The FBI's BreachForums bust is causing 'chaos in the cybercrime underground'

The FBI's BreachForums bust is causing 'chaos in the cybercrime underground'

On March 16, 2022, about a month after the FBI took down a popular online forum for buying and selling stolen data known as RaidForums, another criminal marketplace quickly sprung up to take its place. The title of first post on the new forum known as BreachForums simply said “Welcome.”

Over the next year, the forum administered by “pompompurin” would post hacked data related to approximately 14 billion people globally, according to the FBI, and become one of the most prolific cybercrime forums in the world. It hosted breaches that included data related to 7 million Robinhood customers in November 2021, 23 terabytes of Shanghai National Police data in June 2022 and, more recently, roughly 60,000 records from the D.C. Health Link insurance exchange, exposing the personal details of members of Congress, their families and staffs and tens of thousands of other Washington area residents.

All of that came to an end last week after the FBI arrested a 20-year-old named Conor Fitzpatrick, who the bureau believes operated BreachForums from his parents’ house in a small town about 40 miles from New York City. Fitzpatrick admitted to being pompompurin and owning and operating the forum and claimed to earn roughly $1,000 per day trading in stolen information, according to a detailed affidavit published Friday when he was scheduled to appear in federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia.

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