News is currently breaking that two major law enforcement operations, led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Dutch National Police, with the support of Europol, have shut down the infrastructure of an underground criminal economy responsible for the trading of over 350,000 illicit commodities including drugs, firearms and cybercrime malware. Kyle Wilhoit, Senior Cybersecurity Threat Researcher at DomainTools commented below.
Kyle Wilhoit, Senior Cybersecurity Threat Researcher at DomainTools:
“Hansa and AB were two of the most prolific underground marketplaces that distributed and sold drugs, credit card numbers, and malware. The shutdown of these underground marketplaces are becoming more commonplace. The shutdown of these two sites will dramatically affect the underground marketplace ecosystem in the short term as buyers flock to other sites. Individuals with nefarious intentions must either migrate to another underground shop with less reputation, or they must find alternate business techniques, such as selling on deep web forums. Ultimately, this isn’t wholly surprising- considering AB has been compromised on two separate occasions resulting in their API being compromised and over 210,000 private messages leaked. When you are conducting business with criminals, you must expect to some degree that your business is on shaky footing anyway, so this isn’t terribly surprising to me.”