BreachForums Admin Arrested After Violating Parole


The administrator behind the defunct cybercrime haven BreachForums was arrested after violating his parole, according to court documents filed this week.

Conor Brian Fitzpatrick was stopped on Jan. 2 by FBI agents after officials told a judge he violated his parole by using a computer and VPN services without required monitoring software enabled.

The 21-year-old was arrested last March at his parents’ home in Peekskill, New York, for his role in running BreachForums, one of the most visited cybercrime forums available for those looking to sell or to buy stolen data.

Upon his arrest, the FBI said Fitzpatrick, 21, admitted to being the main administrator of BreachForums, “pompompurin,” and that in July he pleaded guilty to three charges related to operating the site and possessing child pornography on one of its devices.

He remained free on $300,000 bail while awaiting sentencing – originally scheduled for November 17, but which was moved to January 19. In May, Fitzpatrick attempted suicide and his lawyers documents filed in October asking that the sentencing date be pushed back because they wanted experts to “evaluate various aspects of Mr. Fitzpatrick’s mental health.”

When Fitzpatrick first agreed plea agreement, the court provided a strict list of things he was not allowed to do, including accessing a computer without a computer monitoring program installed by court officials. The software restricted access to certain sites and recorded all activity on the device.

He was also banned from communicating with anyone under the age of 18 and from accessing any websites linked to data theft or hacking. He was not allowed to use VPNs, Tor browser or proxy services. He was allowed to travel for doctor visits.

On Tuesday, Fitzpatrick appeared before Magistrate Judge Judith C. McCarthy following his arrest and admitted to bail violations.

“The defendant has waived prompt presentation in this district and will be immediately transported to the Eastern District of Virginia by FBI agents to be presented before a United States Magistrate Judge in this district,” court documents state.

Fitzpatrick faces decades in prison for his years of involvement in several high-profile computer hacking scandals. The first two computer hacking charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years, and the child pornography charge carries a 20-year sentence.

The plea agreement states that he “knowingly possessed approximately 26 files containing visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.”

All three charges come with significant fines and Fitzpatrick agreed to forfeit his assets. Although the plea agreement means Fitzpatrick will not face further charges in the Eastern District of Virginia, the deal does not give him immunity from prosecution in other states.

If he is released, he will be required to register on the sex offender register.

Fitzpatrick’s plea agreement confirmed that he helped run BreachForums from March 2022 to March 15, 2023, which in turn helped others trade in stolen payment card data, routing numbers and bank account numbers, social security numbers, login credentials, etc.

The Justice Department said BreachForums facilitated access to the sensitive personal information of millions of American citizens.

The agreement refers to several specific cases, including an article that makes headlines on December 18, 2022, regarding the theft of information on 87,760 members of InfraGuard, a partnership between the FBI and private sector companies focused on protecting critical infrastructure.

He also notes Fitzpatrick’s role in the sale of sensitive data stolen of the Washington, DC health care marketplace used by members of Congress. He also obtained “videos showing prepubescent minors and minors under the age of 12 engaging in sexually explicit conduct.”

The domain of BreachForums was seized last June and while other administrators I tried to revive itthe effort was finally abandoned.

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Jonathan Greig

Jonathan Greig is a breaking news reporter at Recorded Future News. Jonathan has worked as a journalist around the world since 2014. Before returning to New York, he worked for media outlets in South Africa, Jordan and Cambodia. He previously covered cybersecurity at ZDNet and TechRepublic.

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