Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office recently announced that the world’s largest illegal dark web marketplace, Hydra Darknet Market, has been taken down. The Darknet market, which has been in operation since 2015, was a Russian-language darknet marketplace that opened as a competitor to the now-defunct Russian Anonymous Marketplace (aka RAMP). The agency attributed the shutdown to an extensive investigation operation conducted by its Central Office for Combating Cybercrime (ZIT) in partnership with US law enforcement authorities since August 2021.
Chris Olson, CEO, The Media Trust, a digital safety platform, said, “The shutdown of Hydra is a small win for cybersecurity, but a win nonetheless. Attackers who target consumers for credit card details and other personally identifiable information (PII) can’t use it directly without risking discovery and arrest; therefore, they sell this information on darknet markets instead. Without them, the incidence of cybercrime would undoubtedly decrease. Unfortunately, Hydra represents a miniscule drop in the bucket of global cybercrime, which will cost organizations (and therefore consumers) about $10.5 trillion per year by 2025. Cyber actors have perfected the pipeline from Web and mobile-based phishing attacks to darknet markets which we will not name, and new ones are opening all the time. In truth – if past precedent is anything to go by – Hydra operators will likely take their digital assets and resurface in the near future under new identities and domains.”