COURT DOC: Buffalo Man Arrested as Part of Global Takedown of ‘Criminal Online Marketplace’

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April 17, 2023

“This week’s international takedown of an online marketplace selling stolen account login credentials ensnared a 26-year-old Buffalo man.”

“Federal prosecutors have accused Wul Isaac Chol of possessing online credentials of 21 people, totaling 778 different accounts, from Netflix and Twitter to Airbnb and Amazon, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.”

“Chol went on Genesis Market – which the Department of Justice described as a “criminal online marketplace” that sells access to social media, bank and email accounts – about 104 times between June 13, 2019, and May 10, 2022. Some of his activity happened on computers at a Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, according to court documents.”

“About 120 alleged users of Genesis Market around the world have been arrested as part of the law enforcement activity, which included the seizure of 11 domain names, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.”

“Genesis Market put up for sale more than 80 million account credentials stolen from more than 1.5 million compromised devices since March 2018, the Department of Justice said.”

“Federal investigators allegedly linked Chol to a Genesis Market account, in part, by tracing a cryptocurrency transaction to a Buffalo address where Chol lived and an email he allegedly used. They also got a search warrant for his Facebook account and obtained messages in which he discussed with another Facebook user stolen identities or stolen credit card information, as well as obtaining gift cards with money on them, according to the complaint.”

“In addition to commonly stolen account credentials, like Google, Instagram, Hulu and other popular services, other stolen credentials allegedly possessed by Chol included Los Angeles County jury duty portal, British Gas, Iowa Workforce Development Unemployment Insurance weekly claim and Dallas Baptist University Online Library.”

“Genesis Market compiled stolen data taken from computers infected with malware and sold it, according to the federal complaint against Chol.”

“Prices varied, with some sets of a person’s credentials available for $10 to $20. Prices depended on the number of accounts, how recently the malware was planted on the device where the data came from and whether the data contained a “fingerprint.” A fingerprint is information third-party applications use to identify a device and having them allows the sites or applications to see the device as a trusted source.”

“Genesis Market also provides a proprietary plug-in, which allows the person with the stolen credentials to “masquerade” as the victim’s computer or device, according to the complaint.” (Source: Buffalo News)

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