At its peak, xDedic listed over 70,000 owned servers that buyers could purchase for prices starting as low as $6 each.
US law enforcement authorities in collaboration with their counterparts in Belgium, Ukraine, and the Europol have taken down xDedic, a Russian language website notorious for selling stolen identity data and access to tens of thousands of compromised servers.
In a statement, the Justice Department described the site as facilitating more than $68 million in fraud over the past several years. Its victims have spanned the globe and include organizations across numerous sectors, among them accounting and law firms; pension funds; local, state and federal government entities; hospitals; and emergency services providers.
“The xDedic Marketplace operated across a widely distributed network and utilized bitcoin in order to hide the locations of its underlying servers and the identities of its administrators, buyers, and sellers,” the statement read. The site allowed buyers to search for stolen data and compromised servers by geography, price, operating system, and a variety of other criteria.
Orders to seize xDedic’s domain were executed last week, effectively shutting down the site. Its Web page has been replaced with a splash screen announcing the FBI seizure pursuant to a civil forfeiture warrant from the US District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
The Justice Department statement Monday described the FBI and criminal enforcement unit of the IRS as leading the US investigation with help from other federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security. A joint investigative team established in January 2018 led the European side of the investigation. It comprises members of the offices of Federal Prosecutor, the Investigating Judge of Belgium, and the Prosecutor General of Ukraine.
The xDedic takedown is significant because of the scope of the operation. Security researchers who have been tracking the website for years have …
Author: Jai Vijayan Freelance writer