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Hydra Market Shut Down

By Dr.Dang April 23, 2022, 8:26 a.m.
Hydra Market Shut Down

The closure of Hydra Market is a big blow to the dark web community. This was arguably one of the biggest dark web platforms in existence. Researchers argue that it was the largest Russian speaking dark web marketplace.

Hydra Market Shut Down



The closure of Hydra Market is a big blow to the dark web community. This was arguably one of the biggest dark web platforms in existence. Researchers argue that it was the largest Russian speaking dark web marketplace. It also aided in the laundering of millions of dollars through cryptocurrency.

But German authorities have insisted that they brought down this giant. Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office reportedly seized servers belonging to Hydra Market. This forced the site to go offline. Besides, they recovered over 543 bitcoins ($24.8 million) from the marketplace.

Founded in 2015, Hydra Market was arguably the largest Russian-speaking marketplace on the dark web. Cybersecurity firm Flashpoint reports. Just like any other dark web forum, users could visit the site via the Tor browser.

The Hydra Market website



The marketplace was best known for selling illegal drugs. However, merchants on the platform also offered cryptocurrency laundering services. These include forged documents, stolen credit card numbers, counterfeit money, and illicit digital goods.

German authorities said the takedown came after an extensive investigation that began in August and involved US investigators. “Around 17 million customers and over 19,000 seller accounts were registered on the marketplace,” German police said.

“Its sales amounted to at least 1.23 billion euros ($1.34 billion) in 2020 alone,” they added. “In particular, the Bitcoin Bank Mixer, a service for obfuscating digital transactions provided by the platform, made crypto investigations extremely difficult for law enforcement agencies.”

Despite today's action, it’s possible Hydra could return. An earlier report from Flashpoint and cryptocurrency tracking firm Chainalysis notes the market had at least 11 operators. German police also didn't say if arrests were made. Security researchers suspect at least some Hydra operators based in Russia. It's always known that Russia doesn’t extradite hacking suspects to the West.

Still, seizing the marketplace's servers may help investigators identify and track down its creators. Flashpoint added: “The administrators of Hydra reportedly claim that the market is undergoing ‘technical works’ and have not acknowledged the takedown.”
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