Internet marketplace DarkMarket taken down; operator in German custody
Germany’s central cybercrime authorities have taken down Internet marketplace DarkMarket and now hold its operator in custody. On 11 January, investigators shut down the marketplace’s servers and seized 20 other servers in Moldova and Ukraine. Officials plan to use the confiscated database from the servers to find the alleged moderators, sellers, and buyers of the marketplace.
The alleged operator of DarkMarket is a 34-year-old Australian citizen who was arrested near the German-Danish border. The name and other details about the investigation remain unknown, at press time.
However, Attorney General from Koblenz’s Prosecutor’s office revealed that a large number of domestic and foreign authorities supported the investigation. This includes American authorities such as FBI, DEA and IRS as well as their counterparts in Australia, Denmark, UK, Switzerland, Ukraine and Moldova.
The official claimed that DarkMarket had 500,000 users and over 2,400 vendors in its user base and said:
In total, at least 320,000 transactions were carried out on the marketplace and more than 4,650 Bitcoin and 12,800 Monero, two of the most popular cryptocurrencies, were moved.
At the current price, BTC and XMR amounts correspond to a sum of over $170 million.
Additionally, the marketplace allegedly allowed trade of narcotics and illegal items such as counterfeit money, stolen or counterfeit credit card details, anonymous SIM cards, and malware.