogo Santos Coelho), who now faces extradition to the US where he will stand trial.
Diogo Santos Coelho was accused of managing the entire group, which involved setting up membership rules whereby users of the site could pay to access chat rooms that allowed them to exchange information and links used to attack databases.