Today the US Justice Department announced that the largest dark web marketplace, AlphaBay, has been shut down following an international law enforcement investigation.
The AlphaBay site was widely used by criminals to trade in illicit items such as drugs, weapons, malware and stolen data. It was the ‘go site’ for cyber criminals to trade stolen data and malware.
Around the time of takedown, there were over 100,000 listings on AlphaBay for stolen and fraudulent identification documents and access devices, counterfeit goods, malware and other computer hacking tools, firearms and fraudulent services.
The AlphaBay shut down coincides with the successful take down of the Hansa Market by Dutch law enforcement. Like AlphaBay, Hansa Market was used to facilitate the sale of illegal drugs, toxic chemicals, malware, counterfeit identification documents, and illegal services.
Both marketplaces operated in the dark web, only accessible via the “Tor” network, and using cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Monero and Ethereum in order to hide the locations of its underlying servers and the identities of those administering and using the site.
While this is great news for the fight against cyber crime undoubtedly new services will simply pop up to replace them.