Arnhem man arrested for selling 12 billion usernames, passwords on WeLeakInfo site

Website 'We leak info' seized for selling stolen usernames and passwords, January 2020
Website 'We leak info' seized for selling stolen usernames and passwords, January 2020FBI/U.S. DOJ

The police arrested a 22-year-old man from Arnhem on Wednesday on suspicion of offering about 12 billion stolen usernames names and passwords for sale on website WeLeakInfo. The arrest was made as part of a joint investigation by the Dutch police, the United Kingdom's National Crime Agency, the United States' FBI, and Germany's Bundeskriminalamt.

The Oost-Nederland police launched an investigation after receiving a tip from the National Crime Agency (NCA). The investigation led to the 22-year-old Arnhem man. He was arrested on Wednesday and two addresses in Arnhem were searched, the police said in a statement on Friday. As part of the international investigation, a 22-year-old man in Northern Ireland was also taken into custody.

At the Dutch suspect's home, the police found professional equipment used to provide the services offered via the WeLeakInfo website, the police said. "The suspect is involved in possessing and offering stolen usernames and passwords and has a facilitating role when it comes to cybercrime." Tackling facilitators is an important step in the fight against cybercrime, the police argued.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the site contained personal data obtained in over 10 thousand data breaches. It involved over 12 billion names, email addresses, usernames, phone numbers, and passwords for online accounts. 

The WeLeakInfo website was offering subscribers access to their site for a fee before it was taken down by the FBI, which seized the .com domain name. When the website was active, it offered a one-day trial for just two dollars, giving visitors unlimited access to search and save user data from stolen or hacked databases. Three months of access cost 70 dollars, a month cost 25 dollars, and one week was available for seven dollars. Each plan promised around-the-clock support for anyone having difficulty with the site.

The investigation is still ongoing. "For that reason, more specific information cannot be shared," police in the Netherlands said. 

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