DarkMarket, which was reportedly the largest dark web marketplace in the world, has been taken down by a coordinated international operation led by Europol, according to European authorities. German authorities arrested an Australian man believed to be the operator of the dark web market, they seized 20 servers that hosted DarkMarket, and in the process brought an end to the biggest market on the dark web.
According to Europol, before the takedown, DarkMarket housed close to 500,000 users and facilitated as much as 320,000 transactions. As Per Europol’s estimate, DarkMarket traded the equivalent of €140 million in today’s money, using a mix of bitcoin and Monero. Europol are hoping to use servers seized from DarkMarket to investigate the buyers and sellers who used the site for their transactions. The servers were seized in Ukraine and Moldova.
According to reports, a larger investigation uncovered DarkMarket, the investigation was into web-hosting company Cyberbunker. Cyberbunker (which was actually located in a former NATO bunker) was housing servers for both The Pirate Bay and WikiLeaks, and if this case shows anything, authorities will use it as a valid starting point for future investigations into other dark web sites.
It is now obvious that the investigation into bulletproof hosting provider Cyberbuker, provided law enforcement with the information that they needed to launch an investigation into DarkMarket. Many dark web users suspected that Darkmarket was hosted on Cyberbunker, during the Cyberbunker raids DarkMarket went offline.
Europol Numbers on DarkMarket
Until its seizure, DarkMarket was the largest darkweb market with:
- 500 000 users
- 2 400 vendors
- 320 000 transactions
- 4,650 bitcoin and 12,800 Monero transferred.