[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) together with the FBI [official websites] have seized and shut down [DOJ press release] AlphaBay, a criminal marketplace on the “dark web” on Thursday. The site, which has reportedly been operating on the dark web for the last two years, was used to sell numerous illicit products including illegal narcotics, computer hacking tools, malware, firearms, fraudulent identification documents, counterfeit products, and toxic chemicals. A majority of the business done on the site involved illicit narcotics, predominantly heroin and fentanyl. AlphaBay was shut down after an operation involving law enforcement agencies from seven separate nations and Europol [official website] managed to seize the site’s infrastructure. In a statement [text] to the press, Attorney General Jeff Sessions [official profile] called the event “the largest dark net marketplace takedown in history.”Another dark marketplace called the Hansa Market was also taken down by the same agencies on Thursday.
Cybercrime continues to be a serious issue around the world. In 2015 the DOJ unsealed the indictment [JURIST report] of a Turkish man for allegedly organizing three cyber-attacks that led to an estimated $55 million in global losses. Also in 2015 a former US government employee with the Department of Energy and Nuclear Regulatory Commission was charged [JURIST report] with a four count violation of federal law in connection with an attempted phishing scheme involving Department of Energy employee emails. In October 2014 a court in Denmark convicted [JURIST report] Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, the co-founder of the file-sharing website The Pirate Bay (TPB), and an accomplice for stealing Danish public records from the US-based information technology business CSC. From April to August of 2012, Svartholm Warg and his accomplice were alleged to have hacked into the mainframe systems of CSC, which manages some of Denmark’s public records. More than 200,000 records were stolen, including social security numbers and the e-mail addresses and passwords of policemen.