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British Hacker on Trial for Allegedly Operating The Real Deal Dark Web Marketplace

Vlad CONSTANTINESCU

October 27, 2022

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British Hacker on Trial for Allegedly Operating The Real Deal Dark Web Marketplace

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) arraigned notorious hacker Daniel Kaye yesterday for allegedly operating The Real Deal, a well-known dark web market. The now-obsolete cybercrime marketplace sold stolen login credentials for US government devices and hacking tools to criminals.

34-year-old Kaye was accused of running the operation and selling illegal goods, including weapons, drugs, hacking tools, botnets, social media account credentials, and bank account and credit card details.

The defendant, also known as Bestbuy, Popopret, Spdrman and UserL0ser, organized the market’s illicit assets into categories, including “Counterfeits,” “Exploit Code,” “Drugs,” “Weapons,” “Government Data,” and “Fraud & More.”

The Real Deal market vendors could set up accounts to list illicit goods, as well as create and maintain their own profile pages. After interacting with vendors, buyers could rank them through a rating system.

“While living overseas, this defendant allegedly operated an illegal website that made hacking tools and login credentials available for purchase, including those for U.S. government agencies,” according to US Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “This case is a timely reminder, during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, that federal law enforcement will make those accused of breaking U.S. laws face their day in court, regardless of where they reside in the world.”

In 2017, Kaye was arrested by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) and pleaded guilty in court to infecting over 900,000 Deutsche Telekom routers with a modified version of the Mirai IoT malware.

Before the devastating Mirai botnet attack, the defendant was better known for authoring GovRAT, a malware strain used to hack several US agencies. Kaye listed the source code of the Remote Access Trojan (RAT), along with a code-signing digital certificate on The Real Deal underground market for roughly 4.5 Bitcoin.

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