Authorities Bait Darknet Criminals on Illegal Marketplace Sting

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Global law enforcement recently announced they shut down two of the largest illegal marketplaces on the Darknet. AlphaBay and Hansa were both used to buy and sell drugs, fake IDs, stolen information, hacking tools, weapons, and much more. While AlphaBay was simply shut down, Hansa was used as bait to collect information on its users. Authorities report they have collected information on 10,000 users in order to aid in the investigation on the illegal markets on the Darknet.

Both sites were acquired and shut down following the arrests of their alleged administrators. The creator of Alpha Bay, Alexandre Cazes, was detained in Thailand and found dead in his cell a week later from apparent suicide. The two administrators of Hansa were similarly swept up but remain in custody.

Global law enforcement followed an intelligent plan on baiting users on Hansa. They first shut down Alphabay, the largest illegal marketplace at the time. Those desperate to find a new marketplace, especially large dealers and buyers of illegal materials likely flocked to Hansa or a similar, smaller market. Law enforcement then monitored Hansa for large transactions, aiming to collect the information of those involved in large sales. Be it drugs, weapons, or something else, these deals were likely tied to large criminal operations. These new leads could be pivotal in taking down major criminal enterprises. To read the original article on this case, click here.

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