Following news of the arrest by the FBI of the alleged BreachForums leader last week, the criminal marketplace tried to keep going.
But on Tuesday the inevitable happened: In a Telegram message within the site’s channel, the administrator “baphomet” announced it was closed. Whether it will be resurrected isn’t clear.
“I will be taking down the forum,” the administrator wrote, according to researchers at Flashpoint, “as I believe we can assume that nothing is safe anymore. I know that everyone wants the forum up, but there is no value in short-term gain for what will likely be a long-term loss by propping up Breached as it is.
“I want to make it clear, that while this initial announcement is not positive, it’s not the end. I’m going to setup another Telegram group for those who want to see what follows. You are allowed to hate me, and disagree with my decision but I promise what is to come will be better for us all.
“As stated in the attached message please give me 24 hours to get some rest and give thought to how we move on from here. I will be back online after that, and we will talk. I am going nowhere.”
The cybercrime underground has continually demonstrated resilience, says Flashpoint. “While an arrest or takedown can result in a short-term disruption, its activity will likely be replaced by some alternative.”
If “baphomet” is able to revive the forum, it will be the second time it has been resurrected. In February 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) seized Raid Forums as part of an international law enforcement action. It is believed Pompompurin, who had been active on Raid Forums, then went into business for himself.
According to Flashpoint, the Russian invasion of Ukraine shortly after the Raid Forums seizure had something to do with it. Following the invasion, a Raid Forums administrator announced on Telegram that the site would ban all users found to be connecting from Russia. Because there was large amount of anti-Russian sentiment from the Raid Forums user base, Breach Forums became a more appealing alternative for Raid’s displaced users.