Europol and its global investigation against dark web forum users

The European Union Law Enforcement Cooperation Agency (Europol) recently announced the implementation of a series of joint efforts with U.S. and Canadian law enforcement agencies to stop the activities of buyers and sellers of illegal merchandise and digital material in dark web platforms, mentioned the ethical hacking training experts from the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS).

The announcement was published through Europol web site and social media profiles, mentioning that, to date, joint intelligence operations have helped make more than 50 arrests and seize about €6M in virtual assets, fiat currency and valuables. Since the end of 2018 the European law enforcement agency began to integrate international teams of specialists in its main headquarters, located in Holland.

According to ethical hacking training experts, the history of virtual assets is closely related to the use of sales forums on dark web. For example, between 2012 and 2013, about 7% of all Bitcoin transactions made in the world were held in dark web forums, mainly on the one known as Silk Road.

Since the authorities shut down Silk Road in 2013, multiple forums have appeared seeking to occupy this predominant place, although they have suffered similar destinations; Hansa Market, for example, was closed in 2017 thanks to a joint work of Europol and American authorities. The battle against the sales forums on dark web seems to walk on a good course, mentioned the ethical hacking training experts. Dream Market, the most important dark web forum today, has already announced its upcoming closure, scheduled for April 2019.

Europol also published a list of warnings for the regulars to these illegal shopping forums, either vendor of buyers, emphasizing the work of persecution that the agency has done for months against the users of dark web.