More Than 400 ‘Dark Market’ Websites are Seized by FBI - BestCyberNews: Online News Presenter in the present world

BestCyberNews: Online News Presenter in the present world

Start knowing

test banner

Breaking

More Than 400 ‘Dark Market’ Websites are Seized by FBI

On November 5, the FBI arrested 26-year-old Blake "Defcon" Benthall of San Francisco, who is allegedly the owner of online marketplace Silk Road 2.0, which was seized and closed down.

Silk Road, in the same manner as a number of other darkweb services, was used to purchase illegal goods including weapons and drugs through digital currency. 

While the Tor network has become linked with illicit goods and criminal activity, it is also used for legitimate purposes, but there are a number of less-than-savory services if you know where to look.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of the Southern District of New York, FBI Executive Assistant Director Robert Anderson and Executive Associate Director Peter Edge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) made the announcement.

“It is a plain fact that criminals use advanced technology to commit their crimes and conceal evidence—and they hide behind international borders so they can stymie law enforcement,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell. 

“But the global law enforcement community has innovated and collaborated to disrupt these ‘dark market’ websites, no matter how sophisticated or far-flung they have become.”

“As illegal activity online becomes more prevalent, criminals can no longer expect that they can hide in the shadows of the ‘dark web,’” said U.S. Attorney Bharara. 

“We shut down the original Silk Road website and now we have shut down its replacement, as well as multiple other ‘dark market’ sites allegedly offering all manner of illicit goods and services, from firearms to computer hacking. 

In coordination with domestic and international law enforcement agencies, we will continue to seize websites that promote illegal and harmful activities, and prosecute those who create and operate them.”

“Working closely with domestic and international law enforcement, the FBI and our partners have taken action to disrupt several websites dedicated to the buying and selling of illegal drugs and other unlawful goods,” said FBI Executive Assistant Director Anderson. 

“Combating cyber criminals remains a top priority for the FBI, and we continue to aggressively investigate, disrupt, and dismantle illicit networks that pose a threat in cyberspace.”

“Underground websites such as Silk Road and Silk Road 2 are like the Wild West of the Internet, where criminals can anonymously buy and sell all things illegal,” said HSI Associate Director Edge. 

“We will continue to use all of our resources and work closely with our U.S. and international law enforcement partners to shut down these hidden black market sites, and hold criminals accountable who use anonymous Internet software to peddle their illegal activities.”

The operation involved the seizure of over 400 Tor website addresses—known as “.onion” addresses—as well as the servers hosting them. Examples of the websites seized in the operation include:

  • “Pandora” (pandora3uym4z42b.onion), “Blue Sky” (blueskyplzv4fsti.onion), “Hydra” (hydrampvvnunildl.onion), and “Cloud Nine” (xvqrvtnn4pbcnxwt.onion), all of which were dark markets similar to Silk Road 2.0, offering an extensive range of illegal goods and services for sale, including drugs, stolen credit card data, counterfeit currency, and fake identity documents.
  • “Executive Outcomes” (http://iczyaan7hzkyjown.onion), which specialized in firearms trafficking, with offerings including assault rifles, automatic weapons, and sound suppressors. The site stated that it used “secure drop ship locations” throughout the world so that “anonymity [was] ensured” throughout the shipping process, and that all serial numbers from the weapons it sold were “remove[d] . . . and refill[ed] with metal.”
  • “Fake Real Plastic” (http://igvmwp3544wpnd6u.onion), which offered to sell counterfeit credit cards, encoded with “stolen credit card data” and “printed to look just like real VISA and Mastercards.” The cards were “[g]uaranteed to have at least $2500 left on [the] credit card limit” and could be embossed with “any name you want on the card.”
  • “Fake ID” (http://23swqgocas65z7xz.onion), which offered fake passports from a number of countries, advertised as “high quality” and having “all security features” of original documents. The site further advertised the ability to “affix almost all kind of stamps into the passports.”
  • “Fast Cash!” (http://5oulvdsnka55buw6.onion) and “Super Notes Counter” (http://67yjqewxrd2ewbtp.onion), which offered to sell counterfeit Euros and U.S. dollars in exchange for Bitcoin.




Author Venkatesh Yalagandula Follow us Google + and Facebook and Twitter