US DOJ Seizes RaidForums, A Hugely Popular Hacking Site Started By A 14 Year Old
The seizure is part of the culmination of Operation TOURNIQUET, a year-long coordinated effort and investigation involving authorities from the United States, Europol, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany, Sweden, and Romania. The seizure warrant includes the primary home of RaidForums, “raidforums.com,” as well as its two alternative domain names, “rf.ws” and “raid.lol.” The seizure was also accompanied by a number of arrests. The UK National Crime Agency (NCA) arrested a Portuguese 21 year-old by the name of Diogo Santos Coelho, who was found in Croydon, England. Coelho is suspected of being the administrator and founder of RaidForums, “Omnipotent.” Coelho would have been only 14 when RaidForums was launched back in 2015.
Coelho was identified as Omnipotent when US authorities obtained a warrant to search the electronic devices present in Coelho’s luggage while he was attempting to enter the US at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Investigators found text messages, files, and emails linking the then teenager to Omnipotent. Coelho tried to recover his devices by contacting the lead FBI case agent through email, using the same email address used to register the two alternate domain names for RaidForums.
Coelho has been charged with six criminal counts: one count of Conspiracy to Commit Access Device Fraud, four counts of Access Device Fraud, and one count of Aggravated Identity Theft. Coelho’s indictment accuses him of personally selling stolen data, as well as directly facilitating illicit transactions by offering an “Official Middleman Service.”
It wasn’t until yesterday that the authorities involved in Operation TOURNIQUET finally acknowledged their seizure of RaidForums. All three RaidForums domain names now display a notice informing visitors that the domain has been seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Secret Service, and the Department of Justice.