Nov 1, 2023 at 1:31 PM Update: 12 minutes ago
After data theft, suspect Marko M. had 335,000 password combinations, security questions and credit card details. The Public Prosecution Service sees him as the Netherlands’ largest user of the criminal trading website Genesis Market.
M. appeared for the first time in the Rotterdam court on Wednesday. The 33-year-old man is said to have bought profiles so that he could pretend to be someone else and extort money from people in this way.
These profiles were offered on Genesis Market. That was a marketplace for criminals on the dark web, a hidden part of the internet. Genesis Market was taken offline in April in the international investigation Operation Cookiemonster.
For a certain amount of money, criminals were given access to a computer infected with a virus. The virus allowed the computer to be impersonated and at the same time obtained all usernames, passwords and cookies stored on these infected computers.
“With this you could take over the entire digital life of someone else in one fell swoop,” the public prosecutor said in court on Wednesday. There was no point in changing a password because it had already been updated by Genesis Market.
M. is said to have obtained more than 335,000 password combinations, security questions and credit card details in this way.
M. has previously been convicted of computer crime
The police announced in April this year that Genesis Market had been taken offline and that data from around 50,000 Dutch victims had been stolen. M. was in Brazil at the time, but was arrested on July 18 when he was in the Netherlands due to family circumstances.
During the investigation into M., the police discovered that he was also involved in phishing. A computer was fully equipped to send phishing campaigns. “The main theme is eHerkenning, a service of the Tax Authorities,” said the officer. “It contained a ready-made phishing text, software to send phishing emails and almost 100,000 email addresses.”
This also applied to a second computer, but with international sites.
Also striking was the discovery of a note on M.’s phone, entitled My Life. It seems to have been written by himself. “In the note, the suspect appears to describe his own criminal career, with some sense of drama,” the Public Prosecution Service said. “His own thoughts, the changing modus operandi, the ups and downs and his previous conviction.” M. appears to have already been sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for computer crime in 2017.
The court in Rotterdam decided that the suspect must remain in custody.