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Man arrested in Northern Ireland suspected of trying to sell 12 billion stolen passwords online

Another man was arrested by police in the Netherlands.

Image: National Crime Agency

POLICE ARRESTED TWO men in the Netherlands and Northern Ireland suspected of trying to sell some 12 billion stolen usernames and passwords via an online website, Dutch police said today.

A 22-year-old man was arrested in the eastern Dutch city of Arnhem when police raided his house on a tip-off by a Dutch cyber crime unit working with Britain’s National Crime Agency, the FBI and the German police.

A second suspect, also aged 22, was arrested in Northern Ireland, Dutch police said in a statement.

Officers believe the pair made total profits in excess of £200,000 from the site. 

During the raid in Arnhem police found professional equipment which made it possible to sell the suspects’ offered services via the ‘We leak info’ website,” police said.

The Dutch suspect “is involved in the possession and offering hacked user names and passwords and played a facilitating role in regards to cyber crime,” law agents added.

When searched by AFP today, the website displayed a disclaimer saying: “This domain has been seized” by the FBI in conjunction with the other European law enforcement agencies.

Dutch police declined to give further information, saying the investigation was ongoing.
WeLeakInfo.com allegedly offered unlimited access to all information on its site for two dollars a day or 25 dollars a month, the NOS public broadcaster said.

The information was a collection of leaks and stolen passwords from popular websites and apps such as LinkedIn and MyFitnessPal.

“In theory, you could search hundreds or even thousands of leaked passwords to try and gain access to people’s emails, their social media and other accounts,” the NOS said.

Dutch and British police in 2018 led an operation in which they shut down a website linked to more than four million cyber attacks around the world.

National Crime Agency senior investigating officer Andrew Shorrock said: “We know that weleakinfo.com formed an extremely valuable part of a cyber criminals toolkit.

However, this significant criminal website has now been shut down as a result of an international investigation involving law enforcement agencies from five countries.
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.

© AFP 2020.

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