A major black market specializing in personal data has just closed its doors. After years of operation, the marketplace has fallen into the nets of American justice.
SSNDOB Marketplace, a black market specializing in the sale of personal data, has just been dismantled. In a statement, the United States Department of Justice announced the seizure “of a series of websites that have operated for years and have been used to sell personal information”.
The operation was carried out jointly by the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of Justice, the police of Cyprus and Latvia. Authorities in both countries allowed US agents to seize 4 domains hosting the marketplace, namely ssndob.ws, ssndob.vip, ssndob.club and blackjob. If you try to access these sites, a warning message will appear on the screen, announcing that “this domain has been seized” in the “framework for coordinated police action”.
Data of 24 million Americans compromised
According to the American justice, the market SSNDOB Marketplace listed the personal data of 24 million Americans. Among the information offered for sale were names, dates of birth and social security numbers. Thanks to this data, a criminal is able to usurp the identity of an individual.
“Identity theft can have a devastating impact on a victim’s long-term emotional and financial health”, underlines Darrell Waldon, the special agent of the IRS in charge of the operation. According to a study by Juniper Researchlosses due to online payment fraud will exceed $206 billion between 2021 and 2025.
To promote their services, black market administrators have broadcast advertisements on dark web crime forums. US authorities estimate that hackers earned more than US$19 million from the marketplace.
$22 million in Bitcoin
On his side, chain analysis, a well-known blockchain analytics firm, believes that the black market has generated more revenue. While studying the blockchain, analysts discovered that SSNDOB Marketplace received $22 million worth of Bitcoin since 2015. More than 100,000 transactions have been recorded in the space of 7 years.
To hide their identity, the administrators imposed payments in cryptocurrencies on buyers. This is the case for most black markets, including DarkMarket, which was dismantled last year. To purchase stolen data, customers first had to deposit digital currencies into an online wallet. The funds could then be used for purchases.
By analyzing the blockchain, Chainalysis discovered a link between the black market and Joker’s Stash. According to the researchers, it is a dark web market specializing in stolen credit cards. It appears that SSNDOB sent over 100,000 in Bitcoin to an address held by Joker’s Stash between December 2018 and June 2019. The marketplace closed in February 2021. Since opening in 2014, the Joker’s Stash site had generated over a billion dollars in revenue.
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A black market for the sale of personal data has been dismantled
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