Recently a major police operation has taken place that has resulted in the closing of AlphaBay and Hansa, two websites belonging to the darkest part of the Internet. They were responsible for selling and marketing more than 350,000 illicit products, including drugs, firearms, malware and stolen personal data.
Dark Web Marketplaces AlphaBay And Hansa Shut Down
In recent days a major police operation has taken place that has resulted in the closing of AlphaBay and Hansa, two of the most important websites of the Dark Web. The so-called Operation Bayonet is a major blow for traffickers in arms, drugs and personal data.
AlphaBay and Hansa were two websites belonging to the darkest part of the Internet. They were responsible for selling and marketing more than 350,000 illicit products, including drugs, firearms, malware and stolen personal data, according to the DoJ. For this, they used the private navigation in TOR to move without leaving traces by its network.
The dismantling of AlphaBay is a historic operation. According to the authorities, this platform had more than 40,000 sellers and 200,000 users. It also had more than 250,000 illegal drug and chemical listings, and with more than 100,000 stolen identity document listings, malware, fake goods, and computer hacking tools, firearms and fraudulent services. In “a conservative estimate”, Europol has estimated that since 2014 about $ 1 billion has been generated on this website and transactions have been paid with the Bitcoin virtual currency.
Since a month ago, Alphabay was no longer available, so many vendors had migrated to other hidden websites. Specifically, in Hansa, the third largest website of the Dark Web, were multiplied by eight new users in less than a month. But by then the police had already taken control of the servers of this website.
Now the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) will be responsible for taking legal action against these hundreds of people involved in the smuggling of all types of products and services. According to data provided by Europol, this website was a “criminal economy” responsible for trafficking with more than 350,000 illegal products, including drugs, firearms, and malware.
Also in this operation has been able to identify the founder of Alphabay. Alexandre Cazes was arrested on July 5 – the same day that his website was blacked out – accused of narcotics distribution, identity theft, fraud and money laundering. A week after his arrest, on July 12, Cazes committed suicide. That same day he was going to be extradited to the United States. According to various rumors, it had more than 23 million dollars in assets, including luxury cars and different goods.
“The ability of drug traffickers and other criminals around the world has suffered a series blow today after the joint operation of several countries worldwide. The police community has sent a clear message that we have the means to identify Crime and counterattack, even in the darkest part of the Internet, the Dark Web. There are many more operations of this type to come,” said Rob Wainwright, executive director of Europol.
This important operation has been led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Dutch National Police with the support of Europol. They have also had the cooperation of the authorities of Thailand, Lithuania, Canada, Great Britain and France.
So, what do you think about this joint attack? Simply share your views and thoughts in the comment section below.