US Sanctions Genesis Market

The U.S. government has imposed sanctions on popular cybercrime-facilitation website Genesis Market.

The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action to designate Genesis Market, one of the world’s largest illicit marketplaces, for its part in the theft and sale of device credentials and related sensitive information.

Genesis Market is believed to operate out of Russia and sells stolen credentials from leading U.S. companies and facilitates cybercrimes against them.

Genesis Market gains unauthorized access to victim devices and offers stolen data, including usernames and passwords, for sale.

It has both an internet and a darknet presence and is one of the most prominent brokers of stolen credentials and other sensitive information. Genesis Market identifies victim computer systems and gains unauthorized access to them, selling this access to cybercriminals for further exploitation. Its website compiles stolen victim data, including computer and mobile device identifiers, email addresses, usernames, passwords, and other credentials, from malware-infected systems around the globe and packages it for sale.

As of February 1, 2023, there were approximately 460,000 packages listed for sale on Genesis Market, each of which represents a single, compromised victim computer or device, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

These packages contain stolen passwords and personal information for a variety of online accounts, including email, social media, and video streaming platforms, among others.

Genesis Market sells stolen credentials from leading U.S. and international companies and facilitates cybercrimes against them. In June 2021, a U.S. company was breached by hackers who stole sensitive data, including a software engine and source code. The hackers were able to access the U.S. company’s system because of a cookie purchased from Genesis Market.

Genesis Market has also been used by cybercriminals to target U.S. government organizations.

Secretary of State Antony Binken said the United States will continue efforts to protect U.S. businesses from malicious cyber actors, disrupt the illicit marketplaces activities, and impose consequences on the cybercriminals who use their services. He urged all U.S. businesses to remain vigilant and enhance security and resilience efforts in the face of growing cybercriminal threats.

Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson said the Treasury will continue to work closely with law enforcement authorities to disrupt this activity and hold malign cyber actors accountable.

Genesis Market website was shutdown in a global law enforcement crackdown earlier this week.

In a series of simultaneous raids by law enforcement agencies from 17 countries that began at dawn on Tuesday, 120 suspected users of the site were arrested. The operation was led by the FBI in the US and the Dutch National Police in Europe.

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