April 11, 2023

OFAC sanctions Genesis Market, one of the world’s largest illicit marketplaces

The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control recently sanctioned Genesis Market, one of the largest illicit marketplaces in the world that is believed to be located in Russia.  According to OFAC, Genesis Market, which has both a clearnet (traditional internet) and darknet presence, has engaged in the practice of identifying vulnerable computer systems, gaining unauthorized access to them, and then selling sensitive information stolen from these systems, including victims’ usernames and passwords, on its darknet marketplace for use by cybercriminals.  Genesis Market, which had approximately 460,000 packages of compromised information for sale as of February 1, 2023, has reportedly stolen credentials from leading companies in the US and around the world and has allegedly been used by cybercriminals to target US government organizations.  This designation was the result of a coordinated effort between OFAC, the US Department of Justice, and a dozen international partners that are pursing enforcement actions against Genesis Market and seizing website domains associated with its darknet marketplace.

Genesis Market was designated on April 5, 2023 pursuant to Executive Order 13694, as amended by EO 13757, for engaging in or supporting significant malicious cyber-enabled activities originating from outside of the US that are reasonably likely to result in a significant threat to national security or cause a substantial misappropriation of funds.  As a result of this designation, all property and interests in property of this designee within the United States or within the possession or control of a US person are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving the designated persons.  In addition, entities owned 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.

Department of Treasury Press Release