In early 2016, a previously unknown hacker operating under the alias of tessa88 publicly emerged after offering an extensive list of compromised, high-profile databases for sale. The hacker offered for sale the databases of companies such as VKontakte, Mobango, Myspace, Badoo, QIP, Dropbox, Rambler, LinkedIn, and Twitter, among others. Within several months of incredibly active public engagement, the hacker’s personas were banned from almost every dark web community for various reasons, and by May of 2016, tessa88 entirely ceased all communications with the media and public alike. In the following months, numerous attempts were made to uncover the true identity of the hacker. However, no concrete evidence was ever produced that linked tessa88 with any real individual.
New findings strongly suggest that the individual behind tessa88 may be Maksim Donakov of Penza, Russia, who operated under multiple different monikers on the dark web. It is possible that a second unknown individual was assisting Donakov in maintaining the tessa88 account, adhering to impeccable OPSEC procedures and until this day remaining anonymous. In either scenario, we firmly believe that Donakov Maksim has directly benefited from the sales of compromised databases and should be viewed as the main actor.
Source: Recorded Future