Virtual Event: Threat Detection and Incident Response Summit - Watch Sessions
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Law Officials Plan Global Strike at ‘Dark Markets’: Dutch

European, US and Australian law enforcement officials met Tuesday in the Netherlands to plan a crackdown on illegal online markets trading in everything from drugs to child pornography, Dutch prosecutors said.

European, US and Australian law enforcement officials met Tuesday in the Netherlands to plan a crackdown on illegal online markets trading in everything from drugs to child pornography, Dutch prosecutors said.

The two-day conference in a seaside suburb north of The Hague “is to organize international action against this illegal trade,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

Called Project ITOM (Illegal Trade in Online Marketplaces), the crackdown was set in motion two years ago and is being supported by Europe’s police organization Europol and the EU’s judicial agency Eurojust.

It focuses in particular on the Netherlands following the dismantling of the Silk Road and Silk Road 2.0 last year, two of the most prominent “dark markets” that offered a range of illicit goods and services from firearms to computer hacking.

After the underground bazaars were shut down, investigations showed Dutch sellers occupied some 10 percent of Silk Road 2.0, with a total turnover of 32 million euros ($34 million) from both marketplaces.

The Dutch goods mainly found their way to France, Germany, Britain and Australia.

Called “Operation Onymous”, last year’s clampdown saw 17 arrests and the seizure of 410 servers using the TOR encryption network as well as six other dark markets.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Dutch undercover police afterwards arrested a further five suspects active on the illicit markets and seized websites, and bitcoins valued at 500,000 euros in one case, prosecutors say.

In another case, police arrested one of the country’s largest online drug dealers in IJmuiden near Amsterdam and seized huge quantities of drugs like ecstasy and cannabis, traded on the HollandOnline and LowLands d ark markets.

The 55-year-old man and an accomplice are expected to appear in court early next year, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors have described Silk Road 2.0 as one of the most extensive, sophisticated and widely-used criminal online marketplaces.

It was virtually identical to its predecessor and accessible only through TOR, originally an acronym for The Onion Router, which affords web anonymity by shifting the apparent identity of a user’s computer.

Related Reading: FBI Arrests Alleged Silk Road 2.0 Operator

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.

SecurityWeek’s Threat Detection and Incident Response Summit brings together security practitioners from around the world to share war stories on breaches, APT attacks and threat intelligence.


Securityweek’s CISO Forum will address issues and challenges that are top of mind for today’s security leaders and what the future looks like as chief defenders of the enterprise.


Expert Insights

Related Content


The changing nature of what we still generally call ransomware will continue through 2023, driven by three primary conditions.


Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus Group informed some customers last week that their online accounts had been breached by hackers.


As it evolves, web3 will contain and increase all the security issues of web2 – and perhaps add a few more.


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...


Satellite TV giant Dish Network confirmed that a recent outage was the result of a cyberattack and admitted that data was stolen.


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

Artificial Intelligence

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

Artificial Intelligence

The degree of danger that may be introduced when adversaries start to use AI as an effective weapon of attack rather than a tool...