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darknet deepweb brett johnson carding crime fraud

Brief Darknet Stories - Brett Johnson

Posted 01-25-2023, 07:45 PM
Brief Darknet Stories

Brett Johnson, also known as "GOllumfun", is a notorious cybercriminal who was one of the pioneers of the cybercrime world and one of the first individuals to be recognised as a "carder," someone who specialises in the illegal buying and selling of credit card information.

Who is Brett Johnson?

Johnson was born in the United States and began his criminal career in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He was first introduced to the world of computer hacking and credit card fraud while still in his teens. He quickly became skilled in the art of "phreaking," the use of technology to manipulate telephone systems to make free long-distance calls. He also began to develop expertise in the use of "wardialing" software, which automatically scanned telephone exchanges for modems to identify vulnerable systems.

Rise to Fame

A young criminal who had a penchant for shoplifting and whose mother who was actively involved in crimes also, he says his first ever online crime was by 'selling' a Beanie Baby on eBay to a woman, but sending her a totally different cheaper item, pocketing the cash and never resolving the issue. This was his first real foray into online fraud. In the early 1990s, Johnson began to make a name for himself in the cybercrime world as a carder. He was one of the first individuals to specialise in the illegal buying and selling of credit card information, and he quickly became one of the most successful and well-known carders of his time. He founded CounterfeitLibrary and, more importantly, the ShadowCrew, a criminal organization that specialised in the sale of stolen credit card information and other forms of identity theft. The group was active from 2002 until 2004 and had thousands of members and caused millions of dollars in damages, estimated to be at least $4 million.

Johnson's reputation as a skilled hacker and carder led to him being sought out by other criminals, and he began to provide his services to other criminal organisations. He also began to develop new methods for stealing credit card information, including the use of "sniffer" software to capture credit card numbers from point-of-sale terminals and the use of "wardialing" software to identify vulnerable systems.

Arrest and Sentencing

When ShadowCrew's was raided in 2004, it led to a string of arrests involving Johnson's cohorts. Johnson however managed to avoid being arrested following the raids, but was picked up in 2005 on separate charges, in which he then turned informant for the Secret Service. Working as an informant who was actively committing tax fraud, 'Operation Anglerphish' embedded him, then dubbed by Secret Service agents as "The Original Internet Godfather", as admins on both ScandinavianCarding and CardersMarket, two active markets and forums where fraud was rampant and praised. When his continued carding activities were exposed as a part of a separate investigation in 2006, he briefly went on the run and made the United States Most Wanted List before being caught in August of that year.

Johnson was arrested at Disney World and eventually spent 7.5 years in federal prison, and was ordered to pay restitution of over $4 million.

Despite his arrest and incarceration, Johnson's legacy in the cybercrime world lives on. He is considered to be one of the pioneers of the cybercrime world and his techniques and methods continue to be used by cybercriminals to this day.

The Impact of Brett Johnson's Activities

Brett Johnson's story serves as a cautionary tale of the dangers of cybercrime. He was a pioneer of the cybercrime world, and his techniques and methods continue to be used by cybercriminals to this day. His case also highlights the importance of staying vigilant against cyber threats and the need for continued efforts to combat cybercrime. It also underscores the importance of international cooperation in the fight against cybercrime as many of his criminal activities were done across borders.