As reported by the BBC, the administrators of the largest illegal marketplace on the darknet for stolen credit cards are retiring after making an estimated $358m (£260m). The anonymous owners of UniCC thanked the criminal fraternity for their business, citing age and health for the closure. Many other illegal darknet marketplaces have also shut down voluntarily over the winter for unknown reasons. Police say the trend leaves them with mixed feelings.
The darknet is a part of the internet only accessible through special browsing software. Cryptocurrency experts at analysts Elliptic traced hundreds of millions of dollars in crypto-payments made to UniCC. UniCC posted on darknet forums in both Russian and English saying “our team retires”. The anonymous criminals added: “We are not young and our health do not allow to work like this any longer”.
<p>One of the biggest headaches for the police remains the use of dark web marketplaces. Their inherent anonymity attracts all varieties of criminal leaving law enforcement with few crumbs of evidence to investigate those behind them. Once these marketplaces shut for any given reason, those behind it remain untraceable, leaving the fact it has ceased trading as the only positive news. </p>
<p>Making the owners huge sums of money, it is rather understandable that they would choose to exit before they become complacent. This tends to create an opening in the market as the demand for stolen credit cards still remains and other operators are very quick to fill the gap. </p>
<p>Credit cards are repeatedly stolen so people are advised to continually monitor their accounts online for suspicious activity and to report any unknown transactions quickly.</p>