LeakBase, an online service that provided paid access to leaked credentials, was shut down over the weekend.
The service started selling membership access in September last year, claiming to provide access to two billion credentials that leaked in major hacking incidents. The service received a boost in January 2017, when paid breach notification service LeakedSource went dark.
LeakBase claimed to be providing users with information on leaked credentials to help them better understand the risks hacked information poses and to allow them to remedy the situation.
The leaked credentials, however, were leveraged for financial gain, as LeakBase visitors (the same as LeakedSource) had to pay for using the service. Subscribers were provided access to the entire database of leaked credentials and passwords.
A message posted on LeakBase’s Twitter account on Saturday is informing users that the service has been discontinued. In a subsequent tweet, the service’s operators said they were willing to refund users who had paid for access but couldn’t take advantage of the service anymore.
We understand many of you may have lost some time, so in an effort to offer compensation please email, [email protected]
Send your LeakBase username and how much time you had left.
We will have a high influx of emails so be patient, this could take a while
— LeakBase (@LeakbasePW) December 3, 2017
Over the weekend, the service started redirecting users to haveibeenpwned.com, a breach alerting service created and maintained by security researcher Troy Hunt. HIBP allows users to check whether their email address appeared in a breach but doesn’t store the hacked passwords.
While the exact reasons behind the service’s shutdown haven’t been revealed as of now, security blogger Brian Krebs suggests that one of the owners of LeakBase was identified and apprehended due to their connection with the dark web marketplace Hansa.
The information that led to the arrest was supposedly provided by the Dutch police, which had secretly seized Hansa in July and operated it for a while to gather data on its users.
A tweet posted on LeakBase’s account several moments ago suggests that none of the LeakBase operators have any connections to Hansa.
If claims as simple as that hold such weight, than our claim, as stated above should hold equal if not much more power.
— LeakBase (@LeakbasePW) December 4, 2017
Regardless of whether a connection to Hansa exists, the owners of services such as LeakBase could face criminal charges in the event prosecutors could prove that they intended to sell passwords to facilitate further crimes.