The largest-ever operation against the hidden network website operators was conducted on November 6th, as the press release by Europol informs. 16 European countries took part, as well as the United States, in taking down the criminal operators. It was a joint effort of various agencies, coordinated by the Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, the FBI, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Homeland Security Investigations, and Eurojust. Many of the websites taken down served as markets for illegal trading of services and products, including drugs, weapons, hitmen, and more.
“Our efforts have disrupted a website that allows illicit black-market activities to evolve and expand, and provides a safe haven for illegal vices, such as weapons distribution, drug trafficking and murder-for-hire,” says Kumar Kibble, regional attaché for HSI in Germany. “HSI will continue to work in partnership with Europol and its law enforcement partners around the world to hold criminals who use anonymous Internet software for illegal activities accountable for their actions.”
The law enforcement seized, among other items, about $1 million worth of bitcoins, EUR 180,000 in cash, drugs, gold and silver. Along with other sites, the notorious Silk Road 2.0 was taken down, as well.
“Working closely with domestic and international law enforcement, the FBI and our partners have taken action to disrupt several websites dedicated to the buying and selling of illegal drugs and other unlawful goods. Combating cyber criminals remains a top priority for the FBI, and we continue to aggressively investigate, disrupt, and dismantle illicit networks that pose a threat in cyberspace”, says Robert Anderson, FBI Executive Assistant Director of the of the Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch.