large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

A search engine for scammers and account hijackers just got shut down

The US Department of Justice has seized weleakinfo.com, a subscription search engine for scammers on the prowl for personal data.

WeLeakInfo housed a collection of over 12 billion indexed records swiped during over 10,000 illegal data breaches.

The records included the names, email addresses, usernames, phone numbers and passwords associated with a huge number of online accounts.

The website – which had been active since 2017 – acted as a search engine for hackers, advertising one day, one week, one month and three year-long subscription plans with unlimited searches on the database.

Related: Best antivirus

A 24-hour subscription would cost users just $2, according to Dutch news site Nu.nl (via ZDNet).

Users were also able to keep an eye on their own data with a feature called ‘Asset Monitoring’, according to CyberScoop.

“Get notified when your information is detected in a data breach”, claims the archived homepage. “Stay one step ahead of hackers.”

While data at this scale can also be found on the dark web, WeLeakInfo offered a more convenient route for hackers and those looking to collect mass amounts of data.

The Department of Justice teamed up with law enforcement in the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and Northern Ireland to shut down the site, announcing on Thursday that it had obtained the domain name and pulled the search engine from the web. The homepage has been replaced with a notification from the DOJ.

Two 22-year-old men – one from the Netherlands, the other from Northern Ireland – have been arrested in connection with the site.

WeLeakInfo’s Twitter account still appears to be active, despite the search engine itself having shut down.

Related: Best VPN

“Have your passwords been compromised? Find out by searching through over 12 billion records and 10,000 data breaches”, @weleakinfo’s Twitter bio reads.

The most recent tweet from the account – which has over 2,000 followers – states that the company is investigating a data cluster issue, though it seems unlikely that this investigation will get the site back up and running anytime soon.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.