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FBI Arrests 'Pompompurin' in Potentially Big 'Device Fraud' Case

The FBI arrested a 19-year-old New York man accused of running one of the most notorious underground marketplaces for criminals to buy and sell stolen personal information, phone takeovers and harassment. An agent said Conor Brian Fitzpatrick had admitted operating BreachForums under the screen name Pompompurin. So far, he has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud, which often refers to the use of stolen credit card or other information, reports the Washington Post. Pompompurin has a long history of causing online havoc. In 2021, the hacker claimed responsibility for breaching an FBI portal that the agency uses to communicate with law enforcement partners and sending phony emails.

BreachForums has been around for a year. It sprung up to take the place of RaidForums, another English-language forum that had a similar design and was seized by the FBI in 2022. BreachForums has amassed thousands of users, with Pompompurin vouching for some of them and adjudicating disputes. Among the items for sale have been millions of email addresses and phone numbers associated with Twitter accounts. Most recently, hackers claimed to offer sensitive information from a Washington, D.C., health service breach that included members of Congress. In postings on the site Friday, users noted that Pompompurin had not been heard from in two days and wished him well. The trade in stolen data has made criminal hacking an easy road to profit with relatively little risk, because arrests are rare. Phone account takeovers, which can make use of corrupt telecommunication employees or hacks of the big companies, have drawn less public and congressional scrutiny. However, hackers have used the tactic to steal millions of dollars from cryptocurrency and bank accounts where phone numbers are used for authentication.


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