Ukraine’s law enforcement apprehended 51 defendants suspected of selling stolen personal data on hacker forums to millions of people worldwide, including in Ukraine, the United States, and Europe.
According to the Cyberpolice Department of Ukraine’s National Police, about 100 databases containing personal data important for 2020-2021 were confiscated due to the operation. More than 300 million individuals of Ukraine, Europe, and the United States were included in the captured databases.
Following this large-scale investigation, Ukrainian authorities also took down one of the most popular sites for selling stolen personal information from both Ukrainians and foreigners (the name of the site was not provided in the news release). Suspects were selling a wide range of stolen personal data, including phone numbers, last names, first names, residences, and, in some cases, car registration information, on the now-defunct criminal marketplace.
According to Serhiy Lypka, Head of the Department for Combating Crimes in the Field of Computer Systems, the attackers sold information on closed hacker forums, social networks, and messengers. A total of 117 searches were carried out across Ukraine’s various regions. More than 90,000 TB of data was eliminated as a consequence. The suspects were caught after a November operation called “DATA,” which aimed to curb the unauthorized dissemination of stolen personal data on black market websites.
Ukraine has tightened down on cybercrime within its borders throughout the year, with recent arrests of DDoS attack threat actors, ransomware gang members, and money launderers. Last month, the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) detained five suspected members of the worldwide ‘Phoenix’ hacking organization, which specializes in remote hacking of mobile devices, in Kyiv and Kharkiv.
In September, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) shut down a network of six call centers in Lviv that were being used by a scam ring to defraud cryptocurrency investors all over the world. Based on over 7,000 allegations received since October 2020, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimated over $80 million loss to cryptocurrency investment scams.