The advertised products included personal information from customers who participated in an automobile auction, personal information of 39,000 people from a database of Social Security numbers and 20 million emails and usernames that could be used to target people for identity theft, phishing emails or other schemes.
The programs for sale included “ransomware,” a virus that can lock a computer or network until a ransom is paid to the hacker who installed it.
Those arrested or searched live in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Bosniz-Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Israel, Latvia, Macedonia, Nigeria, Romania, Serbia and Sweden. There are victims in all of those countries, and others, authorities said.
Darkode is responsible for hundreds of millions in financial losses, the FBI said. The scale of the investigation, which involved 20 countries, was unprecedented.