It's the online fraudster's favourite conspiracy theory. A website dedicated to the theft and exchange of stolen information and criminally-oriented software has turned out to be an FBI sting. According to The Register, the recently defunct DarkMarket.ws carder forum has been exposed as having been run by law enforcement officials.
The news first surfaced when Southwest Germany public radio obtained police reports that detailed the operation behind the arrest of a German credit card forger. This was reported on Wired, which claims that the sting was started in November 2006.
The site's operator, who used the alias Master Splyntr, last month wrote, "It is apparent that this forum… is attracting too much attention from a lot of the world services (agents of FBI, SS, and Interpol). I guess it was only time before this would happen. It is very unfortunate that we have come to this situation, because... we have established DM as the premier English speaking forum for conducting business. Such is life. When you are on top, people try to bring you down."
Master Splyntr was, it turns out, FBI agent J. Keith Mularski.