Roughly 3 years after first being taken down by European/international police in 2016, the infamous hacking forum known as “Dark0de” has officially come back online. For those of you whom may be unfamiliar with the sites legacy/history, originally founded in 2007, Dark0de went on become perhaps the single largest and most notorious hacking forum in the world up until the time of its closing just a few years ago. In fact, as described by Europol, the police organization which initially closed it, “Darkode is the most prolific English-speaking cybercriminal forum to date.”
The operation to close the forum, originally code-named “Operation Shrouded Horizon” by the FBI, ultimately resulted in the arrests of 70 people across 20 countries – including Denmark, Germany, India, Israel, Romania, Sweden, and the UK. At the time, then US Attorney General, Leslie Caldwell, called the closing of Dark0de “a milestone in our efforts to shut down criminals’ ability to buy, sell, and trade malware, botnets and personally identifiable information used to steal from US citizens and individuals around the world.” Also stating how she believed that “this operation is a great example of what international law enforcement can accomplish when we work closely together to neutralize a global cyber-crime marketplace.”
Learn More – Operation Shrouded Horizon: https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/cyber-criminal-forum-taken-down
ICYMI, dozens were nabbed in a takedown of the cybercrime forum Darkode http://t.co/6twZT2rXlW
— WIRED (@WIRED) July 16, 2015
— Symantec (@symantec) July 17, 2015
Today however, the site is now being managed by “Hitman,” the owner of Dark0de, as well as “Ownz” – the leader/founder of New World Hackers. At the current moment in time the site and its forums are back online and open for business – featuring categories/information such as leaks, forum resources, webmasters, malware, exploits & 0days, cracking, hacking, technology and gaming – among many more.
In statements made available to Rouge Media Labs, Dark0de‘s developers explained how “we plan to bring back Dark0de to give hackers a place to go to look for accounts, tools, proxies, methods, and configs – not to mention email:username combinations for cracking accounts.” According to Ownz, “the goal is to become the #1 hacking forum once again like done in the past back in 2013-2015.” Adding that “the reason we waited three years is because we were aware that there was an investigation ongoing because the actual original owner of the site was not ‘Hitman‘ but it was ‘Obstriegel‘ aka ‘Sp3cial1st‘ and we didn’t want the same troubles as he had trying to cover up what he had created.”
While the forum used to be associated almost primarily with the DarkNet, it is now freely available across the ClearNet. Aside from a change of ownership, the sites current developers claim that “nothing has changed, but we did add more site categories for Malware, Exploits, and the Marketplace” – etc. For example, the forum has already been restored to its previous version – with over 12,000 registered users, featuring +55,000 postings across +6,000 different threads.