FBI took down SSNDOB market for selling personal data of 24M people

An online marketplace for names, social security numbers, and dates of birth of US people got seized

Law enforcement seizes the market for stolen dataNames, date of birth details, social security numbers got leaked on the marketplace that is now taken down

The international law enforcement operation ended in with the SSNDOB takedown. FBI seized the ID theft service for selling the personal information of 24 million people.[1] The Department of Justice announced[2] the operation that was conducted by the FBI, Internal Revenue Service, ad the DoJ, with the help of Cyprus Police and authorities from Latvia. Four domains hosting the marketplace have been seized as a part of this operation.[3]

The marketplace had the purpose of allowing the particular hackers and cybercriminals to purchase the Social security number, date of birth, and full information on people using Bitcoin funds.

A series of websites that operated for years and were used to sell personal information, including the names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers belonging to individuals in the United States.

SSNDOB trafficked the personal information of around 24 million individuals from the United States. There were a few instances when dates of birth for people in the UK also got placed on the site. The primary use was to distribute data on US citizens selling $0.50 per person or more.

Operators made at least $22 million from the sales of this personal information since April 2015. The marketplace consisted of multiple sites acting as mirrors of each other. This was the method to avoid DDoS attacks[4] or law enforcement operations.

Involvement of another darknet market

Analysts tracked these cryptocurrency payments and discovered that money has been split from SSNDOB and Joker's Stash.[5] between December 2018 and June 2019 $100,000 was sent to Joker's Stash. It is possible that two marketplaces share ownership. This is another darknet market that is specialized in containing stolen credit card information. It was closed up in January 2021. These transfers indicate the direct link between the two criminal storefronts.

Administrators of the marketplace launched advertising campaigns on the dark web criminal forums for the services. They provided customer support functions, and regularly monitored activities of the site, and purchases made via the platform to keep track of money deposited into their accounts.

These threat actors relied on methods to conceal their true identities, so anonymous online profiles were used. Server maintenance was also held from different countries and required potential buyers to use cryptocurrencies for anonymity and the risk of getting tracked. These criminals leveraged breaches and leaked databases of healthcare entities and hospitals to spruce the supply of personal data for the fraudsters.

The danger of stolen data usage

Identity theft can create a major impact on victims' life and long-term emotional health or cause financial losses. Since these fraudsters could obtain a whole list of different details about people including social security numbers, names, and full birth dates, these identity theft and scam issues can get out of hand.

SSNDOB was one of the bigger crime shops offering the collection of personal information for fraudsters and played an integral part in other fraud campaigns. A big bunch of the customers used the stolen data purchase for various scams like identity theft or bank fraud.

These law enforcement agencies rely on these operations to disrupt such marketplaces and services across the world. Malicious cyber activities grow out of place and led to major consequences.

Taking down the SSNDOB website disrupted ID theft criminals and helped millions of Americans whose personal information was compromised.

About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

Gabriel E. Hall is a passionate malware researcher who has been working for 2-spyware for almost a decade.

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