The Justice Department just recently announced its takeover of AlphaBay, an online marketplace used to buy and sell drugs and other illicit goods. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, referred to it as the “largest dark Web takedown in world history.”
“The Justice Department said that one AlphaBay staff member claimed that it served more than 200,000 users and 40,000 vendors. About the time of the takedown, there were more than 250,000 listings for illegal drugs and toxic chemicals, and more than 100,000 listings for stolen and fraudulent identification documents and access devices, counterfeit goods, malware and other computer hacking tools, firearms and fraudulent services” (Zapotosky, 2017, n.p.).
The cite’s founder, Alexandre Cazes, committed suicide while in custody this past month. As a result, prosecutors were able to seize his and his wife’s assets, including AlphaBay.
United States officials have been anxious to take down “the market” due to its causing “real-world” problems outside of the internet. For instance, Sessions said that investigators found that quite a few overdose deaths had been traced back to drugs purchased on AlphaBay.
U.S. authorities disclosed that they worked with many law enforcement agencies, mostly in Europe, to take down AlphaBay. Their actions happened to take place when Dutch authorities had been trying to shut down another illicit online market, known as Hansa Market. So, U.S. authorities joined in and the termination was successful.
Authorities realized that the takedown of AlphaBay was a very big priority. With that being said they also understood that there are many other, bigger and stronger online markets that will have to be shut down before the bigger issue can be resolved.
U.S. officials are currently investigating hundreds of services for illegal online transactions.
For more information on this topic please read “Justice Dept. announces.”
Zapotosky, M. (2017, July 20). Justice Dept. announces takedown of AlphaBay, a dark Web marketplace for drugs and other illicit goods. Retrieved July 30, 2017, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/justice-dept-announces-takedown-of-alphabay-dark-web-marketplace-for-drugs-and-other-illicit-goods/2017/07/20/a8950458-6d55-11e7-9c15-177740635e83_story.html?utm_term=.e9a80aade116