Darknet marketplace Nemesis raided in German-led operation


German police said they grasped the infrastructure of the popular illegal darknet market known as Nemesis and shut down its website.

Visitors to the cybercrime website were greeted Thursday by a red banner announcing the takeover. At the bottom, police placed an animated spaceship reminiscent of a 1990s video game called Nemesis.

The spaceship explodes the market logo and then disappears from the screen, leaving behind a QR code that links to the website of the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA), or German federal police.

The closure of Nemesis and the prosecutions against its operators “constitute a new blow for actors of the underground economy operating on the dark web and demonstrate the effectiveness of the application of international law in the digital space”, believes the BKA. said in a press release.

German law enforcement did not respond to Recorded Future News’ request for comment on whether the website’s administrators have been arrested. According to local media The Spiegelthe operators have not been identified.

The German agency said it had joined forces with US and Lithuanian law enforcement to investigate Operation Nemesis. During a year-and-a-half-long investigation, they discovered market infrastructure in Germany and Lithuania, the BKA said.

“The investigation to bring Nemesis Marketplace administrators and vendors to justice continues,” a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Justice told Recorded Future News.

Law enforcement officers confiscated criminal servers and seized data that could identify users of the platform, the BKA said. They also obtained €94,000 ($102,000) in cryptocurrency assets, allegedly earned through illegal activities. The website’s operators are suspected of drug trafficking and running a criminal business platform.

Nemesis was founded in 2021 and has been growing rapidly since then, according to the BKA. More than 150,000 users and more than 1,100 sellers were registered on the platform. Police estimate that almost 20% of these sellers are based in Germany.

Nemesis sold all kinds of illegal products: drugs, compromised data and cybercrime services such as ransomware and tools to carry out phishing or DDoS attacks.

Past operations against cybercrime markets suggest that even though Nemesis’ infrastructure has been shut down, criminals may retain the ability to restart their operations elsewhere.

For example, after law enforcement shut down the website of the notorious LockBit ransomware gang, the group tent to relaunch his cyberextortion operation. LockbitSupp, the group’s administrator, opened a new website and claimed that the takedown did not affect his business but rather gave him additional publicity.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” he says. said in an interview with Recorded Future News’ Click Here podcast.

Jonathan Greig contributed to this story.

Editor’s Note: Updated at 1:10 p.m. Eastern Time with response from DOJ.

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