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German police have shut down Hydra Market. 17 million users and 19,000 sellers used the darkweb forum to trade drugs, data and forged documents.

German police seized 543 bitcoins (about 23 million euros) and Hydra Market’s servers. The forum is offline. The site is in Russian, but some infrastructure turned up in Germany. The identity of the administrator(s) is currently unknown.

Hydra Market went live in 2015. 17 million users and 19,000 sellers primarily traded in stolen data, drugs and forged documents. When navigating to the forum at this time, you’ll find a banner announcing that the site has been shut down following criminal investigations.

Hydra Market bitcoin mixer

Hydra Market used a bitcoin bank mixer. The software anonymizes bitcoin transactions to obstruct law enforcement tracking of administrators and users.

In late 2021, ENISA stated that bitcoin mixers are one of the biggest obstacles and opportunities in countering cybercrime. ENISA calls for more cooperation among cryptocurrency exchanges and authorities.

Tip: Why cybercriminals use forums and the dark web on a large scale