18 countries coordinated an international law enforcement clampdown and took down Darkode, which was a cybercrime forum that was frequented by notorious hacking groups such as Lizard Squad and others.
As of now, visitors of the site can see a notice of the clampdown from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in conjunction with Europol and 17 other international law enforcement agencies.
The operation was confirmed by an NCA spokesperson on Wednesday to the Guardian. The details of the operation are still unavailable although it is understood that the operation was led by the FBI’s Pennsylvania field office.
In the clampdown, over 60 hackers were arrested from different countries that include, Denmark, India, the UK, Germany, Israel, Sweden, and Romania.
Darkode was established in 2007 as a place to trade, or sell hacking tools among many other things, including stolen data such as credit card information, email addresses, information on different bugs and vulnerabilities, etc.
As soon as the internet relay chat server was set up it was mostly used by a hacking group named Lizard Squad. This group has been responsible for many attacks that include cyberattacks on Sony, Taylor Swift, and others.
The site was closed off from the outside world for its protection and was an invite-only site. The owners of the website claimed that it was hosted on a server that was “bulletproof” and that it could resist law enforcements.
It was during 2011 when security researchers started taking interest in this website's administrators and started clamping down on access.