On Wednesday, news broke the the Department of Justice dismantled the storied computer hacking forum Darkode and filed criminal charges against 12 people in the US who were allegedly associated with the website. Darkode, which has been around since 2007, was one of the few online marketplaces for English-speaking hackers (most others are in Russian). US attorney David J. Hickton described Darkode as “the most sophisticated English-speaking forum for criminal computer hackers in the world,” in the Department of Justice’s press release. Getting access to the website was a mini feat. Every user had to be vetted by another user, and also provide proof of their own hacking prowess. “Only those proposed for membership by an existing user could join, but not until they posted a resumé of the skills and achievements that could contribute to the criminal community. There was a hierarchical membership structure, and the status of users determined who they could communicate with, and their access to the commodities and services on offer,” wrote the UK’s National Crime Agency. But once users gained access to Darkode, they were given access to an insane cornucopia of hacking products. Journalist Brian Krebs was granted access, and kept a low profile for years on […]
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