Belarusian Ministry of internal affairs ministry announced in a media conference that it has seized and shutdown XakFor one of the largest hacking forums on the internet. The hacking forum has over 30000 active users when the sudden and surprising raid was made and has over a thousand active users daily. The seizure though success for the police departments and the government which has focused itself in eradicating the menace of betting sites have received less attention from internal media. The sudden seizure took place on 5th September night. The forum XakFor was launched in Belarus in 2012 and immediately gained a massive following among the people interested in hacking according to a local journalist. XakFor quickly gained itself a reputation of being the Russian hacking counterpart or hacking forum which goes by the name of hackforums. Similar to this hacking forum which is a Russian based hacking websites it too had a low barrier entry that attracted new hackers who were passionate about hacking.
Image source: www.zdnet.com
Site users shared various forms of malware, such as RATs and ransomware. Users also stole the work of more successful hackers, cracked it, and resold it on XakFor. Cimpanu suggested that the increased popularity of the forum let the takedown. Belarusian authorities identified XakFor as a forum hosted in Belarus recently, located the host, and seized the domain. XakFor operated exclusively on the clearnet instead of the dark web, “a reason many now believe led to its demise.
Similar forums on the dark web have operated smoothly for years; drug markets are often prioritized by law enforcement in the United States and Russian cybercrime forums usually operate without significant interference from law enforcement. Other dark web forums with a similar focus on cybercrime and digital activities instead of drug distribution, such as Torum, often maintain a low enough profile to avoid prioritization by even international taskforces Torum, even with its relatively low profile, has 30,000 users as of publication.
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