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Underground Forums: All About Exploit

Underground Forums: All About Exploit

Brief Bio: Exploit

  • Launch date: 2005
  • Main language: Russian
  • Registered member count: 8K+
  • Total number of posts: 80K
  • Main topics: Stolen personal data, credit card information, botnets, phishing kits

How did Exploit start?

Exploit is a renowned Russian cybercriminal forum that was first founded in 2005 as a central hub in the cyber underworld. This multi-platform forum, which features in our top deep and dark web forums list, is available both on the deep web and the dark web. Since its inception, it has become an illicit marketplace where cybercriminals can trade black hat hacker tools.

This underground forum is famous for its high-level, professional operations when compared to other dark web communities. One of the main characteristics of the forum is that non-Russian speakers and those lacking experience cannot join it, and it’s considered a central collaborative hub for hackers and cybercriminals.

Exploit is also known as the place where cybercriminals can discuss a variety of taboo topics, such as compromised databases, credit card transaction information, email spamming tools, and detailed guidance about ransomware or botnet attacks. 

Below you can see the main topics the forum covers, from their ground rules page: 

The main topics on Exploit forum, including several illicit activities

Due to the nature of this forum, it attracts cybercriminals and threat actors from all over the world who look to collaborate with other users to plan and carry out illegal activities and attacks. Below you can find an example of such a case, where a cybercriminal is looking for advice on how to build a file by using Redline Stealer Builder:

Where’s Exploit now?

Although Exoloit is one of the oldest and most stable forums, in a strange twist of events, it became a target by cybercriminals in February 2021. A hacker skillfully gained access to the forum by gaining entry to a proxy server explicitly crafted to safeguard the site against DDoS attacks.

This forum breach constituted one element of a broader series of four breaches that targeted various underground cybercrime forums in a short time. It started a series of mass data leak events. A database containing over 3.2 billion email addresses and passwords linked to Netflix, Exploit.in, LinkedIn, and Bitcoin surfaced. Despite this breach, the reputation of the forum has recovered but the controversy around the mass breach continues to this day.

Today, in a break from its early days, Exploit boasts a remarkably broad reach, extending its service to a diverse audience. It features tools and services for individuals across varying proficiency levels. It also fosters a cooperative atmosphere, encouraging the exchange of strategies, methods, and processes among individuals involved in cyber threats.

The next image was taken from Exploit, showing a post by a cybercriminal who is selling a hacking tool that can overcome EDR protection: 

A post from Exploit, where a cybercriminal is looking to sell a hacking tool that can overcome EDR protection

In a different post, a threat actor is searching for financial logs in the USA, which are likely to be used for fraud activities in the future: 

A threat actor on Exploit is searching for financial logs in the USA, which are likely to be used for fraud activities in the future

How to access Exploit?

The forum admins used to enforce stringent membership procedures, where prospective members often needed a recommendation from an existing member as part of a “due diligence” check before allowing new members to join and actively engage in conversations. To enter the forum, potential threat actors faced two choices: either pay money as a fee for immediate access or attempt to secure free entry by building a reputation on other “friendly” forums. Although these requirements technically label Exploit as an exclusive community, the fee is unlikely to discourage organizations from creating fake accounts to monitor the forum for threat intelligence purposes.

This forum is one of the numerous dark web hacking forums we monitor here at Webz.io. In recent years, as the frequency of cyber and ransomware attacks has increased, these forums have become critical sources in identifying and mitigating hacking incidents and data breaches. Monitoring these spaces also aids in detecting malware and vulnerabilities that could be exploited against enterprises and organizations.

Why should you monitor Exploit?

Monitoring forums like Exploit can provide insights into emerging cybersecurity threats, potential data breaches, and vulnerabilities. 

Staying informed allows individuals and organizations to proactively protect their digital assets and sensitive information. It can aid in identifying compromised accounts, implementing security measures, and preventing unauthorized access. Regular monitoring, which can be easily done with the help of a good platform with comprehensive deep and dark web coverage, such as Lunar, helps organizations proactively investigate and defend against emerging cyber threats.

Shay Maman
Shay Maman

Cyber Threat Analyst

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