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January 19, 2020 - BY Admin

Police have arrested a 22-year-old man in Northern Ireland in connection with an international cyber crime operation

Police have arrested a 22-year-old man in Northern Ireland in connection with an international cyber crime operation.

The man is allegedly connected to a website which offered access to more than 12bn personal credentials to criminals.

Another 22-year-old man was arrested in Vriendin, in The Netherlands by the Dutch authorities.

Officers believe the two made more than £200,000 in profits from the site.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) began investigating the website, which is believed to have hosted credentials taken from around 10,000 data breaches, in August 2019.

It charged as little as $2 (£1.53) per day for access to the personal credentials.

The details are known to have been used in further cyber attacks in the UK, Germany and the US.

NCA investigators passed this information to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and the East Netherlands Cyber Crime Unit (Politie), who launched their own operation.

The PSNI arrested the 22-year-old in Fintona County Tyrone on Wednesday. 

Parallel investigations were also being run by the German police and the FBI, who seized the domain and took down the website at 23.30 GMT on the same day.

Andrew Shorrock, senior investigating officer at the NCA, said that the website was "an extremely valuable part of a cyber criminals toolkit".

"However, this significant criminal website has now been shut down as a result of an international investigation involving law enforcement agencies from five countries.

"Cyber crime is a threat that crosses borders and so close international collaboration is crucial to tackling it."

Det Supt Richard Campbell, head of the PSNI's cyber crime centre, said the investigation demonstrates how law enforcement agencies can work together successfully to disrupt major crime.

"Let this be a clear warning there is no hiding place for cyber criminals," he said.