Threat Management, Incident Response, TDR

Researchers believed to have uncovered tessa88’s identity

Recorded Future researchers believed they have uncovered the identity of the Notorious hackers tessa88 who has been credited with compromising several high profile databases belonging to companies such as VKontakte, Mobango, Myspace, Badoo, QIP, Dropbox, Rambler, LinkedIn and Twitter, among others.

Researchers claim the hacker is actually Maksim Vladimirovich Donakov of Penza, Russia, who has been operating since at least 2012 under multiple different monikers including Paranoy777, Daykalif and tarakan72511, according to a Nov. 20 blog post.

While the alias tessa88 emerged around 2016 when the moniker was used to sell exposed databases on the dark web, researchers believe Donakov has been active since 2012 and may have an unknown accomplice who helped maintain the tessa88 account.

Researchers said there is a high degree of confidence that tessa88 is a man and not a woman based on several pictures on accounts linked to the tessa88 moniker and other alias accounts.

And while it is difficult to identify real tactics, techniques, and procedures used to compromise the databases, researchers said the pending investigation of Yevgeniy Nikulin who was tied with the LinkedIn data leak, may shed light on the methods used.

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