WASHINGTON, July 15 (UPI) -- Federal officials announced Wednesday the takedown of the online forum Darkode, a clearinghouse for malware and stolen information.
An FBI posting said it infiltrated the 300-member, invitation-only platform two years ago, and gathered evidence against those "responsible for developing, distributing, facilitating, and supporting the most egregious and complex cybercriminal schemes." It credited an assortment of foreign and U.S. law enforcement organizations for help and cooperation, and noted 62 arrests around the world came from the investigation.
Darkode emerged as an online shopping site for malware, stolen personal information, cybersecurity evasion software and similar materials. The FBI said it took particular note of those "targeting victims and financial systems around the world." The Darkode website Wednesday was replaced by an announcement of the FBI seizure of the website.
"The FBI has effectively smashed the hornets' nest," U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton said, "and we are in the process of rounding up and charging the hornets."