After being down for over three years, one of the largest and most notorious hacking forums is back online under new ownership.
Before it was taken down, Dark0de was the #1 go-to place for the dark web hackers.
Now, the forum has been restored and the participation interest is as massive as before.
History and Takedown of Dark0de
Originally founded in 2007, Dark0de was a black marketplace and a cybercrime forum that served as a venue for trading and selling hacking services, malware, botnets, and many other illicit services and goods.
When Dark0de was taken down in 2015, Europol termed it the most prolific English-speaking cybercriminal forum of its time.
The operation tasked with the takedown of Dark0de was named “Operation Shrouded Horizon” and was a combined raid by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.K.’s National Crime Agency, Europol and other law enforcement agencies.
The effort resulted in 70 arrests across 20 countries worldwide. Suspects from Germany, Denmark, Israel, India, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Romania were rounded up in the takedown.
Assistant U.S. Attorney General Leslie Caldwell stated that the closure of this forum was a milestone for law enforcement in its efforts to weaken the ability of cybercriminals to sell, trade and buy personal information, botnets and malware, used to steal from people around the world.
The New Management
Today, the Dark0de forum is again available for users and open for business.
The site is currently being managed by the owner of the forum known as “Hitman” and the founder of the hacktivist group New World Hackers, known as “Ownz.”
Back before Dark0de was shut down, it was primarily associated with the dark web, thus not accessible through traditional search engines.
The forum is now currently available across the Clearnet as well, for everyone to access.
In a statement for Rouge Media Labs, the developers of Dark0de explained that their plan is to bring back the forum and give the hacker community a place to go if they want to look for tools, accounts, methods and proxies.
Ownz stated that the goal of the comeback is to become the top forum once again, as it was back in the period between 2013 and 2015.
According to New World Hacker’s founder, they waited three years because developers were fully aware of the ongoing investigation.
Apart from the change in the ownership of the site, not much has changed.
The forum still features quite the same categories such as leaks, forum resources, webmasters, malware, exploits and zero-days, cracking, hacking, programming, graphics, technology, tools and gaming.
The visitors can also choose to use the marketplace instead of the forum.The forum has been rebuilt to its previous version and currently features more than 55,000 postings in over 6,000 different threads.
The forum has over 12,000 registered users and the numbers are expected to continue increasing.