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Check your data security following takedown of online criminal marketplace

Cybercrime officers at EMSOU have been supporting the National Crime Agency (NCA) following an international operation to take-down one of the biggest illicit online marketplaces selling stolen credentials to criminals.

The NCA-coordinated action has so far led to 26 arrests in the UK. The East Midlands team is currently developing intelligence gained from the marketplace, with a view to enforcing, where and when appropriate.

The activity follows the takedown of Genesis Market, which sold millions of compromised credentials stolen from online accounts belonging to two million victims across the world. It was a go-to platform for those seeking to defraud people, having hosted one of the largest collections of compromised data on the criminal market.

The network’s main criminal commodity was digital identities, offering ‘bots’ for sale that had infected devices through cyber-attacks conducted against members of the public and companies across a variety of sectors. Upon purchasing a bot, criminals would get access to all the data harvested by it, such as fingerprints, cookies, saved logins and autofill form data. Those arrested in the coordinated action were all customers of the site, who paid for access to the compromised data and are suspected to have used it to further defraud victims, or commit cyber offences.

EMSOU Cyber Sergeant Nick Stenner said: “Cyber crime is a key enabler of the vast majority of fraud, which is now the single largest crime type in the UK, affecting more people than any other. There is no geographical breakdown for where the two million victims of the Genesis Market are based, but this has the potential to impact anyone with an online account, so it’s important to check if you have been targeted.

“Visit Check your Hack to check whether your data or accounts have been compromised and accessed. If you have been targeted, report to Action Fraud via its online reporting portal and quote ‘Genesis’.

“Whether or not you have been targeted, ensure you are securing your accounts and devices against criminals. Use three random words to create strong passwords for each account and use 2-step verification, where possible. You can even make use of you browser’s password manager to safely store passwords. This is easy to use, hard to crack by criminals and will save you from having to memorise your passwords.”

For the latest news, advice and free webinars on cyber security check out the East Midlands Cyber Secure website here.

For further guidance and advice from the NCA, visit its website here.


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