Arrests have been made in Israel, Europe, Brazil, and the United States.
The popular dark web news and index website DeepDotWeb (DDW) has been seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Those visiting the website can see a message left by the FBI on its homepage stating that “This site has been seized.”
The seizure came days after the infamous Wall Street and Valhalla (Silkkitie) dark web marketplaces were taken over by European authorities. The DeepDotWeb bust, on the other hand, has come as a surprise for many as it was a website seemingly providing “information” about dark web markets. However, it is now being reported that the site was much more than what was previously perceived.
On May 7th, the Times of Israel reported that Police in Tel Aviv and Ashdod arrested two individuals in their 30s allegedly administrating DeepDotWeb. It is being claimed that administrators made millions of dollars commission through a dark web market referral program.
The referral program worked in such a way that upon clicking on the link users were directly taken on the desired marketplace allowing them to signup. Apparently, administrators would earn money with each signup. These marketplaces allowed users to buy illegal drugs, stolen databases and credit cards, weapons, malicious software, and stolen identities, etc.
According to the Times of Israel, authorities in Brazil, Germany, France, and the Netherlands have also raided and arrested several suspects during the operation.
It is worth mentioning that DeepDotWeb was in no way involved in selling any illegal goods on its website. At the time of publishing this article, those visiting DeepDotWeb could see the following page:
Wall Street Marketplace seized
On April 3rd, HackRead published an in-depth report in which several Wall Street vendors and buyers indicated exit scams by administrators and feared that they have stolen over $30 million of vendors’ money. However, on May 3rd, it was reported that Wall Street market has been shut down and seized by Europol.
Wall Street became the largest ever marketplace after Dream market influx was shut down.
The Wall Street bust came as a major blow for both buyers and sellers as the market was home to millions of users. In a press release, the Department of Justice announced that Europol has arrested three Germans for allegedly operating Wall Street marketplace. All three are facing U.S. narcotics and money laundering charges.
Valhalla (Silkkitie) Seized
On May 3rd, Europol issued a press release announcing that Valhalla marketplace was seized by Finnish law enforcement while police in the United States arrested two drug dealers for allegedly selling high-volume drugs in the country.
Authorities also made a significant Bitcoin seizure and took over the entire web server and contents of the marketplace. Remember, Valhalla was operating since 2013 and had over 1 million active users.
Those visiting Valhalla and Wall Street right now can see the following page:
It seems like authorities are more than serious about taking over and shutting down dark web marketplaces involved in selling illegal goods. In July 2017, dark web’s largest marketplaces AlphaBay and Hansa also bit the dust after the FBI, DEA, Europol and Dutch Police seized both markets and arrested several vendors.