FBI shuts down website selling billions of stolen records

A subscription to the trove of personal details could be had for as little as $2


A subscription to the trove of personal details could be had for as little as $2

US law enforcement has seized the WeLeakInfo.com domain name for peddling personal data stolen in data breaches. The shadowy website offered a pay-to-play scenario that allowed anyone to search for and access other people’s personal details, according to a statement from the Department of Justice (DOJ).

WeLeakInfo.com “claimed to provide its users a search engine to review and obtain the personal information illegally obtained in over 10,000 data breaches containing over 12 billion indexed records,” said the authorities

The records spanned the gamut, but primarily included names, email addresses, usernames, phone numbers, and passwords for online accounts. Any of this could be had dirt-cheap, as subscriptions started from as little as US$2 for access valid for 24 hours – an especially meager sum compared to the damage that may follow after somebody pilfers your personal details and commits identity fraud. Longer subscription periods were also available.

Seizure notice (source: DOJ)

The crackdown was the result of a joint effort that also involved law enforcement in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany. The UK’s National Crime Agency said earlier today that two men suspected of operating the website have been arrested in the Netherlands and Northern Ireland.

RELATED READING: Simple steps to protect yourself against identity theft

In a separate case, LeakedSource.com, a repository of three billion stolen or leaked online credentials, was busted two years ago. In May 2019, the site’s operator pleaded guilty to trafficking in stolen information.

It’s worth noting that there are legitimate services that enable you to check if your login credentials may have been compromised in a data breach. The Chrome and Firefox web browsers offer similar features.

17 Jan 2020 – 02:19PM

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