Tampa, Florida - U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez, along with Special Agent in Charge Eric Sporre, FBI-Tampa Division, and Special Agent in Charge Mary Hammond, IRS-Criminal Investigation, today announced the seizure of the xDedic Marketplace, a website that operated for years and was used to sell access to compromised computers worldwide and to personally identifiable information of U.S. residents. The xDedic administrators strategically maintained servers all over the world to facilitate the operation of the website.
The international operation to dismantle and seize this infrastructure is the result of close cooperation with law enforcement authorities in Belgium and Ukraine, as well as the European law enforcement agency Europol. On January 24, 2019, seizure orders were executed against the domain names of the xDedic Marketplace, effectively ceasing the website’s operation.
The xDedic Marketplace operated across a widely distributed network and utilized bitcoin in order to hide the locations of its underlying servers and the identities of its administrators, buyers, and sellers. Buyers could search for compromised computer credentials on xDedic by desired criteria, such as price, geographic location, and operating system. Based on evidence obtained during the investigation, authorities believe the website facilitated more than $68 million in fraud. The victims span the globe and all industries, including local, state, and federal government infrastructure, hospitals, 911 and emergency services, call centers, major metropolitan transit authorities, accounting and law firms, pension funds, and universities.
The U.S. investigation was led by the FBI and IRS-CI, with assistance from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Substantial assistance was provided by the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs and the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.
The joint Belgian-Ukrainian investigation was led by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office and the Federal Computer Crime Unit of Belgium, and the National Police and the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine, with significant support by Europol.
Additionally, the German Bundeskriminalamt provided assistance in the operation to seize xDedic’s infrastructure.