In a bizarre incident, the FBI has arrested 70 hackers in an operation to bust a hacking forum. Out of the 12 Americans against whom the charges were filed, one of them is actually an informant who worked with the FBI to help them gain access to the hackers’ forum.
The operation is termed to be the largest till date and involved bringing down a forum named Darkode. It is an online forum protected by passwords and was used as a medium by hackers to sell sensitive information such as the passwords, tools and methods to hack computers as well as was used to share and sell malware applications.
Darkode, according to the authorities is the largest malware sharing forum in the world and involved trading of botnets. Botnets are the computers that are infected with the malware and the access to these computers are sold to hackers who can then become botnet operators by acquiring the access to these computers. The operation to bring down Darkode was christened ‘Operation Shrouded Horizon’ and was initiated a year and half ago. Rory Stephan Guidry, a 28 year old man from Louisiana has worked with the FBI in the past and hence he was approached by the FBI to help them bust Darkode.
The process to become a member of the forum required hackers to be invited by an existing forum member after which the invited members had to display their hacking skills. To prove his efficiency and to gain the trust of other forum members, Guidry stole the botnet of Lizard Squad that brought down PlayStation and Xbox live networks on the Christmas Day last year. Guidry supplied this code to the forum to gain their trust and get onto the inside from where he helped the FBI.
Despite this, Guidry himself was charged and arrested by the FBI claiming that that he shared malware and allowed the other forum members to gain an access to the botnet. Despite working for the interests of the FBI, Guidry is behind the bars and this will deter other hackers in the future to trust the federal agencies such as the FBI.