600 police officers attack a NATO bunker to seize 200 dark web servers and arrest 13 hackers

Just a few days ago a data center operated by cybercriminals was shut down by the authorities in Germany. According to ethical hacking specialists, this data center was located in a former North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) bunker, located in a small German village.

In the operation, carried out in the small town of Trarbach, more than 600 officers worked, including members of GSG 9, the elite German police force. The 5,000-square-meter NATO bunker is built on land of more than 1 hectare, has steel gates, surveillance systems and extends five floors below the ground.

“In addition to dodging the physical protection measures of the property, such as steel fences and entrances, we also had to discontinue their digital protections,” said Johannes Kunz, the city’s police chief. According to ethical hacking specialists, the main objective of this operation was the so-called “bulletproof host”, which provides IT infrastructure to protect some online criminal activities from the intervention of the authorities.  

During this operation, authorities confiscated 200 servers, hundreds of documents, smartphones and an undisclosed amount of cash. Local media reported that this is the first time that German authorities have managed to dismantle a bulletproof hosting service.

These servers hosted multiple websites dedicated to arms trafficking, drugs, forged documents, among other illicit activities; among these sites stands out Wall Street Market, one of the most important dark web retail forums in the world, which was shut down by police a few months ago. The authorities are waiting for a titanic effort to try to break the security of these servers and access their content.

During this operation, 13 people between the ages of 20 and 60 were arrested. According to ethical hacking specialists of the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS), the person responsible for this operation is a Dutch man related to important members of organized crime in the Netherlands.