German police may have taken down the largest illegal marketplace on the web today. It is about Hydra Market, a Russian platform that had millions of active members. It is unknown who the administrators are.
That writes the German Bundeskriminalamt in a press statement.
Hydra Market had about 17 million customers
The Public Prosecution Service, the Zentralstelle zur Bekämpfung der Internetkriminalität (ZIT) and the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) announced today that they have taken Hydra Market offline. In their own words, it is the largest criminal marketplace on the dark web. The platform had some 17 million customers and more than 19,000 registered merchant accounts.
Hydra Market has been around since 2015 and can only be accessed through the Tor web browser. The focus of the illegal marketplace was on the sale of narcotics, forged documents, espionage data, and ‘digital services. According to estimates by ZIT and BKA, Hydra Market achieved a turnover of at least 1.23 billion euros in 2020.
More than 23 million euros seized
The ‘Bitcoin Bank Mixer’ has made it almost impossible for investigative authorities to do their job. This is a service that camouflages the digital transactions of buyers and sellers. Researchers were, therefore, unable to determine which financial routes were followed by transactions.
In total, BKA seized 543 Bitcoins. At the current price, that is worth 23.1 million euros. The Hydra Market investigation has been ongoing since August 2021. Today’s action also involved several U.S. law enforcement agencies.
Multiple illegal marketplaces disabled
It is not the first time that websites on the dark web have gone black