Germany Shuts Down Hydra, Largest Illegal Darknet Market, Seizes $25 Million in Bitcoin

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Germany has announced the closure of what was believed to be the largest illegal market on the darknet. This is Hydra Market, a Russian-language platform that could only be accessed through the Tor network and that was focused on the sale of illegal substances and money laundering. Investigators estimate that it moved about 17 million customers and more than one billion euros per year.

The Central Office for Combating Cybercrime of the Frankfurt Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Federal Criminal Police Office provided details in a statement. Authorities say that, after an extensive investigation involving US agencies, they managed to take control of Hydra’s servers in Germany and They seized 23 million dollars in bitcoins.

Hydra no longer works: now shows a message from the police

The Hydra marketplace went live in 2015 and experienced dramatic growth. as collected CPO, the market experienced a growth of 624% between 2018 and 2020, accounting for 75% of illegal transactions carried out online. It also attracted high-profile cybercriminals, such as the DarkSide group responsible for the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack.

Hydra Germany 24

Before the closure I had more than 19,000 seller accounts and 17 million registered customers. German authorities say that while the market was focused on buying and selling illegal substances and money laundering, stolen sensitive data, forged documents and other illegal digital services were also circulating.

Sales are estimated at at least €1.23 billion in 2020, but police say the transactions have been very difficult to trace. This is due to the use of Bitcoin Bank Mixer, a service used by the platform to obfuscate movements in cryptocurrencies. According Elliptical“Hydra also offered digital currency exchange and the possibility of cash withdrawal.”

This is not the first time that German authorities have cracked down on illegal darknet markets. Last year it was DarkMarket’s turna platform that moved more than 140 million euros and whose manager was arrested some time after the site went offline near the border between Germany and Denmark.

Images | Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA)

Germany has announced the closure of what was believed to be the largest illegal market on the darknet. This is…

Germany has announced the closure of what was believed to be the largest illegal market on the darknet. This is…

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