U.S. says computer hacking forum Darkode dismantled, 12 charged

U.S. authorities working with law enforcement officials abroad have shut down the Darkode online forum used by cybercriminals around the world and charged 12 people linked to the site, the Justice Department said on Wednesday.

U.S. Attorney David Hickton announced the charges in Pittsburgh and called Darkode “a cyber hornet’s nest of criminal hackers.”

“Of the roughly 800 criminal Internet forums worldwide, Darkode represented one of the gravest threats to the integrity of data on computers in the United States,” he said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. attorney’s office in Pittsburgh led the investigation, known as Operation Shrouded Horizon. It included authorities from Europol and 20 countries in Europe and Latin America as well as Israel, Nigeria and Australia.

The Justice Department said 12 people were charged, mostly in the United States, in what it called the largest coordinated international law enforcement effort ever directed at an online cybercriminal forum.

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