The FBI this week shut down Deer.io, a Russia-based hacker platform through which criminals could buy access to virtual storefronts and sell illegal products or services. Officials arrested its suspected administrator, alleged Russian hacker Kirill Victorovich Firsov, charging him with crimes related to hacking US companies for customers' personal data, the Department of Justice reports.
Cyberstores hosted on Deer.io sold a range of hacked personally identifiable information (PII), financial and corporate data, and compromised user accounts from several US companies. Shoppers could buy computer files, financial data, PII, and credentials stolen from machines infected with malware located in the US and around the world. Since it began operations in October 2013, Deer.io claims to have more than 24,000 active shops with sales in excess of $17 million.
An attacker who wanted to buy data from a Deer.io shop could use a Web browser to access the Deer.io domain, which resolved to Deer.io storefronts. There they could search for user accounts or PII from specific companies or browse different criminal services for sale.
In early March, FBI investigators bought about 1,100 gamer accounts and thousands of PII accounts from multiple Deer.io shops. They confirmed 249 gamer accounts were related to a specific company, which confirmed the accounts were legitimate and could grant an attacker access to a victim's media library and linked payment methods. PII accounts revealed data the FBI used to identify names, birthdates, and Social Security numbers for American citizens.
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