September 30, 2023

The FBI and other law enforcement agencies on Tuesday seized the domain names of Genesis Market, a cybercrime marketplace that allowed criminals to impersonate customers on websites Amazon To devotion to truth,

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On Tuesday, Genesis’s normal login page was replaced with a takedown notice urging users to contact the FBI if they had more information about Genesis’ administrators or operations.

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Genesis was a “big fish,” said Matthew Gracie-McMinn, a cybersecurity researcher at NetEsia, and its shutdown was a shot across the bow to other threat actors in the space.

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The takedown, dubbed Operation Cookie Monster, targeted an online marketplace that allowed users to buy and sell data that let them impersonate legitimate users of major platforms, including dropbox, paypal, MicrosoftTwitter, and several cryptocurrency exchanges.

Those platforms were not hacked or compromised. Instead, criminals can purchase digital “bots” that employ data stolen by hackers from users’ devices, including autofill forms, saved login information, and small digital files known as cookies, which Used by companies to track users’ activity online.

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Genesis then provided its customers with a custom browser based on Google’s Chromium project, which allowed bad actors to adopt hacked individuals’ Internet personas, loading unique data stored in cookies and impersonating users. Autofilled password for .

In 2021, there are at least 350,000 “bots” available on Genesis’ platform, According for a Netacea report.

Gracey-McMinn told CNBC that the bots sold on Origin were high quality and could fetch as much as $450. Gracey-McMinn said the low-quality hacked data that is still on the market can be had for as little as $4 or $5.

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But while the FBI and international law enforcement may have taken down Genesis, it’s unclear whether they will be able to detain Genesis’ owners and administrators, who are based in Russia or a Russian-speaking region, according to Gracie-McMinn. . But it is undeniably “a major blow to the ease of identity fraud,” he said.

The FBI’s Milwaukee field office referred the comments to the bureau’s main press office, which did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

In addition to the FBI, law enforcement agencies from Australia, Canada, Germany, Poland, Sweden, and the European Union were involved in the effort.