Genesis Market, which became a haven for selling stolen personal data and information, has been shut down by multiple international police forces in a global sweep. 

Dubbed as the ‘Amazon for Crime’, up to 120 people worldwide were arrested and a further 200 searches were conducted by crime agencies such as the FBI and the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA), and expanded to upwards of 17 countries.  

Reports reveal that the people behind Genesis Market were selling personal information at a start price of 56p each and contained as much as 80 million sets of credential data, which accounted for nearly two million victims. 

The cybercrime operation worked as a program to tap and hack into personal and sensitive data, such as online banking accounts, PayPal and Amazon account information and more worryingly, digital fingerprints from mobile phones to bypass biometric securities. 

The cybercriminals who helped run Genesis Market could only be invited via an invite from another member, there they would be provided a step-by-step guide on how to buy stolen information and how to use it for fraud to disguise themselves as victims to bypass banking security systems. 

Log-in details, passwords, search history and keychain autofill information were all accessed by Genesis Market operators to help initiate fraud attacks by deploying secret malware to the victims devices and were able to change passwords and other information in real-time. 

“Genesis Market is one of the top criminal access marketplaces anywhere in the world,” stated Head of Cyber Intelligence for the NCA, William Lyne

“Genesis Market is an enormous enabler of fraud and a range of other criminal activity online by facilitating that initial access to victims, which is a critical part of the business model in a whole range of nefarious activity.”

It has been reported that ‘tens of thousands’ of British victims were affected by the cybercriminal network as data was being sold as low as 56p, all the way up to hundreds of pounds. 

Rob Jones, Director General of the National Economic Crime Centre, commented on Genesis Markets’ activity: “This is the problem for us in the online world – you don’t need to know a criminal to start. 

“You can completely self-start and go looking for this and get everything you need to perpetrate a crime, and so that is why this is so damaging. You don’t have to go and meet somebody, you don’t have to go into a shadowy forum. 

“Our approach to tackling the criminal marketplace is that cyber criminals won’t know who they’re interacting with and won’t know for certain that they are dealing with a criminal.”