Twenty-four people have been arrested in Britain following an international operation to take down one of the world’s largest online criminal marketplaces.
Genesis Market hosts 80 million account credentials and digital footprints stolen from the devices of more than 2 million people, allowing users to buy “bots” that contain the information.
The most expensive of these will contain financial information, such as access to an online banking account.
It is used by hundreds in the UK to target individuals and businesses.
The arrests were made during a raid by the National Crime Agency (NCA), regional cybercrime units and police on Tuesday.
They coincided with the market going offline.
Seventeen countries participated in the survey, led by U.S.The FBI and authorities in the Netherlands.
It resulted in more than 200 searches and about 120 arrests around the world.
However, the NCA said its work was not done and more arrests were expected and other users would be contacted to warn them of possible criminal activity.
Unique Features of Genesis Market
Genesis Market provides its users with a custom web browser that mimics the browser of the victim.
This means they can make it appear as if they’re accessing their account from their usual location and device, so it doesn’t trigger the “suspicious activity” notifications you get from services like your banking app.
Criminals may also use information they gain about victims, such as names of family and friends, to manipulate them into handing over money.
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Cybercrime Tactics to Watch Out for
Phishing emails and texts try to lure you in by looking very legitimate, very similar to what you might be used to receiving from retailers and other services.
But they will contain links that may take you to a fake website asking you to enter account details that may have been stolen.
Be on the lookout for suspicious email addresses, odd formatting and misspellings, and if you’re at all unsure, go directly to the website in question.
Any legitimate website should have a valid security certificate – which means look out for a little padlock icon next to the URL.
You should also avoid entering any personal information while connected to public networks, no matter how convenient train Wi-Fi is, as they don’t always have strong security protocols.
If you suspect something is wrong, change your passwords, don’t reuse them on different accounts, and keep an eye on your bank accounts.
To make handling passwords easier for you, use a password manager. Most smartphones and web browsers should have these built in, and they’re easy to set up and manage.
“A huge blow to criminals”
Rob Jones, NCA’s NECC director general and threat leader, said taking the marketplace offline would be “a huge blow to criminals around the world”.
“Behind every cyber criminal or fraudster is the technical infrastructure that gives them the tools to carry out their attacks and the means to profit from their crime,” he said.
“Genesis Market is a prime example of such a service – it’s one of the most important platforms in the criminal market.
“Targeting this infrastructure is at the heart of the NCA’s efforts to fight the worst criminals and protect the public from those seeking to infiltrate their lives and steal their identities and money.”
How to know if you are affected
You can check if your data has been stolen by visiting and sharing it on Genesis Market politie.nl/checkyourhack and enter your email address.
If you find yourself affected, you should contact Action Fraud.