With all of the drama surrounding AlphaBay recently, a large variety of underground criminals are crawling to Hansa Market instead. Needless to say: it officially sucks to be them.
As it turns outs, Hansa Market was seized by law enforcement over a month ago.
Just recently, Hansa was finally deactivated after authorities spent weeks monitoring the website activity. A public statement made by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions indicated that the “landmark” operation was sparked by the opioid overdose epidemic thanks to the darknet black markets.
“Hansa Market remained online in the aftermath of the takedown, in what now appears to be a coordinated strategy by law enforcement. According to Europol, Hansa saw an eightfold increase in users after the disappearance of AlphaBay, allowing authorities to gather significant information about the market’s customer base. The agency claims to have collected 10,000 addresses of European Hansa customers over the course of the investigation.”
This is, hands down, the largest black market bust in the history of black market busts. Both AlphaBay and Hansa sold similar products – from drugs and counterfeit goods to stolen software and sensitive information.
However, just recently Hansa – while under the influence of LE – announced they were banning the sale of fentanyl. Is it possible this was with the intention of seeing where consumers and vendors went next?
Regardless, taking the two largest black markets off the dark web will definitely help in some areas. Sessions discussed this in an official statement saying,
“This is one of the most important criminal investigations of this entire year. I believe that because of this operation, people around the world are safer from the threat of identity fraud and malware, and safer from deadly drugs.”
In conclusion, two large black markets might be gone . . . but as stated before, another ten will easily pop up in the wake of their collapse.