Wednesday, January 13th 2021

Authorities Take Down DarkMarket, the Dark Web's Largest Illegal Marketplace

An Europol-coordinated international investigation has brought down Darkmarket, the largest operating illegal marketplace in the Dark Web prior to the takedown. The move saw Europol coordinate an international team composed of national security forces working in tandem with Europol's investigators, and culminated with the arrest (by German forces) of a 34-year-old Australian citizen thought to be the head of the operation near the German-Danish border. The partnership between Germany, Australia, Denmark, Moldova, Ukraine, the United Kingdom (the National Crime Agency), and the USA (DEA, FBI, and IRS), coordinated by Europol, thus put to an end an illegal operation that served some 500,000 users.

The DarkMarket featured over 2,400 sellers, and operated at an annual pace of 320,000 transactions - Europol estimates that the marketplace thus moved some €140 million. The website obviously made use of cryptocurrencies to operate, with an estimated flow-through of about 4 650 bitcoin and 12 800 monero being transferred related to the website's operation. Users of DarkMarket mainly trafficked in all kinds of drugs and sold counterfeit money, stolen or counterfeit credit card details, anonymous SIM cards and malware. The market's infrastructure was taken down as well, with the police forces confiscating over 20 servers in Ukraine and Moldova, where the operation was apparently located. Officials said Tuesday that the information gathered from the DarkMarket seizures would hopefully lead to further investigations.
Source: Europol
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12 Comments on Authorities Take Down DarkMarket, the Dark Web's Largest Illegal Marketplace

#1
docnorth
In theory this could decrease bitcoin value, but it remains to be seen IF and how much...
Posted on Reply
#2
TheUn4seen
Destroy one, ten more will rise in it's place. Silk Road taught us that closing down darkweb marketplaces only serves as an advertisement for others, with more and more people from general population going "what's this dark web thing, I want to buy drugs, weapons and slave girls from the comfort of my home".
docnorth
In theory this could decrease bitcoin value, but it remains to be seen IF and how much...
Not really. There are many, many other places where you can spend your coins on illicit goods, but, to be honest, most cryptocurrency value lies in trading. Coinbase probably has much higher money flow-through than any darkweb market in existence.
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#3
Octopuss
I wonder how can they trace anything anywhere on darkweb. It's still accessed by TOR, right?
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#4
TheUn4seen
Octopuss
I wonder how can they trace anything anywhere on darkweb. It's still accessed by TOR, right?
It's not simple, but doable if you have a lot of public money to burn and authority to overstep. You can set up fake TOR endpoints and monitor traffic (a hole which was plugged not long ago, if memory serves me right), or you can trace users indirectly - correlating login times to different services, for example if a user has the same username on his marketplace and on Twitter, and logs in at roughly the same time, you can assume it's the same person. Politely ask Twitter for his login credentials, check if password matches. If not, you can do a lot of things if you know who it is, like waterboarding until he tells you what you want - Americans seem to enjoy the elegance and simplicity of this approach. Interpol probably just kidnaps their families.
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#5
Chloe Price
TheUn4seen
Destroy one, ten more will rise in it's place.
This. It has always been and it will always be like this.
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#6
cst1992
At least everyone is still located on Earth. Imagine having to track these guys in another star system (Interstellar style).
Posted on Reply
#7
R-T-B
docnorth
In theory this could decrease bitcoin value, but it remains to be seen IF and how much...
Nothing unless they auction the coins, and even then almost nothing.
Posted on Reply
#8
hat
Enthusiast
On the contrary, I think the value of cryptos actually rises along with such news...
Posted on Reply
#9
Prima.Vera
How about those markets that deal in human-trafficking, etc?
Posted on Reply
#10
R-T-B
Prima.Vera
How about those markets that deal in human-trafficking, etc?
They exist too of course, but I think since the closure of that last big one they've been dealt a signifigant blow (forget the name, around the time of Silk Road).
Posted on Reply
#11
Bytales
This happend because Bitcoin and Monero arent anonymous - Bitcoin was expected not to be, but monero on the other hand was expected to be private and anonymous and untraceble..

If they were using anonymous currencies that work, such as
RYO Cryptocurrency
ryo-currency.com/
and use it properly to be trully untraceble - like described here:
ryocurrency/comments/a4mppiit would have been much harder.
BadCaca has been showing for a lot of time MONERO is not safe and can be traced.
monero-badcaca.net/
But no Monero user was ever known to listen...
Posted on Reply
#12
R-T-B
Bytales
This happend because Bitcoin and Monero arent anonymous - Bitcoin was expected not to be, but monero on the other hand was expected to be private and anonymous and untraceble..

If they were using anonymous currencies that work, such as
RYO Cryptocurrency
ryo-currency.com/
and use it properly to be trully untraceble - like described here:
ryocurrency/comments/a4mppiit would have been much harder.
BadCaca has been showing for a lot of time MONERO is not safe and can be traced.
monero-badcaca.net/
But no Monero user was ever known to listen...
This reads like a RYO infomercial. None of those sound like serious security issues for Monero in practice with an educated user, which Monero users tend to be...

In reality even bitcoin is hard to truly trace back to a person, so this is almost academic at this point.
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