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Witness to History: DarkMarket & the FBI Agent who Became Master Splyntr

National Law Enforcement Museum's panel discussion was held at the International Spy Museum and sponsored by Target®

April 9, 2014

Washington, DC—Last evening, the National Law Enforcement Museum held the ninth event in its Witness to History series. For the second time, the Museum partnered with the International Spy Museum, the host of a great evening and fascinating program: DarkMarket & the FBI Agent who Became Master Splyntr.

Craig Floyd, Chairman & CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, kicked off the event by welcoming the nearly 150 guests in attendance, and thanking the event’s sponsor, Target, and host, Peter Earnest, Executive Director of the Spy Museum. He then introduced the panel moderator, Shawn Henry, former Assistant Director of the FBI and current President of CrowdStrike Services; and panelists, J. Keith Mularski, FBI Supervisory Special Agent; and Kevin Poulsen, Investigations Editor of WIRED Magazine.

An expert on the topic of cyber crime, Shawn Henry reminded the audience that everything we do is being transmitted and stored digitally—hence why it is an incredibly important issue. He explained that, cyber crime is a lot like organized crime groups from the past. “Just like in dark alleys in your cities, but instead they’re virtual,” he said.

One of those virtual dark alleys was called DarkMarket, an international one-stop shop for selling stolen personal credit and identity information online. It became a hub for underground criminal enterprise, with over 2,500 registered members at its peak. Both panelists brought unique perspectives to the case and the topic of cyber crime—Keith Mularski from the view of an undercover agent who ran the site, remaining mostly undetected for two years (2006-2008), and Kevin Poulsen from the view of a reporter (and former hacker) uncovering emerging technologies and their effects on society.

Agent Mularski and other agents involved with DarkMarket had to work with law enforcement in several countries, including Germany, the United Kingdom, and Turkey. The successful case ended with more than 60 worldwide arrests and the prevention of some $70 million in financial loss.

The Museum’s Witness to History program began in June 2011. Since the inaugural event, eight more have been presented. Video recordings and photos from the events are available to view on the Museum's website.

For more information, contact WitnessToHistory@nleomf.org, call 202.737.3400, or visit www.LawEnforcementMuseum.org/WitnesstoHistory.

Visit the Museum's blog for a recap and photos from Witness to History: DarkMarket & the FBI Agent who Became Master Splyntr.

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About the National Law Enforcement Museum
Authorized by Congress in the year 2000, the 57,000-square-foot National Law Enforcement Museum will be a mostly underground institution located adjacent to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC’s Judiciary Square. The Museum will tell the story of American law enforcement through high-tech, interactive exhibits, comprehensive collection of artifacts, extensive resources for research, and diverse educational programming. With a projected opening in 2016, the Museum is an initiative of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, a private non-profit [501(c)(3)] organization established in 1984. The Memorial Fund is dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of America’s law enforcement officers and to promoting officer safety. For more information about the National Law Enforcement Museum, visit www.LawEnforcementMuseum.org.

Steve Groeninger
steve@nleomf.org | 202.737.7135