FBI Seizes Hacking Forum BreachForums – Again

The FBI, along with a coalition of international law enforcement agencies, seized the infamous cybercrime forum BreachForums on Wednesday.

For years, BreachForums has been a popular English-language forum for hackers and cybercriminals looking to advertise, sell and trade stolen data. Recently, a threat actor advertised the personal information of Dell customers data stolen from a Europol portal.

BreachForums has proven to be resilient. Last year, authorities seized an earlier version of the site, three months after its administrator, Conor Brian Fitzpatrick, also known as Pompompurin, was arrested. Then an online trader named Baphomet took over and restored the site, which the FBI said had three different domains over the past year.

When JS reached out for comment, FBI spokesperson Samantha Shero declined to comment. Justice Department spokesman Joshua Stueve also declined to comment.

Unlike the previous seizure of the site, this time the FBI also took control of the forum's official Telegram channel, as well as the channel of one of the site's administrators, Baphomet.

Both Telegram channels showed the same message from the FBI, announcing that they were taking control and that they were “reviewing the site's backend data.”

“If you have information to report on cybercriminal activity on BreachForums, please contact us,” the message ended a link to a special FBI website where victims and forum members can send the FBI information about the former cybercrime forum.

Image credits: Telegram

“From June 2023 to May 2024, BreachForums (hosted at infringementforums.st/.cx/.is/.vc and run by ShinyHunters) operated as a clear-net marketplace for cybercriminals to buy, sell, and trade contraband, including stolen access access devices, identifiers, hacking tools, hacked databases and other illegal services,” the FBI wrote on the website.

ShinyHunters, another BreachForums administrator, did not return a Telegram message seeking comment.

At this time, it is unclear how the authorities took control of the Telegram channels. One possibility is that the FBI arrested Baphomet and took control of his devices, or that Telegram responded to a court order from authorities.

Telegram did not respond to a request for comment.

Fitzpatrick, the previous administrator of BreachForums, pleaded guilty to federal charges last July.

UPDATE, May 15, 4:49 PM ET: This story has been updated with the FBI's “no comment.”

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