World’s largest illegal dark web marketplace taken down

The stored data will give new leads to further investigate moderators, sellers, and buyers

DarkMarket dark web

World’s largest illegal dark web marketplace taken down. Source: pexels.com

DarkMarket, the world’s largest illegal marketplace on the dark web, has been taken offline. It was shut down in an international operation involving Germany, Australia, Denmark, Moldova, Ukraine, the UK (the National Crime Agency), and the US (DEA, FBI, and IRS). Europol supported the takedown with specialist operational analysis and coordinated the cross-border collaborative effort of the countries involved.

Before its closure, DarkMarket hosted almost 500 000 users and over 2 400 sellers. In addition, over 320 000 transactions have been carried out along with more than 4 650 bitcoin and 12 800 monero transferred.

At the current rate, this corresponds to a sum of more than €140 million. The vendors on the marketplace mainly traded all kinds of drugs and sold counterfeit money, stolen or counterfeit credit card details, anonymous SIM cards, and malware.

According to Europol, the Central Criminal Investigation Department of Oldenburg, Germany arrested an Australian citizen who is the alleged operator of DarkMarket near the German-Danish border.

The investigation allowed officers to locate and close the marketplace, switch off the servers, and seize the criminal infrastructure – over 20 servers in Moldova and Ukraine supported by the German Federal Criminal Police office.

We’ve reported that individuals can buy stolen PayPal account details for at least $200 on the darknet.

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