April 13, 2024

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) this week arrested a New York man on suspicion of operating BreachForums, a well-liked English-language cybercrime discussion board the place among the world greatest hacked databases routinely present up on the market. The discussion board’s administrator “Pompompurin” has been a thorn within the aspect of the FBI for years, and BreachForums is broadly thought of a reincarnation of RaidForums, a remarkably comparable crime discussion board that the FBI infiltrated and dismantled in 2022.

FBI brokers carting objects out of Fitzpatrick’s residence on March 15. Picture: Information 12 Westchester.

In an affidavit filed with the District Court docket for the Southern District of New York, FBI Particular Agent John Langmire mentioned that at round 4:30 p.m. on March 15, 2023, he led a crew of legislation enforcement brokers that made a possible trigger arrest of a Conor Brian Fitzpatrick in Peekskill, NY.

“Once I arrested the defendant on March 15, 2023, he acknowledged to me in substance and partly that: a) his identify was Conor Brian Fitzpatrick; b) he used the alias ‘pompompurin/’ and c) he was the proprietor and administrator of ‘BreachForums’ the information breach web site referenced within the Criticism,” Langmire wrote.

Pompompurin has been one thing of a nemesis to the FBI for a number of years. In November 2021, KrebsOnSecurity broke the information that 1000’s of pretend emails a couple of cybercrime investigation had been blasted out from the FBI’s e-mail techniques and Web addresses.

Pompompurin took credit score for that stunt, and mentioned he was capable of ship the FBI e-mail blast by exploiting a flaw in an FBI portal designed to share data with state and native legislation enforcement authorities. The FBI later acknowledged {that a} software program misconfiguration allowed somebody to ship the faux emails.

In December, 2022, KrebsOnSecurity broke the information that hackers lively on BreachForums had infiltrated the FBI’s InfraGard program, a vetted FBI program designed to construct cyber and bodily risk data sharing partnerships with specialists within the non-public sector. The hackers impersonated the CEO of a significant monetary firm, utilized for InfraGard membership within the CEO’s identify, and had been granted admission to the group.

From there, the hackers plundered the InfraGard member database, and proceeded to promote contact data on greater than 80,000 InfraGard members in an public sale on BreachForums. The FBI responded by disabling the portal for a while, earlier than in the end forcing all InfraGard members to re-apply for membership.

Extra just lately, BreachForums was the gross sales discussion board for data stolen from DC Well being Hyperlink, a medical health insurance trade primarily based in Washington, D.C. that suffered an information breach this month. The gross sales thread initially mentioned the information included the names, Social Safety numbers, dates of start, well being plan and enrollee data and extra on 170,000 people, though the official discover concerning the breach says 56,415 folks had been affected.

In April 2022, U.S. Justice Division seized the servers and domains for RaidForums, an especially fashionable English-language cybercrime discussion board that bought entry to greater than 10 billion shopper information stolen in among the world’s largest knowledge breaches since 2015. As a part of that operation, the feds additionally charged the alleged administrator, 21-year-old Diogo Santos Coelho of Portugal, with six prison counts.

Coelho was arrested in the UK on Jan. 31, 2022. By that point, the brand new BreachForums had been reside for slightly below every week, however with a well-known look.

BreachForums stays accessible on-line, and from reviewing the reside chat stream on the location’s residence web page it seems the discussion board’s lively customers are solely simply turning into conscious that their administrator — and the location’s database — is probably going now in FBI arms:

Members of BreachForums talk about the arrest of the discussion board’s alleged proprietor.

“Wait in the event that they arrested pom then doesn’t the FBI have all of our particulars we’ve registered with?” requested one anxious BreachForums member.

“However all of us have good VPNs I assume, proper…proper guys?” one other denizen supplied.

“Like pom would more than likely do a plea discount and cooperate with the feds as a lot as potential,” replied one other.

Fitzpatrick couldn’t be instantly reached for remark. The FBI declined to remark for this story.

There is just one web page to the prison criticism in opposition to Fitzpatrick (PDF), which prices him with one rely of conspiracy to commit entry gadget fraud. The affidavit on his arrest is accessible here (PDF).