One week after the arrest of BreachForums founder and admin Conor Brian Fitzpatrick – who went by the name pompompurin online – the forum was taken offline by its new chief administrator, Baphomet. The closure of the notorious database market took place on Mar 21, in which both clear web and onion URLs for the site were taken down, marking the end of an era for mass database sales on the darknet.
The closure of BreachForums, a focal point for those seeking to sell large volumes of stolen data over the past year, is being described as having the effect of “spur(ring) cybercriminals to migrate to underground forums to peddle their warez.”
The new head admin of BreachForums, Baphomet, explained in the forum’s Telegram channel his rationale behind taking the site down in its entirety:
“Hello everyone. Please consider this the final update for Breached.
I will be taking down the forum, as I believe we can assume that nothing is safe anymore. I know that everyone wants the forum up, but there is no value in short term gain for what will likely be a long term loss by propping up Breached as it is.
I want to make it clear, that while this initial announcement is not positive, it’s not the end. I’m going to setup another Telegram group for those who want to see what follows. You are allowed to hate me, and disagree with my decision but I promise what is to come will be better for us all.
As stated in the attached message please give me 24 hours to get some rest and give thought to how we move on from here. I will be back online after that, and we will talk. I am going nowhere.” – BreachForums admin Baphomet
Message from Baphomet on the BreachForums Telegram channel, posted Mar 24.
In his latest post to the Telegram channel, which has over 19,000 subscribers, Baphomet announced he would be opening up a new Telegram group for discussion of forum-related events within 12 hours, posting along with it a link to a PGP-signed message to prove he was not “being detained by anyone other than” himself. It is unclear if the admin intends to use the new group to facilitate the sales of stolen data or if he will continue the forum’s legacy in some other format.
BreachForums was the successor of RaidForums, which operated from 2015 until its seizure in 2022. In the new forum’s inaugural post, pompompurin explained he created the forum “in part to stop all the stupid people… trying to take the empty spot that RaidForums once filled.” The site allowed anyone to purchase databases that had been put up for sale by individual members, using Bitcoin or Monero as a payment method. It hosted close to 900 databases containing around 15 billion records in total at the time of its closure.
Fitzpatrick was charged with conspiracy to commit access device fraud shortly after his arrest. His bail, set at $300,000, was paid by his parents. He is due back in court today, Mar 24.