The creator of one of the world’s largest forums for stolen database sales was arrested last Wednesday, Mar 15th after being on the scope of law enforcement for a number of years. Rising from the ashes of its predecessor, RaidForums – which was dismantled last year – BreachForums hosts the sale of almost 15 billion records across 888 leaked databases, purchasable with Bitcoin or Monero via the site’s clearnet or darknet URLs.
Conor Brian Fitzpatrick, 21, was arrested by the FBI at home in Peekskill, New York, on March 15 via probable cause warrant, just a few days after BreachForum’s one-year anniversary. Shortly after his arrest, he confessed to federal agents that he is the owner and administrator of BreachForums and had used the online alias pompompurin, which is connected to several high profile data breaches. The site made national news earlier this month when the personal data of US House of Representative members and their staff were leaked from a health insurance provider and made available for sale there.
Pompompurin’s user page on BreachForums, indicating he is now banned.
Despite the arrest, BreachForums remains up and online on both its Tor and clearnet URLs. Co-admin Baphomet has assumed the primary leadership role for the site, posting the following about pompompurin in a PGP-signed message in a thread on the forum:
“I pretty much already assumed the worst at nearly 24 hours of inactivity. It’s not often Pom is gone an extended period of time, and he’s always let me know ahead of time if that would be the case. He’s also never been inactive this long on both Telegram, Element and the forum at the same time…
I decided to remove his access to all important infrastructure and restricted his forum account to still login but not to carry out any administrator actions. I also… have been constantly monitoring everything and going through every log to see any access or modifications to Breached infra. So far nothing like that has been seen.” – BreachForums admin Baphomet
Dozens of members expressed sympathy for their forum’s founder under Baphomet’s message, with many remarking that he was a “nice guy” and more rallying for his release.
After a brief appearance in a Virginia federal court, Fitzpatrick was released on a $300,000 bond not long after his arrest. He is due to head back to court on Mar 24th. He faces one count of “conspiracy to solicit individuals with the purpose of selling unauthorized access device.”