FBI Seize BreachForums Months After Pompompurin Arrest
In a significant blow to the cybercriminal underworld, U.S. federal authorities have seized the domain of BreachForums, the notorious hacking site that served as a hub for cybercriminals. The move comes three months after the arrest of Conor Brian Fitzpatrick, the site administrator known as "Pompompurin," who was apprehended by the FBI in New York.
BreachForums was infamous for sharing, advertising, and selling stolen personal data of various websites and companies. Following Fitzpatrick's arrest, the site's new administrator temporarily shut down the forum, promising it would never resurface. However, the recent turn of events indicates a resurrection of the forum on a new domain, with Baphomet, another notorious hacker group, partnering up with the new admin.
The revived forum, now operating under the original name (BreachForums), quickly encountered challenges. Earlier this week, a data breach exposed the personal information of over 4,200 registered members, including emails, IP addresses, social media handles, and scrambled passwords. The breach was attributed to a rival group, OnniForums, as reported by HackRead.
Authorities swiftly took action against the forum, resulting in the seizure of the BreachForums domain. The website now displays a seizure notice featuring logos of law enforcement agencies from around the world. Notably, the banner includes an image of a handcuffed Pompompurin, a character from Hello Kitty, adding an unexpected touch of irony to the situation.
The comprehensive operation involved multiple law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Secret Service, and international entities such as the Dutch National Police, the Australian Federal Police, and the U.K. National Crime Agency. While the original BreachForums domain was seized, its dark web counterpart remains inaccessible, showing a "404 Not Found" Nginx error.
This domain seizure marks yet another milestone in the ongoing crackdown on hacking forums by worldwide authorities. Last year, RaidForums, another hacking forum, was also shut down and seized.
As investigations continue, the full extent of Fitzpatrick's involvement and the charges he may face in connection with BreachForums and other malicious activities remain undisclosed. The seizure of the BreachForums domain sends a clear message to cybercriminals that law enforcement agencies are determined to dismantle their operations and safeguard cyberspace.