Silk Road 2.0 taken down by the FBI

A coordinated law enforcement action led by the FBI and involving other agencies in Europe has led to the shutdown of Silk Road 2.0 and several other darknet markets. It will be recalled that Silk Road 2.0 was launched barely a month after the original Silk Road was shut down by US authorities.

Countries involved in the operation, codenamed ‘Onymous’, include Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the USA.

Blake Benthall, the San Francisco based software developer and alleged Silk Road 2.0 operator, is among the reported 17 individuals arrested in the raid. In total the operation led to 17 arrests, 13 search warrants issued, 414 hidden sites seized, hardware and digital media seized, Bitcoins worth over $1 million and EUR180,000 worth of cash, drugs, gold and silver were seized.

This seem to be the largest raid and confiscation on the dark net markets where hidden services accessed through the Tor network, illegal items – including weapons and drugs – and even contract killers are advertised.

Tor, an acronym for the Onion Router, a free network designed to anonymise your real IP address by routing your traffic through many servers of the Tor network. Tor is used by a variety of people for both illicit and licit purposes, a fact that has also been acknowledged in the original Silk Road case.

According to DeepDotWeb, the number of well-known dark markets seized by cybercrime authorities continues to climb. Other dark net markets taken down include the Cannabis Road forums, Blue Sky, Cloud9, Hydra. Others such as Agora, Middle Earth and Evolution remain unaffected just yet.

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