By using an unusual method, the Genesis Market's management was able to elude the FBI and get around US sanctions.
The successful sale of the platform appears to have taken place despite the FBI's active efforts to liquidate and seize the foundation of the Genesis Market in April 2023. The criminal organisation that controls Genesis Market has disclosed that an unidentified buyer has purchased the website.
A few months ago, on April 4, Genesis Market, one of the most important trading platforms used by cybercriminals, was taken over as part of a global law enforcement operation directed by the FBI. The US Treasury Department's sanctions list listed Genesis Market and the Genesis Market.onion site as being based in Russia, and all three site domains were listed.
One of the Genesis Market operators attempted to allay user concerns in the early days following the FBI raid by asserting that the FBI had only seized public web domains and that the darknet version of the market was still anonymous and secure. Due to concerns that it is still under the control of the FBI and that everything that occurs is a big bluff, criminals have not yet dared to use the darknet version of the site.
The Genesis Market, along with the source code and database, was put up for sale on a hacker forum at the end of June. The cybersecurity industry is sceptical of an attempt by the site's operators to sell it. The announcement may have been a part of an FBI sting operation, according to experts.
An account called GenesisStore, which was formerly linked to the platform's management, posted a notice on the Exploit forum announcing the sale of the Genesis Market.
A buyer had been found, according to the account message, and the deposit had already been paid. The platform will be handed over to the new owner early next month. It's important to note that existing user accounts are excluded from the deal.
Despite its bad reputation, the cybersecurity industry was shocked by the sale of Genesis Market. According to some industry professionals, the platform owners may independently plan the sale in order to rebrand and sever ties with the authorised object. Given the platform's declining condition and the potential legal repercussions that prospective buyers might anticipate, there were questions regarding whether the sale would actually happen.
A one-stop shop for criminals, Genesis Market sold both stolen credentials and the means to use them. It has been connected to millions of cyber-theft incidents worldwide, from scams to ransomware attacks. Authorities think the owners of Genesis Market have made more than $8.7 million since the website's launch in 2018.
Operation Cookie Monster is the effort to shut down the Genesis Market and locate its administrators. In 15 different countries, 208 searches and 119 arrests were made as part of the operation. Operation Cookie Monster is the "largest operation law enforcement has ever conducted to identify sellers and buyers of stolen credentials," according to officials.