The Department of Justice and its worldwide partners announced Thursday a takedown of a massive Dark Web marketplace that was allegedly one of the world's biggest sources for the sale of drugs and illicit materials, striking a blow to the cybercriminal underground.
According to the McCabe, AlphaBay was 10 times the size of Silk Road, a previous massive Dark Web marketplace that DOJ busted in 2013. "We will find you". "You can not hide. We will find you, dismantle your organization and network and we will prosecute you". So how did the Justice Department crack AlphaBay? These deaths include that of 13-year-old Grant Seaver, who lived in Park City, Utah and died after overdosing on a synthetic opioid one of his classmates bought on AlphaBay, Sessions said.
Websites on the dark web can only be accessed using software that maintains anonymity. Transactions were conducted using digital currency, and the marketplace took a cut of the proceeds when the deals were completed.
However, analysts say that shutting down two marketplaces may simply prompt users to switch to other similar services.
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AlphaWeb operated much like any legitimate e-commerce site, including having a public relations manager, security administrator and "scam watchers", according to court documents.
This e-mail address was also included in the header of AlphaBay users who lost their passwords. In addition to illegal drugs, the online marketplace also offered stolen and fraudulent identification documents and access devices, counterfeit goods, malware and other computer hacking tools, firearms and toxic chemicals.
And it sounds like more arrests might be coming - the Justice Department says that the FBI and the US Attorney's Office in the Northern District of Georgia have identified an AlphaBay staff member living in the US, and the investigation into that person is ongoing. He was charged with racketeering, conspiracy to distribute narcotics, conspiracy to commit identity theft and money laundering, among other alleged crimes.
Law enforcement authorities in the U.S. and overseas also seized millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin and other assets allegedly belonging to Cazes, including four Lamborghini cars and three properties. He also had bank accounts in Liechtenstein, Thailand and Cyprus.
Though the officials who announced the seizure emphasized the importance of removing the largest marketplace on the dark web, they acknowledged that it will do little more than pause the flow of illegal marketplace to the relative secrecy of the dark web.
At the DOJ news conference, an official with the Drug Enforcement Administration said the site fed the opioid epidemic in the United States by "supplying countless addicts with direct sales".