German Police Destroy Kingdom Market Dark Web Marketplace


German authorities have announced the takedown of a notorious dark web marketplace known for selling drugs, malware and other illegal items.

The Federal Police (BKA) and the Frankfurt Cybercrime Prosecutor’s Office (ZIT) announced the news on Wednesday, but revealed that the coordinated action took place on December 16.

The English-speaking Kingdom’s market, accessible via the Tor and I2P anonymization networks, had been operational since at least March 2021 and focused on the narcotics trade. However, visitors could also use hacking tools, fake government ID cards and other criminal services, the BKA said.

Tens of thousands of customers and several hundred sellers were registered on the marketplace, which listed more than 42,000 products at the time of its removal, according to the notice.

Buyers paid in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Monero and Zcash to maintain anonymity and the site operators took a 3% cut, he added.

The BKA acknowledged the assistance of its law enforcement partners in the United States, Switzerland, Moldova and Ukraine.

Read more about Dark Web takedowns: Dark Web Bust Leads to Arrest of 288 Suspects

The hunt for site administrators is now open.

One of the suspects, Alan Bill, was previously arrested in the United States on drug trafficking, identity theft and money laundering conspiracy charges, according to posts on X (formerly Twitter).

“German authorities are having fun after taking over the Dark Web Kingdom Market, changing the name to “Fallen Kingdom”, then using the #PGP private key to inform individuals about Dread after police arrested him ‘Alan Bill, a #Slovak national in the United States. ,” note After time.

However, ImmuniWeb CEO Ilia Kolochenko argued that arrests and sporadic arrests of this type are rarely enough to beat back the wave of cybercrime.

“A considerable number of seized piracy forums or marketplaces resurrect almost intact within weeks of seizure under a similar or new identity. Illicit trade continues, while new administrators and operators of underground resources take even greater precautions to hinder law enforcement investigations,” he added.

“Amid global geopolitical uncertainty, many cybercriminal groups operate securely and with impunity from non-extraditable jurisdictions. Cryptocurrency ransom payments remain largely untraceable and elusive.

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