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Fintona arrest in global cyber crime investigation

A 22-YEAR-OLD man arrested in Fintona earlier this week is suspected of being “heavily involved” in the running of a website which provided access to more than 12 billion personal credentials to cyber criminals for as little as $2 per day.

The suspect was detained on suspicion of fraud and serious crime offences by the PSNI on Wednesday, following a major global policing operation.

He has since been released on bail, pending further enquiries.

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The National Crime Agency began investigating website weleakinfo.com, which is believed to host credentials taken from around 10,000 data breaches, in August 2019.

The credentials are known to have been used in further cyber attacks in the UK, Germany and the US.

Two 22-year-old males were identified during the course of the operation whom officers believe have made total profits in excess of £200,000 from the site.

One is the suspect arrested in Fintona, while the other was detained in the Netherlands by Dutch authorities on the same day.

Parallel investigations into weleakinfo.com were also being run by the German BKA and the FBI, who seized the domain and effected the takedown of the site at 11.30pm on Wednesday.

Online payments tracing back to IP address believed to have been used by the two men point them being heavily involved in the running of the site.

NCA officers found evidence of payments being made from these accounts to infrastructure companies in Germany and New Zealand to host its data.

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Law enforcement activity in the UK last year established links between the purchase of cyber crime tools, such as remote access Trojans (RATs) and cryptors, and weleakinfo.com.

Detective Superintendent Richard Campbell, Head of PSNI’s Cyber Crime Centre, said, “This significant operation involving PSNI, the NCA and the Dutch and German Police has disrupted a major organised crime gang who were selling people’s personal details for profit.

“We were pleased to play our part by arresting a 22-year-old man in Fintona on suspicion of fraud and for encouraging or assisting contrary to S46 of the Serious Crime Act 2015. He has since been released on bail pending further enquiries.

“This NCA-led investigation in partnership with PSNI and Dutch authorities demonstrates how law enforcement agencies can work together successfully to disrupt major crime taking place anywhere in the world. Let this be a clear warning there is no hiding place for cyber criminals.”

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