Suspected LeakedSource operator charged in Canada

The for-profit breach notification site offered access to approximately three billion identity records.

File Photo

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have announced charges against Jordan Evan Bloom for operating the LeakedSource for-profit data breach website.

On Monday, the law enforcement agency said that the 27-year-old, suspected of being the operator behind the website, has been charged with selling stolen personal identities online.

Bloom was formally charged by the RCMP's National Division Cybercrime Investigative Team on 22 December 2017.

The Thornhill, Ontario resident is being charged with Trafficking In Identity Information, Unauthorized Use of Computer, Mischief to Data, and the Possession of Property Obtained By Crime.

Canadian law enforcement began investigating LeakedSource in 2016 after it was discovered that the website was being hosted by servers in Quebec.

Codenamed Project "Adoration," the effort resulted in the closure of Bloom's website in January 2017. However, a version of the website, hosted in Russia, is still in operation.

LeakedSource caused controversy due not only due to its pay-for-access subscription model but due to the storage of stolen data, accessible by paying users. This raw information was made available to anyone willing to pay, which may also have included threat actors who wished to use the data for identity theft and account hijacking.

In comparison, another website which makes individuals aware of data breaches, HaveIbeenPwned, makes a point of not storing leaked information but rather acts as a service to check whether or not your information -- such as your email address or passwords -- has been exposed in a data breach.

See also: Carphone Warehouse fined £400,000 over 2015 data breach

According to prosecutors, LeakedSource hosted a database containing roughly three billion personal identity records, of which Bloom earned approximately $247,000 from subscriptions and trafficking identity information.

"This investigation is related to claims about a website operator alleged to have made hundreds of thousands of dollars selling personal information," said Inspector Rafael Alvarado of the RCMP. "The RCMP will continue to work diligently with our domestic and international law enforcement partners to prosecute online criminality."

The FBI and Dutch National Police assisted with the investigation.

Previous and related coverage