The United States authorities, working closely with cooperation from law enforcement agencies from other countries too, have closed down Darkode online hacking forum which had been the hubspot for cyber-criminals from around the world. The Justice Department has said that 12 people have been charged.
The charges were announced by the US Attorney David Hickton who termed Darkode hacking forum has ” a cyber hornet’s net of criminal hackers.”
He said, “Of the roughly 800 criminal Internet forums worldwide, Darkode represented one of the gravest threats to the integrity of data on computers in the United States.”
The operation was codenamed as Operation Shrouded Horizon and it wa led by Pittburgh’s Attorney Office and FBI. It also included authorities from countires in Europe, Latin American and Europol, Australia and Nigeria.
12 people that have been charged are mostly in the United States, the Justice Department said. It has been called the biggest coordinated international law enforcement operation ever targeting an online cybercirminal forum. Europol said that it can also cofirm 28 arrests.
The investigation is still underway as authorities are reviewing data about 70 Darkode members worldwide.
Darkode was the forum where cybercriminals traded spam services, tools, stolen data and cyberattack methods against companies and other governments. An invitation only website that had been well protected, was finally busted.
The darkode.com site home page shows logos of various law enforcement agencies which also shows that the domain name has also been seized by FBI.
Those charged had been accused of crimes ranging from wire fraud, computer fraud, selling and using malware programs, bot networks, spam emails and money laundering.