In what is possibly the most peculiar news I’ve covered, the admin team behind Genesis Market is looking to sell their nefarious enterprise. A Darknet marketplace that was apprehended three months back. A website that the FBI managed to grab backend access to. That’s right; the actual Genesis Market code is up for sale. You shouldn’t trust it… but if you’re daring enough, it’s available!
An Interesting Offer
The Genesis Market was once a top-tier thriving darknet marketplace focusing primarily on fraud. On June 28th, the head admin behind the marketplace “Findgerprints” made his way to the CrdClub forum and opened the opportunity to an interesting offer.
“The Genesis Team decided to sell the store with all the developments, including a complete database (except for some details of the client base), source codes, scripts, with a certain agreement, as well as server infrastructure.
This a great opportunity to multiply profits for those who have their own traffic flow. Another option is suitable for teamwork in a number of areas. For all the details, write your contact jabber \ telegram in pm.”
Fingerprints went on to verify his identity and continued to post the same offer across multiple Darknet Forums.
This is perhaps the first case of a Darknet market admin openly taking an offer to purchase the website. Ross Ulbricht is the only other know case where an admin was even willing to sell their market.
What makes this situation even more peculiar is that on On April 5th, 2023, various government organisations worked together to seize Genesis Market.
Operation Cookie Master
Nearly 4 months ago, the FBI took the lead to attack the notorious hacker marketplace in “Operation Cookie Monster.” According to their press release, they hadn’t captured any of the primary team members. The seizure did, however, lead to 120 arrests. Atleast 19 regular users of Genesis Market were arrested for fraud and computer misuse.
Prior to its capture, Genesis Market was the largest fraud shop running, and this was the largest operation of its kind.
One of the primary use cases of the marketplace was the use and sale of “Fingerprints.” Genesis claimed that their fingerprints were stored for “as long as it retained access to a compromised device.” This basically meant that Genesis users weren’t making a one-time purchase of stolen data but rather that they were paying a de facto subscription to the victim’s information, even when their information changed.
The marketplace even developed their own software: Genesis Security – the proprietary plugin which can simplify your work with fingerPrints and Cookies of the bots (holders).
It all went crumbling down as the FBI managed to grab access to backend servers and eventually seize Genesis Markets servers based in Germany.
“Genesis Market’s domains have been seized by the FBI pursuant to a seizure warrant issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. These seizures were possible because of international law enforcement and private sector coordination involving the partners listed below.”
Although servers were taken down, admins confirmed the FBI had only seized Genesis Market’s open web domains and that its “darknet platform remained safe to use.” but soon after ended operations as usual.
Will Genesis Market Be Sold?
For some, there is good reason to purchase a darknet market such as Genesis Market. It wasn’t just a copy of other markets and was especially unique to its competitors. They weren’t just a market for selling data and credentials. They included services that opened doors for criminals to “weaponise” data repetitively and participate in illegal activities while impersonating an innocent civilian.
Unlike its competitors, Genesis Market did not just sell stolen data and credentials but also provided a platform to criminals that allowed them to weaponise that data using a custom browser extension to impersonate victims. The marketplace also had nearly 60,000 active users.
That being said, there are a plethora of reasons that nobody will take the bait and purchase the website.
The first is that the website has already been infiltrated before. Therefore, its code was not strong enough to hold against external forces. So why would this not happen in the future again should it be reopened or used to create an entirely new website?
There’s also the fact that since the backend servers were infiltrated by the FBI means, they could have injected their own trackers into the code. Even more so when considering they haven’t been able to catch out the original admins. The opportunity of gaining access to backend servers is like an open door into somebody’s house. The FBI just needs to piece together whose house they’re in.
Should somebody purchase the website and its code, you’re morphing the code into your house. If you make that slight mistake in OpSec, the FBI could shift the entire history of Genesis Market’s criminal activities onto you, and you’re in for a major criminal case.
And the final reason, though it’s less likely, is that this is a honey pot as the FBI has the code they’re looking to capture anybody who feels they’re high enough to take over a marketplace of this type. This is the type of person who’d already have their own place in the Darknet world and have connections that could be valuable to LE.
Conclusion: It Won’t Sell
Genesis Market Admin “Fingerprints” coming forward with this proposal was… weird and unexpected. It was possibly their last effort to make some more money from their once decent empire, but it was always a long shot at best. That being said, we don’t expect Genesis to start up again soon.
Hey there, I’m a dark web geek who’s been around for the last 8 years. More precisely, I’m livedarknet’s senior content writer who’s been writing about darknet marketplaces, tutorials, and cybersecurity stuff for educational purposes.