More Dark Markets Shut As Authorities Lead Crackdown
The UK National Crime Agency has posted a notice describing a series of six arrests that coincided with the takedown of the Silk Road 2.0. Authorities have also taken down two other dark markets, Hydra and Cloud 9, both hidden on the TOR network.
￼The six people arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs were a 20-year-old man from Liverpool city centre, a 19-year-old man from New Waltham, Lincolnshire; a 30-year-old man from Cleethorpes; a 29-year-old man from Aberdovey, Wales; a 58-year-old man from Aberdovey, Wales; and a 58-year-old woman from Aberdovey, Wales. All six were interviewed and have been bailed pending further enquiries.
The seizures are part of an effort called Operation Onymous (the antonym of “anonymous”) and coordinated teams in the US and Ireland to bring down the sites and arrest admins.
According to a source close to the proceedings, Irish police also arrested a Silk Road admin called TheHulkster in Dolphin’s Barn, Dublin, Ireland. He was caught by the Garda after a fake overseas bank account piqued investigator’s interest. It is believed this discovery led to further evidence against the Silk Road 2.0.
Why did these sites fall? That is still unclear but the FBI admitted to planting volunteers onto the sites who were given maintenance access. The sites were also apparently less secure than even the original Silk Road. As one user on the Silk Road Reddit noted:
￼I’ll give an outsiders perspective since I don’t use DNMs.
Don’t call your site Silk Road 3.0
Improve on every area which failed last time
Don’t post on social media about buying new cars in Bitcoin
Technology is not just a desired trait. It’s a must. If you can’t code a site better than the Feds, you’re done.
The full release is below:
￼Coordinated activity by law enforcement in Europe and the US has targeted market places for illegal commodities on the dark web – the ‘hidden’ areas of the internet.The National Crime Agency, working with police forces across the UK, arrested six people yesterday in strikes coordinated with international partners. Those arrested include suspected administrators for the online drug market place Silk Road 2.0 and another drug market place, as well as significant vendors of illegal drugs through the dark web.Simultaneously, partners from the European Cybercrime Centre – acting on intelligence developed by US counterparts – took out technical infrastructure which is key to the hosting of illegal market places on the dark web. In total over 400 dark web sites were taken down.
The six people arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs were a 20-year-old man from Liverpool city centre, a 19-year-old man from New Waltham, Lincolnshire; a 30-year-old man from Cleethorpes; a 29-year-old man from Aberdovey, Wales; a 58-year-old man from Aberdovey, Wales; and a 58-year-old woman from Aberdovey, Wales. All six were interviewed and have been bailed pending further enquiries.
A large amount of computer equipment was seized at all the addresses searched and will now be forensically examined.
The action yesterday by the NCA and partners across Europe and America is part of continuing operations to target the use of online market places to trade in illegal commodities such as class A drugs, firearms and false documents. Anyone who tries to access Silk Road 2.0 will now see a notice highlighting the site has been seized.