Genesis Market suspect arrest
The arrest of a suspect in the Genesis Market case. Image: National Crime Agency

Police arrest almost 120 people globally following Genesis Market takedown

Within 24 hours of the FBI-led takedown of the Genesis Market cybercrime platform, police say they have arrested around 120 people globally.

Genesis Market was seized on Tuesday in a law enforcement swoop titled Operation Cookie Monster led by the FBI and the Dutch National Police and involving 17 countries in total.

Genesis — which functioned as a one-stop-shop for criminals, selling both stolen credentials and the tools to weaponize that data — has been linked to millions of financially motivated cyber incidents globally, from fraud through to ransomware attacks.

Europol said: “The takedown of Genesis Market was a priority for law enforcement given the platform’s ability to facilitate all types of cybercrime.”

Read more: Genesis Market, one of world’s largest platforms for cyber fraud, seized by police

Genesis uniquely provided criminals with a custom-built browser that allowed them to import stolen credentials and impersonate victims — including IP addresses, session cookies, operating system information, and plugins — defeating the identity checks used by online services, including for banking.

Britain’s National Crime Agency said it had identified “hundreds” of the platform’s users in the U.K., resulting in 47 warrants being executed on Tuesday.

The NCA stated: “19 people were arrested in the UK, including two men, aged 34 and 36, who were detained by the NCA in Grimsby on suspicion of Computer Misuse Act and fraud offences.”

Alongside the 119 arrests, there have been 208 property searches and 97 “knock and talk measures” according to Europol, referring to interventions by police to discourage often young platform users from engaging in cybercrime.

Rob Jones, one of the NCA’s most senior officers focusing on cybercrime, said: “Behind every cyber criminal or fraudster is the technical infrastructure that provides them with the tools to execute their attacks and the means to benefit financially from their offending.

“Genesis Market was a prime example of such a service and was one of the most significant platforms on the criminal market. Its removal will be a huge blow to criminals across the globe,” added Jones.

In a public warning, Europol said that “with over 1.5 million bots listed on Genesis Market, chances are that your credentials have already ended up for sale on this criminal marketplace.”

Dutch Police have created a special portal for potential victims to check whether their information has been compromised by entering their details to compare them to listings that the police seized.

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Alexander Martin

Alexander Martin

is the UK Editor for Recorded Future News. He was previously a technology reporter for Sky News and is also a fellow at the European Cyber Conflict Research Initiative.