Darkode was a secretive, password protected society of elite hackers, and this forum was used as a meeting place, and place to purchase and trade of hacking tools since 2008.
FBI arrested people from 20 countries and indictments for 70 individuals, including 12 in the U.S., from Wisconsin to Louisiana.
U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton said, “The FBI has effectively smashed the hornets’ nest and we are in the process of rounding up and charging the hornets.”
Adding to this Hickton explained how Darkode was one of the greatest threats to online security, mentioning one forum member who put up software (for a price of $65,000) that can take over cellphones. He said that how a user offered the ability to steal and sell lists of friends on Facebook.
According to the FBI’s Special Agent in Charge Scott S. Smith the arrests came after a two-year of undercover operation that infiltrated the forum.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette explains how the investigation started: “Following a lead generated in Pittsburgh around 18 months ago, the FBI cybersquad here launched Operation Shrouded Horizon. The bureau’s local office assembled a coalition that started domestically with the bureau’s offices in Washington, D.C., San Diego, New Orleans and San Francisco, and extended to online enforcement teams in 20 countries, including numerous European countries, Israel, Australia, Colombia, Brazil and Nigeria.”
Federal officials say the investigation into Darkode is continuing.