Recounting Multiple Major Dark Net Market Place Seizures By Law Enforcement Agencies in 2019
Darkweb or Dark Net is deepest parts of the internet which are considered to be mostly inaccessible without the special tools. Dark Web is also often associated with privacy and very difficult to track, which has made it one of the better places to carry out operations which are deemed illegal in the real world. However, 2019 is surely changing that belief with a number of crackdowns on various dark web market places in 2019.
Government agencies all around the world have been quite serious about cybersecurity which has led to a more sophisticated way of operations by these authorities to counter these cybercriminals. 2019 would surely be the year of crackdowns as major dark web market places which have been operating for years have been cracked down. We will look at major dark web shutdowns and what led to it.
1. Valhalla Marketplace
European countries have become an epic center for darknet market places in recent years with the most affected regions being mainland Europe, and the United Kingdom, darknet vendors could be found everywhere. In a recent crackdown by FBI across Germany, Finland, the US, Brazil, and the Netherlands, the law enforcement agencies took down Valhalla darknet marketplace, which is not a major market, but it has started to gain popularity in the last couple of years.
Valhalla crackdown came in quite recently and it was a big breakthrough for the agency given, the darknet marketplace is one of the oldest in the business found back in 2013. The exact loophole that led to the crackdown is still not known, but its owners were pretty confident that their security was unbreachable.
2. Wall Street Market
Wall Street Market is said to be the biggest bust by the law enforcement agencies, and its shutdown has overshadowed the crackdown on Valhalla as well. The darknet marketplace was one of the biggest hubs for illegal activities operating under the cover of various layers of protocols. The shutdown came on the heels of numerous exit scam rumors, but still, there is no official confirmation.
However, law enforcement agents are almost sure that Wall Street Market is gone for good. Until now, three main operators of the admin of Wall Street Market have been arrested by German Police and speculation mills suggest that the crackdown can lead to several more arrests.
3. Honey pot/ Dream Market
Another major darknet marketplace which had to shut down their operation owing to the intense crackdown by law enforcement agencies is Dream Market. The Darknet market place has grown in stature in the past 5 years to become a hub for illegal activities. Although the market place was not officially seized by the agencies, many believe that the arrest of numerous vendors led the owners to go offline.
It is still unknown whether the shutdown is permanent or they might return once the pressure eases up with a different name.
DeepDotWeb was taken down very recently by the FBI along with the help from other law enforcement agencies. The main reason behind the shutdown is speculated to be numerous dark net content available on the website. Another factor that might have contributed to their shutdown is that the visitors on the website were often given advice on which darknet marketplace is suitable for use, and they even had a dark web marketplace ranking on the main website itself.
DeepDotWeb is facing charges for receiving handsome commissions amounting in millions for driving traffic to these marketplaces from their website.
The recent surge of crackdowns on illegal darknet marketplaces by law enforcement agencies has been codenamed Operation SaboTor, which led to one of the most successful crackdowns in recent times leading to dozens of arrest, and 50 darknet accounts being seized and ceased. The success of the project might lead to even further crackdowns.
The operation SaboTor also resulted in the confiscation of around $4.5 million worth of cryptocurrencies, 300kg of drugs, several dozens of firearms and vast amounts of gold. The operation ran for well over two months ending on March 12th, 2019. Looking at the success of the operation, future mutual cooperation among law enforcement agencies may become a norm for crackdown like these.