The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and European law enforcement have seized Silk Road 2.0, an alternative to the notorious online illegal-drug marketplace, and arrested 26-year-old operator Blake Benthall.
The operation also led to the seizure of 27 different websites as part of a much larger operation called Operation Onymous, which led to take-down of more than “410 hidden services” that sell illegal goods and services from drugs to murder-for-hire assassins by masking their identities using the Tor encryption network.
“The action aimed to stop the sale, distribution and promotion of illegal and harmful items, including weapons and drugs, which were being sold on online ‘dark’ marketplaces,” according to the Europol press release.
This globally-coordinated take down is the combined efforts of 17 nations which includes the law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and 16 member nations of Europol.
The operation led to the arrest of 17 people, operators of darknet websites and the seizure of $1 million in Bitcoin, 180,000 Euros in cash, drugs, gold and silver.
Operation Onymous is the largest law enforcement action till now against the illegal websites operating on the Tor network, which helps users to communicate anonymously by hiding their IP addresses.
“Silk Road” was the notorious online illegal-drug marketplace that generated $8 million in monthly sales and attracted 150,000 vendors and customers. The FBI seized the darknet website in October of 2013 and after five weeks, Silk Road 2.0 was launched.
Source: The Hacker News