Dutch Police Warn Former RaidForums Members to Delete Stolen Data and Stop Illegal Cyber Activities

The Dutch Police have sent emails to former members of RaidForums, a notorious hacking and data leak forum, warning them to delete any stolen data they downloaded and stop participating in illegal cyber activities. The police have also warned the former members that they are not anonymous and their actions are being monitored.

RaidForums was a well-known forum that hosted, leaked, and sold stolen data obtained from breached organizations. Threat actors who frequented the forum would hack into websites or access exposed database servers to steal customer information. The stolen data would then be sold to other threat actors, who use it for their campaigns, such as phishing attacks, cryptocurrency scams, or distributing malware. In some cases, the stolen data would be leaked for free on RaidForums to gain reputation among the community.

In April 2022, the website and infrastructure of RaidForums were seized in an international law enforcement operation, with the site’s administrator, Omnipotent, and two accomplices arrested.

Dutch Police Analysis of Seized RaidForums Forum Database

According to the Dutch National Police (Politie), they have identified former members of RaidForums by analyzing the seized forum database. The database would have contained members’ email addresses, registration IP addresses, and the IP addresses used when posting and downloading files from the site. This data can then be used to identify members, their location, and their involvement in the site.

Politie says that the analysis of this data has already led to the arrest of three people who extorted companies by threatening to leak stolen data if a ransom was not paid.

The Dutch Police have sent thousands of emails, hundreds of letters, and conducted stop calls to warn former members of RaidForums. The sent emails were titled “Police warning to Raidforums users.” In a screenshot of the email shared with Tweakers.net, the Dutch Police asked RaidForums members to delete any stolen or traded data they downloaded and warned that “You are less anonymous online than you think.”

Politie told IT Services that in addition to sending emails and letters, the Dutch Police have been conducting “stop calls” with minors involved in RaidForums. During these calls, minors and their parents are provided with information about the possible consequences of cybercrime. “Such a conversation is more effective than a letter for this target group,” Politie told IT Services.

Many members of data leak communities like RaidForums are minors who are enticed by the thrill of hacking into networks and websites and being able to share their activities with a community of like-minded peers.

Outreach Programs to Deter Young People from Getting Involved in Cybercrime

The Dutch Police have created an outreach program called GameChangers to deter young people from getting involved in cybercrime and instead turning to a white hat career. The UK National Crime Agency (NCA) has a similar program known as Cyber Choices that aims to prevent young people from getting involved in cybercrime.

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