Considered to be the biggest dark web marketplace in Russia, Hydra has been known to many as a platform for drug selling, money laundering, and other illegal activities.
On Tuesday, the marketplace’s servers have been successfully seized by Germany’s Central Office for Combating Cybercrime (ZIT) and the Federal Crime Police Office (BKA). The authorities were also able to seize 543 Bitcoins (~$25 million) from the profits of Hydra.
Hydra has been operational since 2015 with a market of 17 million customers and more than 19,000 seller accounts. When estimated, the darknet’s 2020 sales reached up to 1.23 billion euros. Since 2015, the accumulated Bitcoin related transactions have reached up to $5 billion.
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Aside from being a marketplace for illegal products, Hydra also offers services which include forging documents, hacking data which includes private information, exchanging crypto assets, and cashing out service. However, there were still no arrests made during the bust. The authorities have yet to pursue its second phase, which includes charging the sellers and clients in Hydra.