The Department of Justice (DoJ) announced Tuesday the seizure of RaidForums, one of the largest online cybercriminal forums globally, and criminal charges against its founder and chief administrator, Diogo Santos Coelho.

Coelho was arrested in the United Kingdom on Jan. 31, at the United States’ request and remains in custody pending the resolution of his extradition proceedings. According to recently unsealed court records, the United States obtained judicial authorization to seize three domains that long hosted the RaidForums website – raidforums.com, Rf.ws, and Raid.lol.

“The takedown of this online market for the resale of hacked or stolen data disrupts one of the major ways cybercriminals profit from the large-scale theft of sensitive personal and financial information,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, in a press release.

The seizure of RaidForum’s domains means that members can no longer use the site to traffic stolen data, according to the Feds. Indeed, the site is well known among cybercriminal circles as an online hub for buying and selling data stolen in cyberattacks.

From 2016 to 2022, RaidForums served as a major online marketplace for individuals to buy and sell hacked or stolen databases containing the sensitive personal and financial information of victims in the United States and elsewhere, including stolen bank routing and account numbers, credit card information, login credentials, and social security numbers.

Additionally, RaidForums also operated as an online venue for organizing and supporting forms of electronic harassment – the practice of making false reports to public safety agencies of situations that would necessitate a significant, and immediate armed law enforcement response.

“This global investigation signifies the remarkable dedication of the U.S. Secret Service and highlights our partnerships with our foreign law enforcement counterparts essential to disrupting sophisticated networks of cyber criminals,” said Special Agent in Charge Jason D. Kane of the U.S. Secret Service’s Criminal Investigative Division.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.
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