Northern Ireland news

Co Tyrone man arrested over website offering personal details to criminals

An international investigation into a website which provided access to more than 12 billion personal credentials to cyber criminals has led to the arrests of two men, one of whom is based in Co Tyrone
Marie Louise McConville

AN international investigation into a website which provided access to more than 12 billion personal credentials to cyber criminals, has led to the arrests of two men, including one based in Co Tyrone.

The National Crime Agency began investigating weleakinfo.com - which is believed to host credentials taken from around 10,000 data breaches - in August 2019.

The credentials are known to have been used in further cyber attacks in the UK, Germany and the US.

The investigation led to the identification of two men, one based in Northern Ireland, the other in the Netherlands.

The individuals are believed to have made total profits in excess of £200,000 from the site.

The PSNI arrested a 22-year-old man in the Fintona area on Wednesday on suspicion of fraud and serious crime offences.

The East Netherland Cyber Crime Unit arrested a 22-year-old man in Vriendin also on Wednesday.

Both men have since been bailed.

Parallel investigations into weleakinfo.com were also conducted by authorities in Germany and the US which led to the domain being seized and the site being taken down at 11.30pm on Wednesday.

Andrew Shorrock, Senior Investigating Officer at the NCA, said cyber crime "is a threat that crosses borders and so, close international collaboration is crucial to tackling it".

"These arrests have resulted in the seizure of the site’s data which included 12 billion personal credentials and so work is continuing by law enforcement to mitigate these and notify the sites that were breached," he said.

Detective Superintendent Richard Campbell, Head of PSNI’s Cyber Crime Centre, said the operation had "disrupted a major organised crime gang who were selling people’s personal details for profit".

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