On Wednesday afternoon, federal agents arrested a man in Peekskill, New York, for allegedly running a dark web data breach site known as “BreachForums.” The suspect, Conor Brian Fitzpatrick, was apprehended at his residence by a team of investigators and charged with a single count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud.
According to a sworn statement filed in court by FBI Special Agent John Longmire, Fitzpatrick used the alias “pompompurin” and was the owner and operator of BreachForums. The site hosted nearly 1,000 stolen databases containing personal information, including names, email addresses, and passwords. This data was offered for sale by users of the site and could be used for fraudulent activities.
Longmire, who led the arrest operation, stated that Fitzpatrick had admitted to using the alias “pompompurin” on BreachForums. The suspect was released on bond, and his lawyer, Benjamin Gold, declined to comment on the matter.
Fitzpatrick was listed as a 2021 graduate of Peekskill High School by a local newspaper. In a video posted by a local news station, FBI and Homeland Security agents, along with local police, were seen raiding a home in Peekskill and removing bags of possible evidence from the property. While the report did not identify Fitzpatrick as the target, the address is the one listed in online records as his residence with his parents.
In April of 2022, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted a seizure of RaidForums, which served as the spiritual precursor to BreachForums. The notorious reputation of BreachForums likely prompted this move as one of the most active hacker forums.
“Breach Forums is one of, if not the most active, hacker forums out there,” said Allan Liska, a senior intelligence analyst at information security firm Recorded Future. “They are well-known for leaking sensitive information stolen from major organizations around the world including the Robinhood trading platform and Acer Computers.”
Following the shutdown of RaidForums, BreachForums was founded with the specific goal of carrying on the work initiated at Raid. The forum was managed by an individual known as Pompompurin, who actively encouraged the hack and leak activities that took place there.
In November 2021, Pompompurin claimed responsibility for sending out fake emails that were traced back to a “fbi.gov” email address. This claim was made in an interview with Brian Krebs.
At present, the details of the charges filed against Pompompurin have not been released to the public. A spokeswoman for the US Attorney in Alexandria has not responded to phone and email messages sent by Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick, who is one of the co-defendants in the case, was presented in federal court in White Plains, New York, and released on a $300,000 unsecured bond that was signed by his parents. As part of his release conditions, Fitzpatrick is required to avoid any contact with codefendants, co-conspirators, and witnesses in the case. He is scheduled to appear in court in Alexandria on March 24.
The case has been filed under the name US v. Fitzpatrick, 23-cr-2171, and will be heard in the US District Court in the Southern District of New York (Manhattan).