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Expert comment on DarkMarket being taken down by Europol

January 2021 by Paul Prudhomme, Cyber Threat Intelligence Advisor at IntSights

The comment by Paul Prudhomme, Cyber Threat Intelligence Advisor at IntSights on the breaking news that the largest illegal marketplace on the dark web, DarkMarket has been taken down by Europol:

“Dark web marketplaces such as this now-defunct website, serve as key enablers for cyber criminals. They provide these criminals with places to buy and sell malware, malicious infrastructure, and compromised data, accounts, and devices. Such exchanges are critical to cyber criminal operations because few criminals rely exclusively on their own resources, and many do not actually use the data that they steal. Most cyber criminals rely to varying degrees on tools and infrastructure that they acquire from other criminals, and many earn their money by selling the results of their attacks to other criminals, rather than using it themselves.

It is unclear to what extent the shutdown of this dark market will impact cyber criminal operations, beyond the near-term disruption to its current users. New dark web marketplaces eventually emerge to replace those that have closed, and users simply migrate to those new websites and to existing competitors. The arrest of one of the website’s operators and the seizure of its infrastructure may nonetheless yield useful investigative leads for law enforcement with which to act against its individual users, which may have more enduring impact. The website’s use of infrastructure in Ukraine and Moldova is not surprising, as many criminals prefer to host infrastructure in those two countries that they perceive to be relatively safe from law enforcement.”




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