2 SUSPECTED ADMINS ARRESTED AFTER WELEAKINFO.COM SEIZURE

Arrests

Police from the Netherlands and Northern Ireland have arrested two 22-year olds for administrating the site



In a follow up to a story recently published concerning the seizure of the weleakinfo.com, a cybercrime investigation agency in the Netherlands identified a 22-year old in the Arnhem capital of the Gelderland province who has since been arrested in connection with administrating the site.

Law enforcement say upon his arrest, they discovered professional equipment in his home which they believe was instrumental in assisting the accused to manage the services on the now-defunct website.

The site, which catered to users looking to access stolen personal data in passwords, login names and accounts of close to 12 billion victims worldwide for a fees as low as $2 daily. Their customer base mostly consisted of hackers, and provided them research data for their victims camouflaged as a legitimate site intended to help users protect their data from cybercrime threats and threat actors.

Based on a tip from the National Crime Agency who also found another suspect, a 22-year old unnamed man from Fintona in Northern Ireland, the team responsible for identifying the accused Dutch – an Eastern Netherlands cybercrime unit investigated the suspect themselves and discovered that he owned and sold stolen passwords and usernames himself, taking advantage of the role he was working in, which they say facilitated the criminal activity.

Possible image of the suspected duo

Image Source: www.scpr.org

Head of the Northern Ireland Police Cyber Crime Centre, Detective Superintendent Richard Campbell, had this to say about the collaborative effort.

This significant operation involving PSNI, the NCA and the Dutch and German Police has disrupted a major organised crime gang who were selling people’s details for profit. We were pleased to play our part by arresting a 22-year-old man in Fintona on suspicion of Fraud and for encouraging or assisting contrary to S46 of the Serious Crime Act 2015. He has since been released on bail pending further enquiries.

He finished by saying,

This NCA-led investigation in partnership in PSNI and Dutch authorities demonstrates how law enforcement agencies can work together successfully to disrupt major crime taking place anywhere in the world. Let this be a clear warning there is no hiding space for cyber criminals.

Between the two accused, it is estimated that they made profits exceeding £200,000 from managing the site and received online payments that were tracked to each’s IP addresses and NCA officials claim to have found data that suggests that the identified accounts were also making payments to separate companies in Germany and New Zealand to host data.

Senior Investigating Officer at the NCA, Andrew Shorrock shared this about weleakinfo.com,

Cybercrime is a threat that crosses borders and so close international collaboration is crucial to tackling it. These arrests have resulted in the seizure of the site’s data which included 12 billion personal credentials and so work is continuing by law enforcement to mitigate these and notify the sites that were breached.

He added,

The data behind the site is a collaboration of more than 10,000 data breaches. Criminals rely on the fact that people duplicate passwords on multiple sites and data breaches such as these create the opportunity for fraudsters to exploit that.

He ended by cautioning internet users to exercise proper password hygiene and take advantage of the resources available of the NCA’s security centre website to help diminish the risk of cyberattack.

While the investigation is not yet complete, the collaborative work of all the agencies involved have resulted in the arrests of the two accused. As reported earlier, the weleakinfo.com site has since been seized by the FBI and is thought to have been handled by administrators in different countries and on different servers to avoid detection.

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