Batten down the hatches at Hydra DarkNet

Batten down the hatches at Hydra DarkNet

6. April 2022 0 By Horst Buchwald

Batten down the hatches at Hydra DarkNet

Berlin, 4/6/2022.

In a coordinated effort, the U.S. Treasury Department and German law enforcement agencies shut down the world’s largest illicit marketplace, Hydra DarkNet, and seized $25 million in Bitcoin.

Hydra opened in 2015 as a competitor to the now-defunct Russian Anonymous marketplace. It was primarily known for its busy drug market, and the illegal activities conducted there also extended to trading in fake documents and stolen credit cards.

According to estimates, Hydra’s annual transaction volume at the end of 2020 was $1.37 billion…. In 2016, it was only $9.4 million. Meanwhile, this illegal marketplace had 17 million customer accounts and over 19,000 seller accounts registered.

According to the U.S. – Treasury Department, these actions are about stopping the spread of malicious cybercrime services, dangerous drugs, and other illegal offerings offered through the Russia-based site. ”

In this regard, the Office of ForeigInAssets Control (OFAC) has published a list of more than 100 virtual currency addresses associated with the company’s operations to conduct illegal transactions.

Furthermore, the Treasury Department has also sanctioned virtual currency exchange Garantex, making it the third crypto platform to be placed on a blocklist by the U.S. after SUEX and CHATEX.

“Analysis of known Garantex transactions shows that more than $100 million in transactions are associated with illicit actors and darknet markets, including nearly $6 million from the Russian RaaS gang Conti and also approximately $2.6 million from Hydra,” the Treasury Department said.

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