Published: Fri, July 21, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

AlphaBay and Hansa dark web sites shut down

AlphaBay and Hansa dark web sites shut down

The marketplaces offered drugs, weapons, forged documents, and malware.

"This is likely one of the most important criminal investigations of the year - taking down the largest dark net marketplace in history", Sessions said in a statement Thursday.

The Justice Department said Thursday the internet's largest "dark market" has been shut down. "We will find and prosecute drug traffickers who set up shop there, and this case is a great example of our commitment to doing exactly that".

The AlphaBay takedown involved officials from six countries and Europol.

A California indictment named AlphaBay's founder as Canadian Alexandre Cazes, saying the 27-year-old had amassed a fortune of $23 million, including a small fortune in digital currency. "Subsequent enquiries located the Hansa market infrastructure in the Netherlands, with follow-up investigations by the Dutch police leading to the arrest of its two administrators in Germany and the seizure of servers in the Netherlands, Germany and Lithuania".

Wainwright said officers are tracking down Hansa buyers and sellers through their usernames and passwords.

"By acting together on a global basis the law enforcement community has sent a clear message that we have the means to identify criminality and strike back, even in areas of the dark web".

Hansa was finally shut down today, but not before 10 000 addresses were collected.

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Trump also told the New York Times that a conversation he had with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a dinner at the Group of 20 summit in Germany earlier this month lasted about 15 minutes and was mostly about "pleasantries".

It operated using a hidden service on a network which effectively masked user identities and server location.

This story will be updated throughout the day. It was widely considered the biggest online black market for drugs, estimated to host daily transactions totalling hundreds of thousands of pounds after filling the gap left by the takedown of Silk Road in 2013 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Cazes launched AlphaBay in fall 2014 with the goal of creating "the largest e-Bay style underworld marketplace", he wrote on the site. He confirmed that the site's administrators were arrested as part of the takedown, who attempted to use "anonymizing techniques" to try and hide their identities and locations, and revealing that required additional assistance from other law enforcement agencies. "The Silk Road used to be the biggest dark web market place, then it got shutdown". "Looks like I'll be sober for a while". Similar to Cazes' fate, the found of the Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht, was arrested after law enforcement traced one of his accounts to a public email address.

AlphaBay went offline on July 4.

"The gig is up folks, they're going balls to the wall", Reddit user OlympusXans posted in a forum dedicated to darknet markets.

The online activity has spawned further investigations in the real world, as police forces track down the sources of the drugs and other illegal goods that were being sold.

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