Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Cybercrime

European Arrests Target Darknet Selling Drugs, Arms, Fake IDs

Police in seven European countries raided operators of “darknet” online platforms trading in weapons, illegal drugs, fake IDs and counterfeit money, arresting nine suspects, German authorities said Monday.

Police in seven European countries raided operators of “darknet” online platforms trading in weapons, illegal drugs, fake IDs and counterfeit money, arresting nine suspects, German authorities said Monday.

The operation last week targeted 69 homes and businesses across Germany and in Bosnia, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, Lithuania and Russia, said German federal police and Frankfurt prosecutors.

The suspects allegedly used so-called darknet systems — or encrypted peer-to-peer networks — to sell heroin, cocaine, cannabis, amphetamines, ecstasy as well as forged German, Dutch and Italian identity documents, they said in a statement.

The German security services called the raids and arrests “a major blow against the German-speaking underground economy and further proof that there is no complete anonymity on the Internet, including in the so-called darknet”.

Police in the raids last Tuesday and Wednesday confiscated servers in France, the Netherlands, Lithuania and Russia as well as numerous PCs and storage media, a firearm, illegal drugs and 150,000 euros ($163,000) in cash and assets.

The gangs had also traded in stolen credit card and online banking data, and hacked access names and passwords to various Internet services.

They further offered criminal services, such as the infection of computers with malicious software, police said.

The suspected technical administrator of three networks was a 27-year-old Bosnian national, who was arrested by the local police organised crime squad and the High Tech Crime Department Republika Srpska.

German police arrested a 22-year-old German national who ran a trading platform that sold illegal drugs, and Syrian brothers aged 19 and 28 after finding 36 kilogrammes (79 pounds) of amphetamine, 1.5 kg of cocaine, 2 kg of hashish and 2.3 kg of ecstasy pills in their apartment.

They also arrested two German men aged 29 and 21. The younger suspect was the alleged administrator of two networks and also offered an illegal streaming platform for pirated movies and sports shows.

The statement did not specify who the other three arrested suspects were.

Related: Global Law Enforcement Strikes Deep Into ‘Dark Web’

Written By

AFP 2023

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Expert Insights

Related Content

Cybercrime

Zendesk is informing customers about a data breach that started with an SMS phishing campaign targeting the company’s employees.

Cybercrime

The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022 has demonstrated the potential of AI for both good and bad.

Cybercrime

The FBI dismantled the network of the prolific Hive ransomware gang and seized infrastructure in Los Angeles that was used for the operation.

Cybercrime

A new study by McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) named a staggering figure as the true annual cost of...

Ransomware

US government reminds the public that a reward of up to $10 million is offered for information on cybercriminals, including members of the Hive...

Ransomware

The Hive ransomware website has been seized as part of an operation that involved law enforcement in 10 countries.

Cybercrime

CISA, NSA, and MS-ISAC issued an alert on the malicious use of RMM software to steal money from bank accounts.

Cybercrime

A recently disclosed vBulletin vulnerability, which had a zero-day status for roughly two days last week, was exploited in a hacker attack targeting the...