New findings from the Public Prosecutor’s Office in the Netherlands have identified Maric M. as the country’s most significant user of the now-defunct criminal trading platform, Genesis Market. M., 33, made his initial appearance in the Rotterdam District Court on Wednesday, facing charges of identity theft and financial fraud.
The Genesis Market, a notorious dark web marketplace that catered to cybercriminals, was dismantled in April as part of an international operation dubbed “Operation Cookiemonster.” M. allegedly exploited this platform to purchase compromised profiles, enabling him to masquerade as other individuals and consequently defraud them.
For a specified fee, the Genesis Market provided cybercriminals with access to computers infected with malware. The virus enabled the cloners to capture all usernames, passwords, and cookies stored on the compromised machines. “This allowed for the complete takeover of another individual’s entire digital life,” stated the Public Prosecutor during Wednesday’s court session.
Efforts to change passwords were rendered ineffective as they were promptly updated by the Genesis Market.
M. Allegedly Amasses 335,000 Sets of Compromised Data
Through these nefarious activities, M. is said to have accumulated over 335,000 combinations of passwords, security questions, and credit card information. The data breach affected approximately 50,000 Dutch citizens, as disclosed by the police in April.
Previous Convictions for Computer Crimes
Further investigation into M. unveiled his involvement in phishing activities. One of his computers was fully equipped to launch phishing campaigns, primarily targeting eHerkenning, a service provided by the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. The machine contained ready-made phishing texts, software for sending phishing emails, and nearly 100,000 email addresses.
Notably, M. was found to have drafted a note on his phone titled “My Life,” seemingly chronicling his criminal activities.
According to the Public Prosecutor1, “The note appears to dramatically outline his criminal career, including his changing modus operandi and previous convictions.” M. had already been sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for computer crimes in 2017.
Given the gravity of the charges and his prior convictions, the Rotterdam District Court has ruled that M. will remain in custody.
- https://www.nu.nl/tech/6287817/verdachte-in-cybercrimezaak-cookiemonster-beschreef-eigen-criminele-carriere.html ↩︎