Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Industry News
CST News
Tester FAQs
Industry News

FBI Takes Over BreachForums Again, Seizes Admin Telegram Channel

Friday, May 17, 2024

The FBI's battle to take down BreachForums once and for all continues. The FBI and DOJ seized the cybercrime forum's site and took over a Telegram channel belonging to its latest admin Wednesday, according to screenshots of BreachForums' domain and corresponding Telegram channel.

"BreachForums is under the control of the FBI," the message on BreachForums' domain read. "This website has been taken down by the FBI and DOJ with assistance from international partners."

The landing page stated that the authorities are "reviewing this site's backend data" and encourages anyone with information to contact the FBI. It also featured an image of the avatar of the site's latest administrator "Baphomet" behind bars, but authorities have not yet confirmed or announced an arrest at time of writing.

A Telegram group belonging to Baphomet has also been taken over and bears a similar message.

Image showing Telegram message from "BaphometOfficial" that shows the FBI is claiming control of the channel.

But BreachForums affiliates may be trying to take back its domain. As Huntress Labs Cybersecurity Researcher John Hammond points out, BreachForums' site on Thursday now shows a link to a new Telegram channel instead of the FBI message. In the group, users are reportedly posting messages claiming they've "recovered" the domain.

It's unclear if this is legitimate, however, as anyone can make a Telegram account and post whatever they like, including the FBI itself. Hammond notes that the Telegram channel was removed and then reinstated Thursday. PCMag has reached out to the FBI and DOJ for comment.

This isn't the first time law enforcement has taken action against BreachForums. It was previously shut down in March last year when its owner at the time, Conor Brian Fitzpatrick, known online as "pompompurin," was arrested. But Baphomet quickly volunteered to be Fitzpatrick's successor, promising to "protect" its infrastructure from being seized once more. But the FBI reportedly had access to BreachForums' database last year.

Shortly after, Baphomet claimed that they were giving up on maintaining BreachForums, but hinted that it could make a comeback and launched a Telegram group. In June last year, BreachForums returned, allowing threat actors to buy and sell stolen IDs, data, and hacking tools, according to a post from the FBI.

In January this year, the US sentenced Fitzpatrick to 20 years of supervised release.

By: DocMemory
Copyright © 2023 CST, Inc. All Rights Reserved

CST Inc. Memory Tester DDR Tester
Copyright © 1994 - 2023 CST, Inc. All Rights Reserved