German authorities have closed the largest online black market following a Europol investigation. DarkMarket has been used by more than 2,400 traders who have sold computer viruses, hacker programs, stolen data, and even drugs.
320,000 transactions were made through DarkMarket. A 34-year-old Australian who was near Germany’s border with Denmark was also detained as part of the investigation. He is suspected of being an administrator of the online store.
The store was found as part of a larger investigation against hosting company CyberBunker, which has been favored by online fraudsters and hackers for a long time. It is also the preferred hosting of platforms such as WikiLeaks, as well as the torrent site Pirate Bay. It is often used by many online stores on the so-called dark web.
The headquarters of CyberBunker was broken into in September 2019, when four Dutch, three Germans, and one Bulgarian were arrested. Investigating the servers also helps locate DarkMarket.
The inspection shows that transfers in various cryptocurrencies for a total value of EUR 140 million have been made through this online store. The investigation also reached servers in Moldova and Ukraine that were used by DarkMarket.
In 2019, Europol opened and closed another large online black market – Wall Street Market. It had 11.5 million registered users and over 5,400 merchants. In previous years, other similar platforms were unveiled, including Silk Road.
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