Operation Cookie Monster: FBI shuts down one of the biggest online criminal marketplaces!
Washington DC - One of the world's biggest online criminal marketplaces has been shut down in an operation involving 17 countries worldwide, dubbed "Cookie Monster."
Since its inception in March 2018, Genesis Market had offered up the online credentials of people whose devices had been infected by malware or account takeover attacks, the US Justice Department said in a statement.
Led by the FBI and the Dutch National Police, and coordinated from Europol, simultaneous actions were carried out across the globe against users of the platform on Wednesday, resulting in 119 arrests, 208 property searches and 97 knock and talk measures, Europol said.
Operation Cookie Monster led to the seizure of 11 domain names used to support Genesis Market's infrastructure. At the time of the operation, it had listed for sale the identities of more than two million people around the globe.
Garland hails "unprecedented" takedown
US Attorney General Merrick Garland said it was "an unprecedented takedown of a major criminal marketplace that enabled cybercriminals to victimize individuals, businesses, and governments" around the world.
"Our seizure of Genesis Market should serve as a warning to cybercriminals who operate or use these criminal marketplaces: the Justice Department and our international partners will shut down your illegal activities, find you, and bring you to justice," he added.
Head of Europol's European Cybercrime Centre Edvardas Šileris said victims from across the globe had had their digital identities stolen.
"Through the combined efforts of all the law enforcement authorities involved, we have severely disrupted the criminal cyber ecosystem by removing one of its key enablers."
Cover photo: 123RF/mshmeljov