Instead of being located on the darknet, RaidForums hosted sensitive financial information and was a central online marketplace for hackers. Diego Santos Coelho, 21, of Portugal, the organization's founder and chief administrator, was arrested in the UK on 31 January.


Although he has since been released, officers seized £5,000 in cash and thousands of dollars under investigation. They activated a freeze on crypto assets worth more than half a million dollars at his arrest.


Criminal marketplace 


Recorded Future estimates that the site has more than 530,000 registered members, making it a powerful tool among low-level and mid-level cybercriminals. Some of the stolen data included credit card numbers, bank account numbers, usernames, and passwords of UK companies, which hackers bought and sold.


Investigators found that the forum operated a membership scheme. Users of the site paid up to 10 euros for access to chatrooms where they could share pictures and data related to cybercrime.


International Operation 


Operation Tourniquet involved the international partners shutting down RaidForums and conducting several arrests.


Steven M D'Antuono of the FBI said: 'The seizure of the RaidForums website, which facilitated the sale of stolen data from millions of people worldwide. The charges against the marketplace's administrator are a testament to the FBI's international partnerships.'


The US Secret Service's Jason Kane said: 'This investigation shows the US Secret Service's dedication to international law enforcement and the importance of our partnerships with foreign law enforcement counterparts in disrupting sophisticated networks of cybercriminals.'