A couple of weeks ago, AlphaBay and Hansa, two of the most popular dark web marketplaces were busted and seized by European law enforcement authorities. AlphaBay founder Alexandre Cazes then made it into the news by committing suicide in a Thai prison, but the fate of Hansa administration is still unknown.
Those visiting the Hansa marketplace right now can see the following message left by Dutch police:
“The Dutch National Police have located Hansa market and taken over control of this marketplace since June 20, 2017. We have modified the source code, which allowed us to capture passwords, PGP-encrypted order information, IP addresses, Bitcoins, and other relevant information that may help law enforcement agencies worldwide to identify users of this marketplace. For more information about this operation, place consult our hidden service at politiepcvh42eav.onion.
This seizure was part of Operation Bayonet, which includes the take over of Hansa Market by National Police of the Netherlands and the takedown of Alpha Market by the FBI of the United States of American on July 4, 2017.”
However, by visiting the Dutch Police’s hidden service on Dark Web through Tor browser, it was observed that the police had shared a list of identified buyers as well as active and arrested vendors. The identified buyers are those who bought illegal products from Hansa marketplace while active vendors are those who are still selling illegal products especially drugs on some other dark web marketplace.
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It can be expected that sooner or later the identified buyers will be caught since Netherlands police have arrested a number of vendors or buyers who used the same password on Hansa and AlphaBay
The list also allows visitors to get more information on the arrested vendors by clicking on the (info) tag which takes users to several Dutch newspapers detailing their name, age, charges, what they used to sell on Hansa, and how the arrest was conducted.
For example, Maikel S, who according to Dutch newspaper is “the biggest online drug smuggler ever” and might serve 40 years in prison. Maikel used to sell illegal drugs including XTC, LSD, and cocaine through which he earned millions of dollars.
The investigation revealed Maikel delivered drugs in DVD cases and lived a lavish life wherever he traveled.
A picture shared by the police shows drugs confiscated from a vendor who used “The Flying Dutchmen” as their handle on the dark web.
A crypto market researcher on Twitter posted the following tweets identifying the issue of using the same passwords by Dark Web vendors and buyers.
The Dutch Police have vowed to arrest every cybercriminal within their jurisdiction. However, the fate of those criminals living abroad depends on the local law enforcement authorities as the Dutch authorities have decided to share their information with the respective countries.