Operation Cookie monster
With the help of the authorities of 17 countries, the Genesis Market’s website had been seized. This operation was called “Operation Cookie Monster”. There was a banner placed on the dark web marketplace, and the domain was transferred to the FBI. Many of the site’s users have been arrested. Further research will be done to fully understand the damage that has been done.
The Genesis Marketplace had a focus on trading digital goods such as “online fingerprints”, which they obtained by maliciously infecting unsuspecting computers with malware.
An online fingerprint includes information about cookies, internet protocol addresses and other browser or operating system details. They can be used by a cybercriminal for bypassing anti-fraud solutions, such as two-factor authentication or signing in with a fingerprint. Allowing the hackers to get easy access to accounts of unsuspecting victims.
Who got hacked?
After some research, the police announced that at least 1.5 million of ‘information packages’ were sold. They assume there are more than 2 million victims, of which 50.000 are Dutch.
Several individuals reported incidents of their bank accounts, cryptocurrency wallets, or stock accounts being raided. Others discovered unauthorized purchases made in their name or the opening of bank accounts they did not authorize.
What you can do
To begin with, you can verify on this website if your email address has been made available on the Genesis Market.
Sadly, this problem isn’t solved by just renewing the passwords to your accounts. The hacker will just get an update of your new password, due to the malware. Fortunately, all antivirus programs are now capable of detecting the malware and removing it. Microsoft has also created an update that helps Windows Defender to remove the malware.
Make sure your computer is up-to-date! Additionally, remember to change your password after eliminating any suspicious malware.