Skip to main content

This hacker site sold 24 million people’s data — until now

An underground illegal online marketplace that contained and sold sensitive information pertaining to individuals based out of the U.S. has been shut down.

SSNDOB, which saw people’s names, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth being collected and sold, has been successfully taken offline due to a joint operation from U.S. authorities and their counterparts in Cyprus.

Related Videos
A social security card in shrink-wrap paper.
Mike Kemp/Getty Images

As reported by Bleeping Computer, the marketplace itself wasn’t your run-of-the-mill operation — around 24 million individuals from the U.S. alone were affected by its illicit activity.

Due to the large scope of the operation, ​​three governmental departments collaborated in shutting down SSNDOB. The FBI, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Department of Justice were all involved.

Additional assistance from Cyprus police was also a factor in the marketplace ceasing its operations.

The Department of Justice’s press release stated that more than $19 million in “sales revenue” was accumulated by the website’s owners.

A total of four domains that provided hosting services for the entire SSNDOB marketplace were seized, including “,” “,” “,” and “”

As for how the activities of the SSNDOB marketplace managed to go unchecked since 2015, Bleeping Computer highlights how the websites effectively evaded DDoS attacks and actions from law enforcement by supplying various mirror sites.

This practice is common amongst illegal websites such as torrent services and the like. The method makes it nearly impossible to target the core operation behind the websites as there’s always a new domain that can be accessed.

$0.50 to buy and use someone’s identity

The SSNDOB website landing page.

As a result, SSNDOB saw threat actors being able to buy “social security numbers, dates of birth, and full info of people” predominantly through Bitcoin, which is largely an unregulated currency that has become commonplace amongst cybercriminals.

Personal information of U.S.-based residents was up for grabs for $0.50 in some cases. Dates of birth for individuals residing in the United Kingdom were also sold on the website.

According to cybersecurity firm Advanced Intel, which spoke with Bleeping Computer on the matter, a large portion of the stolen data was acquired via infiltrating healthcare and hospital systems and was subsequently utilized by cybercriminals to carry out financial fraud.

“SSNDOB was one of the largest crime shops offering a collection of personally identifiable information for fraudsters and played an integral part in fraud schemes The majority of the customers used the shop data for various types of scams from tax to bank fraud,” AdvIntel CEO Vitali Kremez told BleepingComputer.

“According to the few AdvIntel breach investigations, the criminals behind the shop specifically leveraged healthcare and hospital breach databases to source the supply of personal information for the fraudsters.”

Elsewhere, since April 2015, blockchain analysis company Chainalysis detailed how they discovered $22 million in Bitcoin transactions going directly to SSNDOB. Certain transfers equalled $100,000 in Bitcoin; Bleeping Computer aptly points out that this tidbit indicates how cybercriminals bought data in bulk.

Editors' Recommendations

Experts fear ChatGPT will soon be used in devastating cyberattacks
The ChatGPT name next to an OpenAI logo on a black and white background.

ChatGPT has taken the world by storm in recent months, but just as it has amazed people with its technical capabilities, concerns have also been raised over its potential misuse. Now, it seems some IT leaders are worried it will soon be used in major cyberattacks, with the potential to cause devastation in the future.

In a survey of 1,500 IT and cybersecurity professionals conducted by BlackBerry, 51% of respondents believed that ChatGPT will be responsible for a successful cyberattack in the next 12 months. As much as 78% feel that attack will happen within two years, while a handful think it could happen within the next few months.

Read more
Hack involved the data of a nation’s entire population
A depiction of a hacker breaking into a system via the use of code.

Hackers are well known to nab customer data held by companies, but obtaining the personal data of pretty much all of the residents of a single nation in one fell swoop takes the nefarious practice to a whole new level.

The remarkable feat was allegedly performed by a 25-year-old Dutch hacker who, when arrested by police, had in his possession personal data linked to pretty much every resident of Austria -- about nine million people.

Read more
Hackers dug deep in the massive LastPass security breach
The LastPass logo appears in front of a menacing hooded figure.

The cybersecurity breach that LastPass owner GoTo reported in November 2022 keeps getting worse as new details are revealed, calling into question the company's transparency on this serious issue.

It has been two months since GoTo shared the alarming news that hackers stole the usernames, passwords, email addresses, phone numbers, IP addresses, and even billing information of LastPass users. In GoTo's latest blog update, the company reported that several of its other products were compromised as well.

Read more