Genesis Market shut down in global operation.

Apr 07 2023

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Welcome to Gone Phishing, your daily cybersecurity newsletter that never takes a day off. #EasterBankHolidayWeeekend #SunsOutGunsOut  #SummerIsHere

Today’s hottest cyber security stories:

  • Genesis Market shut down in global operation… Wait ‘til you hear its name!
  • Have Samsung employees been sharing confidential data with ChatGPT?
  • ‘Vulkan files’ Put-in a helpful word re Putin’s cyberwarfare tactics


Top of the morning to you, folks. It’s always an absolute pleasure when we’re able to bring you a positive story within the realm of cybersecurity as all too often it’s nothing but ransomware, crypto-jack hacks, and phishing scams.

So, let’s celebrate. To follow on from yesterday’s little snippet, it’s official:

OPERATION COOKIE MONSTER was a screaming success!

Here’s the facts re the global FBI-led fantastically named operation that put an end to online scam marketplace Genesis Market.

Here’s the 411, cyberidians. Operation Cookie Monster featured: 

  • Law enforcement agencies from 17 countries
  • UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) arrested 24 people who are suspected users of the site

FYI: We’re assuming the NCA is our pound-shop version of the FBI. Lame as always, UK. Haha

  • Globally, 200 searches were carried out and 120 people were arrested.
  • Genesis Market website displayed a message which read: “Operation Cookie Monster. This website has been seized.”
  • Genesis Market had 80 million sets of credentials

So, what took place at Genesis Market?

Genesis Market sold “bots” containing the personal information of millions of victims around the world, including bank account details.

In other words, it sold login details, IP addresses and other data that made up victims’ “digital fingerprints”.

Often costing less than $1, the personal information allowed fraudsters to log into bank and shopping accounts.

The National Crime Agency said taking it down would be “a huge blow” to criminal operations.

Good job, everybody and to the NCA, we’re sorry we made fun of you. You’re just as badass as the FBI, honest.

Hope you enjoyed that because next story we’re back to the bad guys winning. Although, we finish on a strong note so stay tuned, true believers!


It’s finally happening (maybe). The cyber-oracles have been seeing it in their crystal ball for some time and, if this story is anything to go by, the AI cyber-crimewave (or cyber-incompetence, we should say!) may be kicking off. So, what’s happened exactly?

Well, according to a South Korean business news outlet, employees who interacted with ChatGPT, a chatbot created by US startup OpenAI, supposedly leaked Samsung’s sensitive data on three separate occasions.

Ironically, this happened just 20 days (about 3 weeks) after the South Korean conglomerate lifted a ban on ChatGPT that was put in place to prevent confidential data leakage.

The leaked information reportedly included the source code of software responsible for measuring semiconductor equipment, which a Samsung worker allegedly queried ChatGPT for a solution.

However, OpenAI explicitly warns users not to share any sensitive information in their conversations with the chatbot.

Samsung supposedly discovered three instances where confidential data was revealed, with workers sharing restricted equipment data on two occasions and an excerpt from a corporate meeting on another.

Privacy concerns surrounding ChatGPT’s security have been on the rise since OpenAI revealed a flaw in the bot that exposed parts of users’ conversations and payment details in some cases. As a result, the Italian Data Protection Authority has banned ChatGPT, and German lawmakers may follow suit.

The release of ChatGPT has sparked a race in the tech sector to develop intelligent chatbots, with Google’s Bard and Baidu’s Ernie Bot being launched as competitors. However, early adopter reviews have been mixed.

When it comes to ChatGPT, a fitting mantra appears to be: “With great power, comes great responsibility.”

Our Spidey sense is tingling.


Zips as in zip files. Clever, huh? Seriously, this leak could spell iron curtains for Putin’s cyberwar-game which in all honesty has been largely a favour in the fight against Ukraine.

In recent months, Russia has taken to cyberattacking Ukraine’s Baltic and Nordic allies having failed to penetrate Ukraine’s cyber-shields.

So, what’s the latest? Here’s what you need to know re the leaked ‘Vulkan files’:

  • Documents leaked by whistleblower angry over Ukraine war
  • Private Moscow consultancy bolstering Russian cyberwarfare
  • Tools support hacking operations and attacks on infrastructure
  • Documents linked to notorious Russian hacking group Sandworm
  • Russian program aims to control internet and spread disinformation

The Vulkan files, which date from 2016 to 2021, were leaked by an anonymous whistleblower angered by Russia’s war in Ukraine. Such leaks from Moscow are extremely rare. Here’s to that whistleblower!

Let’s not forget the words of Edmund Burke, friends: “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing!”

Well, this man did something, and we salute him. Enjoy your weekends, comrades!

So long and thanks for reading all the phish!

Cyber Dawgs top picks from the week, he’s your Dawg, he got you.

MONDAY: Millions of WordPress sites at risk

TUESDAY: Are ‘state-backed’ cyberattacks Acts of War?

WEDNESDAY: There’s a new ransomware in town

THURSDAY: Uber hacked for third time

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