The FBI arrested this Friday one of the administrators of Violation forum, one of the largest sites for buying and selling personal data stolen by cybercriminals. “pompomurine”, as Conor Brian Fitzpatrick was called on the site, was accused cyber crime.
The web, formerly known as Raids forumit hosts databases of over a thousand entities, including companies and governments, with names, documents, addresses and sensitive information that are marketed for various criminal purposes.
“It is a specialized site dedicated, among other things, to the dissemination and marketing of pirated, stolen or leaked material”, explains a clarion Mauro Eldritch, Threat Analyst at Birmingham Cyber Arms LTD. In ArgentinaIndeed, a large number of losses (leaks) have been hosted on this site for the last few years.
“Navy or Army email access, full leaks of Río Negro, Salta, City Police (more than once)Municipality of Dolores, Automobile Registry, Judiciary of Santa Cruz and Río Negro, Supreme Court of Buenos Aires and Neuquén, Housing Institute of Neuquén, access to administrative panels of the Ministry of Energy, among others ”, comments the expert.
Private companies like Sure, Movistar, E-commerce sites, the Universidad Argentina de la Empresa (UADE) and ID. Globally it had been the repository for stolen data from the Robinhood platform and computer maker Acer.
Eldritch explains that among the content uploaded to the site there are usually leaks of all kinds, including what is known as “combolist“: Text files with leaked usernames, passwords, and email addresses that can be used for different types of cyber-attacks (such as those of “brute force“), among others.
“Pompompurin was one of the best-known administrators of the forum,” says the analyst.
A regional newspaper identified Fitzpatrick as one of Peekskill High School’s 2021 graduates. Born in 2002according to the court records and arrest address is the house listed as his parents.
“So far it is known that Pom would have registered an account on the intelligence platform IntelligenceX revealing his Real IPwhich led to this site sharing information with the authorities who ended up shutting it down,” he adds.
The FBI announced that he was arrested on Friday at 4:30 p.m., while his most recent activity on the site was at 3:53 p.m.
As reported by Bloomberg, the FBI agent, who led the other agents in the arrest, said Fitzpatrick admitted using the alias “Pompompurin” and that he was the owner and operator of the infringement forums.
Fitzpatrick was eventually released on bail after his parents paid up 300 thousand dollars, according to Bloomberg, and did not respond to a request for comment. Benjamin Gold, an attorney who represented him at his court appearance, also declined to comment.
Unlike other cybercrime sites, Breach Forums has always been accessible through traditional browsers such as Google Chrome or Safari (clear network), despite also having its own version on the dark web.
“The forum has always had it two ways to access, clear networkwith different domains as these were falling, and as a hidden service [oculto] accessible from Tor”, Eldritch clarifies.
After her arrest, another forum administrator assured that “it can be assumed that Pom will not return” and that she would take over the site. Various users have expressed their support for Pompompurin extensively row.
2023 hits cybercrime
It is not the first time that users linked to cybercrime have fallen into the hands of Justice.
In the last week of February, Dutch police arrested three young men who managed to scrape together 2.5 million euros via ransomware extortion. The suspects, aged between 18 and 21, are suspected of attacking thousands of companies, medium and large, from different countries of the world.
On the other hand, two brothers aged 18 and 20 were arrested this year in France for stealing $9.5 million worth of cryptocurrencies from the platform. Platypus Finance.
The biggest blow came at the end of January this year, when the FBI, in a joint operation with other security forces, seized the domain of Hive, one of the largest ransomware gangs in the world.
However, they failed to arrest any members, as the REvil ransomware group had done in January 2022.
Linda Price is a tech expert at News Rebeat. With a deep understanding of the latest developments in the world of technology and a passion for innovation, Linda provides insightful and informative coverage of the cutting-edge advancements shaping our world.