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10 Australians arrested as part of international illegal marketplace takedown

06 April 2023, 8:53am
Media Release

10 Australians arrested as part of international illegal marketplace takedown

This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police and New South Wales Police Force, Queensland Police Service and Victoria Police.

Editor's noteVision from the arrests is available via Hightail

A well-known criminal marketplace offering access to stolen account credentials and compromised device information has been shut down following an international investigation led by the FBI and assisted by the AFP, NSW Police Force, Victoria Police, Queensland Police Service and Western Australia Police Force.

The AFP and partners executed 24 search warrants, with ten arrested in three states, including a Victorian man who police will allege is the most prolific purchaser of compromised information in Australia. Operational activity will continue over the coming weeks and further arrests are anticipated.

The invite-only website offered login credentials, browsing history, autofill form data and other sensitive data that was taken from compromised devices.

At the time of takedown, Genesis Market offered access to more than 1.5 million compromised computers – each containing information for dozens of accounts.

The Australian arm of the investigation, codenamed Operation Zinger, began in 2020 when investigators from the AFP’s Cyber Command received information regarding potential users of the site from the FBI.

AFP investigators worked closely with domestic law enforcement partners through the Joint Policing Cybercrime Coordination Centre (JPC3) to link the information to Australian-based users.

AFP Assistant Commissioner Cyber Command Scott Lee said Genesis Market had the potential to cause $46 million in harm to the Australian community through the sale of stolen Australian credentials and access to compromised Australian devices.

“If you used this website to purchase stolen information in the belief that you’re anonymous or that police don’t take it seriously, you are mistaken. This operation proves we are committed to stamping out cybercrime at every level,” AC Lee said.

The total number of Australian victims is still being calculated but investigators have identified 36,000 compromised Australian devices available for sale on Genesis Market and more than 600 reports to ReportCyber that matches stolen information available on Genesis Market.

Assistant Commissioner Lee also warned that police action would continue around the country as AFP and State and Territory investigators identified additional alleged offenders.

“Don’t think that because we haven’t knocked on your door yet, we won’t be at all. If you have used this website to purchase stolen data to commit cybercrime or fraud offences then we will find you and we will be paying you a visit,” AC Lee said.

“Cybercrime is increasing in scale and frequency and it is important the public takes proactive steps to keep their personal information safe.”

“For a small cost, individuals with nefarious intentions could purchase a packaged dataset that would allow them to gain access to a victim’s government services and online banking.”

NSW Police Force’s Cybercrime Squad Commander, Acting Superintendent Jason Smith, commended the joint agency work to uncover the links within Australia and worldwide.

“Through the Joint Policing Cybercrime Coordination Centre (JPC3), we have been able to identify individuals in NSW that have purchased these malicious tools that ultimately result in an enormous amount of financial and associated harm in the community.  

“The NSW Police Force Cybercrime Squad will continue to assess any information and intelligence linking anyone in NSW to this website.

“We would urge all people to ensure your cyber security is up to scratch – watch out for any suspicious activity on your accounts, turn on any multi-factor authentication. If you believe you have been a victim of cybercrime, please report it via”

Victoria Police Acting Commander Jane Welsh said technology, while providing opportunities for us all to be better connected, also presents opportunities for the commission of crimes through the use of our personal information. 

“These criminals are not bound by traditional borders which means that law enforcement agencies must unite to make any lasting impact on crimes such as these. This operation is an example of the effectiveness of a global law enforcement response to these crimes.”

Detective Acting Superintendent Mike Newman from the Queensland Police Service Financial and Cyber Crime Group said the way online criminals operate is changing rapidly and it is vital we use every resource available to respond to new ways of offending.

“The investigation is an example of not only the Australia wide co-operation that exists between law enforcement agencies, but the interconnectedness with international agencies to target cyber criminals causing significant harm to our communities,” Detective Acting Superintendent Newman said.

“We will continue to work with our partner agencies to relentlessly scour forums, assess the intelligence and ensure action is taken. Queensland Police have executed a number of warrants today and our investigations will continue”.

Among the arrests is a Box Hill man, 31, who police will allege spent more than $38,000 USD purchasing information from the marketplace.

The man was arrested on a NSW warrant on 24 March 2023 in Victoria, where he had been living after breaching bail for a fraud offence.

AFP officers also charged the man with several offences relating to his purchases from the site and alleged instances of fraud using the stolen information. These offences are:

  • Dealing with property reasonably suspected of being the proceeds of crime, contrary to section 400.9(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
  • Dishonestly obtaining or dealing in personal financial information, contrary to section 480.4 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
  • Dealing in identification information, contrary to section 372.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and
  • Producing false or misleading documents, contrary to section 137(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth)

The Dutch Police have developed a portal to help determine if your personal details have been compromised. Visit to determine if your details were available on Genesis Market.

If you believe you’ve been a victim of cybercrime you should report it to police using Report Cyber at

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