Popular Hacking Site RaidForums Shut Down by Police

Colin Thierry
Colin Thierry Writer
Colin Thierry Colin Thierry Writer

RaidForums, one of the world’s largest hacking forums, was taken down by police earlier this week. This hacking site, in operation since 2015, helped cybercriminals sell and purchase the hacked personal data of millions of innocent people.

The US Department of Justice announced on Tuesday that it has seized the RaidForums online marketplace, and arrested its alleged founder and administrator.

Visitors to domains that have hosted the RaidForums website will now be greeted with a message saying that the domain has been seized by international law enforcement, including the US Department of Justice.

Court records unsealed on Tuesday revealed that a 21-year-old Portuguese man, Diogo Santos Coelho, 21, was arrested in the United Kingdom on January 31, at the request of United States law enforcement agencies. Coelho remains in custody in the UK, while attempts are made to extradite him to face charges in a US court.

Two of Coelho’s alleged accomplices were also arrested by police.

Coelho has been indicted on six counts of conspiracy, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

RaidForums made money by charging users for membership of the site, and selling “credits” that could grant members access to more privileged areas of the site.  The highest tier of membership available on RaidForums was “God” status.

Additionally, as the Department of Justice explains, users could earn additional credits through other methods, “such as by posting instructions on how to commit certain illegal acts.”

Coelho is also alleged to have offered a fee-based “middleman” service to RaidForums users where he personally assisted in transactions between the person wanting to sell a hacked database and the person looking to purchase it.

Authorities from around the world worked closely together in the investigation, named “Operation Tourniquet.”

About the Author

About the Author

Colin Thierry is a former cybersecurity researcher and journalist for SafetyDetectives who has written a wide variety of content for the web over the past 2 years. In his free time, he enjoys spending time outdoors, traveling, watching sports, and playing video games.

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