COURT DOC: Hacker and Dark Market Operator Arraigned On Federal Charges

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October 28, 2022

Daniel Kaye has been arraigned on charges of access device fraud and money laundering conspiracy. Kaye’s charges arise from his alleged operation of The Real Deal, a Dark Web market that sold, among other things, hacking tools and stolen login credentials, and his laundering of funds he received from that market.

According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan, the charges, and other information presented in court: Kaye allegedly operated The Real Deal, a Dark Web market for illicit items, including stolen account login credentials for U.S. government computers; stolen account login credentials for social media accounts and bank accounts; stolen credit card information; stolen personally identifiable information; illegal drugs; botnets; and computer hacking tools. The market was organized into categories, such as “Exploit Code,” “Counterfeits,” “Drugs,” “Fraud & More, “Government Data,” and “Weapons.” The market allowed vendors to create accounts and list their products. These vendors maintained profile pages offering a rating system where buyers could rank vendors.

The indictment alleges that Kaye listed for sale on The Real Deal login credentials for U.S. government computers belonging to the U.S. Postal Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the U.S. Navy. The indictment further alleges that Kaye, along with an individual (or individuals) known as “thedarkoverlord,” trafficked in stolen social security numbers; and that Kaye possessed 15 or more stolen login credentials for Twitter and LinkedIn. Finally, the indictment alleges that Kaye laundered cryptocurrency he obtained from The Real Deal through, a website that offered Bitcoin “mixing” services and, through its “mixing” algorithm, sought to keep its users anonymous, private, and immune to Bitcoin blockchain tracing analysis.

On April 13, 2021, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Kaye with five counts of access device fraud for unauthorized solicitation, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1029(a)(6), one count of using and trafficking in unauthorized access devices, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1029(a)(2), two counts of possession of unauthorized and counterfeit access devices, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1029(a)(3), and one count of money laundering conspiracy, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h). Kaye was overseas at the time the indictment was filed and, in September 2022, consented to his extradition from Cyprus to the United States. (Source: U.S. Department of Justice)

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