Europol announces the shutdown of DarkMarket, a dark web trading platform

The joint work of multiple law enforcement agencies led to the shutdown of DarkMarket, a major illegal trading platform on dark web. According to a Europol report, this is the largest underground market in the world today and was active for years.

During the time it remained active, this platform generated around 140 million Euros derived from the sale of drugs, malware, stolen credit cards, firearms, among other illegal products. DarkMarket has been offline since last Tuesday.

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The German authorities noted that, as part of this global operation, the arrest of a 34-year-old Australian citizen identified as BlackMarket’s main operator; the agents involved in the investigation also shut down the servers used to host the systems of this illegal platform: “At least 20 servers located in Ukraine and Moldova were identified,” the police agency adds. Europol believes that the data stored on these servers could help track some of the moderators, sellers and regular customers of this platform.

This operation, coordinated by Europol, involved the participation of law enforcement agencies in Australia, Denmark, Ukraine and Moldova, as well as the collaboration of the National Crime Agency in the United Kingdom (NCA) and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation  (FBI).

Cybercrime specialists estimate that DarkMarket had around half a million active users, including more than 2,000 sellers or, in other words, around 320,000 transactions, mainly in Bitcoin and Monero.

Research agencies around the world have undertaken titanic work against illegal online platforms; last December, the FBI and Europol shut down three web domains associated with the Safe-Inet VPN service, allegedly employed for illegal operations, including ransomware attacks. Other malware hacking and selling platforms have also been shut down by authorities in recent months.