police tell how they brought down the Russian “Silk Road”

The hunt will have lasted several months – it does not date specifically from the war in Ukraine – even if, since the outbreak of the conflict and the establishment of particularly heavy sanctions against Russia, this darknet marketplace had become one of the the most effective ways to circumvent economic sanctions by allowing Russians to trade NFTs and crypto outside of major legal platforms like Binance or Coinbase.

“The public prosecutor’s office in Frankfurt am Main, the Central Office for Combating Cybercrime (ZIT) and the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) announce that they have taken over the infrastructure in Germany on Tuesday. and the servers of the largest illegal darknet site in the world “Hydra Market” which allowed the site to be shut down. A sum of Bitcoins equivalent to approximately 23 million euros was seized – these Bitcoins being charged to the marketplace”announce the German authorities.

Police had been tracking Hydra since the summer of 2021

The authorities go on to explain that the hunt for the site began in August 2021 – when many countries, including the United States, began to take an interest in this sort of Russian copy of the other illegal marketplace which fell several years ago. years, Silk Road. Hydra has been hugely successful since its launch around 2015.

Initially, the site was mainly a drug supermarket, but Hydra also offered pirated documents, miscellaneous fakes and illegal online services. When it closed, the site had more than 17 million customers and more than 19,000 seller accounts. However, with the implementation of sanctions following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the site also began to offer, as we told you above, the 100% anonymous exchange of cryptocurrencies and NFTs.

The site also offered a “Bitcoin mixer” which made it possible to anonymize transactions by mixing them with other flows and cutting the sums into a multitude of transfers of random amounts.

Also read – Russia to legalize piracy to circumvent sanctions

German police believe that Hydra had become the darknet’s most profitable illegal site, as its turnover was at least 1.23 billion euros in 2020 alone. In addition to the closure, the police have put this banner on Hydra’s home page to warn regulars of the site:


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