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Cybersecurity: Genesis Hacker Marketplace Is Still Functional Despite Police Recent Raid

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Popular darknet marketplace Genesis is still operational despite claims from an international cohort of law authorities that it has shuttered its activities.

Hydra-headed Hacker Base

Operation Cookie Monster had a clear mission – to take down the perpetrators of the digital identity theft group.

On April 5th, the joint task force got a breakthrough, which resulted in the arrest of over 120 patrons of Genesis, 20 of whom were UK residents.

The identity marketplace was considered the biggest criminal facilitator, with an alleged 59,000 users of the marketplace, 1.5 million bots, 2 million identities, and 80 million sets of credentials and digital fingerprints up for sale at the time of the police raid.

The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) proceeded to announce on Twitter the success of the takedown of Genesis Marketplace through an international agencies’ collaboration operation, which it was part of.

However, a recent report states that the identity marketplace remains active in the darknet.

Genesis Marketplace is arguably one of the deadliest darknet centers that focus on everything related to identification theft, login details, IP address tracking, and other nefarious activities.

The dark web platform has been active since 2017 and uses an invitation-only online marketplace as a mode of entry that creates exclusivity to its clientele.

These attackers leveraged Genesis’ well of digital data to access banking info, licenses, and subscription services such as Netflix and Amazon.

Hackers could access these accounts without the need for passwords or two-factor authentication initially set up by victims.

To mitigate the permeating damage effect of the notorious internet darknet marketplace, an international cohort of police authorities collaborated to create “Operation Cookie Monster” in 2022.

These authorities included law agencies from the United Kingdom, Dutch, Canada, Australia, Germany, Poland, Sweden, and many more.

The Reawakening of Genesis Hacker Marketplace: Plans for Another International Sting Stirs

Although Operation Cookie Monster was able to raid, seize, and take down Genesis Market’s associates, stacked lists of identities, digital credentials, bots, and domains, the roots of the darknet remain active and may amass to be bigger than ever.

The marketplace appears to have been updated by its backend administrators as the theft and sale of digital credentials, bots, identities, logins, and plugins of victims continues.

It appears that the previous international sting by law enforcement agencies was more of a mere operation disruption.

Nevertheless, the deputy director of the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit, Paul Foster, has stated that the volume of stolen data and user base of Genesis is undoubtedly reduced regardless of its active presence.

Foster reiterated that the raid has also propelled criminal trust, reduced the visibility of the darknet marketplace off the mainstream internet, and caused uncertainties of usage due to an alleged second raised stirring.

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco has also chipped in on what the U.S. government wants to do regarding the situation.

According to Monaco, the U.S. will target the facilitators and the enablers spearheading the criminal enterprise. Once the engine is cut off, the attorney believes that the marketplace would die a natural death with time.

As the cybersecurity tug-of-war between international law agencies and the Genesis marketplace story develops, the Dutch Police have built a portal where concerned people can do a quick search and verification to check if their digital identity was found at the time of the raid.

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