The Department of Justice (DoJ) today announced a coordinated international effort that successfully shut down the cybercrime marketplace known as Genesis Market, which illegally sold account access credentials and other sensitive information.

The operation, dubbed Operation Cookie Monster, involved many FBI field offices and international partners who shut down the illicit websites and arrested many of the marketplace’s users.

“Working across 45 of our FBI Field Offices and alongside our international partners, the Justice Department has launched an unprecedented takedown of a major criminal marketplace that enabled cybercriminals to victimize individuals, businesses, and governments around the world,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.

“Our seizure of Genesis Market should serve as a warning to cybercriminals who operate or use these criminal marketplaces: the Justice Department and our international partners will shut down your illegal activities, find you, and bring you to justice,” he added.

Since its creation, the marketplace would infect innocent cyber bystanders with malware that would give them access to important information such as usernames and passwords of bank accounts, emails, and social media accounts that would then be sold on the site to the highest bidder.

“Today’s takedown of Genesis Market is a demonstration of the FBI’s commitment to disrupting and dismantling key services used by criminals to facilitate cybercrime,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray.

The operation was conducted after the FBI and international partners were sent “hundreds of leads” that showcased the criminal marketplace’s nefarious acts.

The DoJ is asking any individuals that have been a victim of the marketplace to get in contact with the FBI for any further assistance to determine the level of harm that was inflicted.

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.