The owner of the infamous cybercrime website BreachForums has pleaded guilty in a US court to conspiracy to commit device fraud, access device fraud, and possession of child pornography.
The man, Conor Brian Fitzpatrick, 21, of Peekskill, New York, was arrested on March 15, 2023, being charged with conspiracy to commit access device fraud.
Fitzpatrick, who was known online as ‘Pompompurin’, has admitted to investigators that he was the owner and administrator of the BreachForums portal, the testimony of an FBI agent revealed in March.
Also known as Breached, BreachForums was launched in 2022 as an alternative to RaidForums, a cybercrime marketplace that was taken down by law enforcement in February 2022.
Hosted on the surface web and accessible to anyone, BreachForums was taken down in March, only days after Fitzpatrick’s arrest.
According to US law enforcement, BreachForums claimed to have over 340,000 members at the time it was shut down.
During its year of operation, the website became a top hacker marketplace, facilitating the trading of hacked or stolen data, including bank account information, Social Security numbers, personally identifiable information, hacking tools, online account credentials, and hacking services for hire.
“In particular, Fitzpatrick intentionally ran BreachForums in a manner that made it an attractive marketplace for cybercriminals to frequent in an effort to buy, sell, or trade stolen or hacked access devices. At all relevant times, Fitzpatrick knew and understood that the access devices that BreachForums possessed and helped to traffic were stolen or obtained with the intent to defraud,” court documents unsealed last week show.
Fitzpatrick admitted to operating BreachForums, to aiding cybercriminals to trade stolen data and sell payment card data, and to possessing explicit visual content depicting minors.
According to the plea agreement, Fitzpatrick faces up to 10 years in prison for conspiracy to commit access device fraud, 10 years in prison for solicitation for the purpose of offering access devices, and up to 20 years in prison for possession of child pornography.
The maximum penalty for each count also includes a fine of $250,000, and supervised release.