German police arrest suspects in raid network hosting Darknet marketplaces

German police have shut down a network hosting Darknet marketplaces focused on the trading of drugs, stolen data and child pornography.

German police announced to have shut down a network hosting Darknet black marketplaces trading drugs, stolen data, and child pornography.

The black marketplaces were also offering stolen data and fake documents, and other illegal goods.

Authorities conducted an investigation on the operators of the “Bulletproof Hoster” service that was provided through servers hidden in a former NATO bunker, the so-called “Cyber Bunker.”

Law enforcement arrested seven suspects were arrested in a series of raids, four Dutch citizens, two Germans and one Bulgarian.

“Thursday’s raids involved hundreds of officers and came after years of following up on leads in cooperation with other agencies. Police believe that the data center was involved in a hack attack three years ago on the national communications provider, Telekom.” reported the DW agency.

“Officials said the server seized on Thursday had also hosted the second-largest darknet trading platform, Wall Street Market.  Authorities in the European Union and the US shut that platform down in May, claiming it was used to traffick stolen data, forged documents, computer malware and illicit drugs.”

According to prosecutors, the criminal ring behind the illegal network was composed at least thirteen members, 12 men and one woman, aged from 20 to 59. The suspects ran the powerful servers inside the former NATO bunker in the town of Traben-Trarbach in Rhineland-Palatinate state.

The operation involved hundred police agents in Germany and other European countries, they seized 200 servers, numerous data carriers and mobile phones and a large sum of cash.

The police also confirmed that the popular “Wall Street Market” black marketplace was hosted on the seized server. In May, the German police, with the support of Europol, Dutch police and the FBI, has shut down one of the world’s largest black marketplace in the darkweb, the ‘Wall Street Market,’ and arrested three operators allegedly running it. The three German nation suspects were arrested on April 23 and 24 in the states of Hesse, Baden-Wuerttemberg and North Rhine-Westphalia.

The operation also allowed to arrest of two major suppliers of illegal narcotics in the United States.

Prosecutors also revealed that the same cyber bunker was used to host the C2 behind a botnet involved in a massive attack that hit the German provider Deutsche Telekom in November 2016.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – darknet, hacking)

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