Breaking: Russia’s Largest Dark Web Marketplace Hydra Shut Down by German Police, 543 Bitcoins Seized at the Same Time!
Just a few days ago "ODN" introduced the dark web marketplace Hydra, the largest dark web marketplace in Russia, which also serves Russian-speaking countries and is used for selling drugs, forged documents, trading data and other illegal digital services, and whose merchandise sales soared during the epidemic.
According to the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), the dark web marketplace Hydra has been shut down by the German police. Prosecutors in Frankfurt described the Hydra Market platform as the world's largest illegal dark web marketplace. German police say they have shut down the dark web market's German servers and seized 543 bitcoins worth €23 million ($25 million).
In a statement, Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) said the suspects are being investigated for "operating a criminal trading platform on the Internet in a commercial manner," selling drugs and other charges. The statement was titled "Shutting down the illegal dark web marketplace 'Hydra Market'".
Basic facts about Hydra Market
According to BKA, the Hydra Dark Web Marketplace has been operating since 2015 and has approximately 19,000 registered vendors and 17 million customer accounts.
According to the report, "the Hydra marketplace is probably the world's highest turnover illegal dark web marketplace," with the platform's sales reaching at least €1.23 billion in 2020 alone. The platform offers a "bitcoin banking blender," a service that hides digital currency transactions, making investigations particularly difficult.
Cybersecurity publication CPO Magazine reported that Hydra grew 634 percent from 2018 to 2020, accounting for 75 percent of illegal transactions online.
The marketplace is primarily used for drug transactions, serving Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Moldova, according to blockchain forensics firm Ciphertrace.
It has also attracted "high-profile cybercriminals in the United States, including the DarkSide group responsible for the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack.
The epidemic has seen Hydra's business boom as more and more illicit transactions move to the dark web.
BKA's investigation into the Hydra Market
The BKA said its investigation into the illegal Russian marketplace Hydra began in August 2021, with multiple departments of the U.S. authorities involved in cooperating with the investigation. In a statement the Frankfurt Public Prosecutor's Office and the Federal Criminal Police Office thanked all relevant security services for their excellent cooperation.
The previously seized banners have been posted on the website of the dark web marketplace. "ODN" visit found that access to the Hydra marketplace now shows "502 Bad Gateway".
The use of dark web marketplaces has surged during the new coronavirus pandemic, and such dark web marketplaces have come under increasing pressure from international law enforcement.
Last year, German-led police also dismantled the notorious DarkMarket, a dark web marketplace with nearly 500,000 users and more than 2,400 vendors worldwide.
Was Hydra Market completely destroyed or were only some of its servers shut down? Will the Hydra Market ever be restored to its former glory? "ODN" will wait and see and continue to follow up.
From：On DarkNet – Dark Web News and Analysis
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