Yesterday, Operation Onymous began. It seemed to be a targeted attack against targets dealing with drug trafficking in Dark Net. The full extent of the international suppression by the authorities has just been revealed and there appears to have been a fairly large clearance in the underground Internet.
On Friday, the Europol with the FBI and the US Department of Homeland Security announced the operation and that they captured 17 people at a global level. Seized hundreds Dark Net Domains and many of these were black market sites. In addition to the takedowns of the online patrols Silk Road 2, Cloud 9 and Hydra several other "famous" online shopping sites, such as Pandora, Blue Sky, Topix, Flugsvamp, Cannabis Road, and Black Market. Takedowns have also been on money-laundering and money-laundering websites such as: Cash Machine, Cash Flow, Golden Nugget and Fast Cash. Along with the 17 arrests (for the time being), more than 1 million dollars were seized on Bitcoin, $ 250.000 in cash, too many computers, drugs, gold, silver and weapons.
Authorities say 414 ".onion" domains have been confiscated. Troels Oerting, head of the European Cybercrime Center, told Wired that so far they have not had enough time to compile a complete list of websites and what they have confiscated.
"One of our main targets was the Silk Road guy," Oerting said, referring to Blake Benthall, a 26-year-old manager who was arrested in San Francisco on Wednesday and charged with running the popular Silk Road 2 drug market. "But we decided to see if we could find more administrators on these sites and destroy their infrastructure."
Europol does not immediately share the details of 17-related arrests. But in addition to Benthall, he revealed earlier Thursday that two people were arrested in Dublin on a large dark Web-related drug bust.
Of course the authorities do not explain how they managed to bypass the protection offered by the Tor network. The enormous number of Tor-sites that have been closed raises questions about whether authorities have found new vulnerabilities in the Tor network.
Asked how Operation Onymous was made possible, Oerting was quite secretive. "This is something we want to keep to ourselves," he said. "The way we do it, we can not share it with the whole world, because we want to do it again and again and again."
"It simply came to our notice then. They will chase these websites and we will close them constantly, "he said, praising the cooperation of all the international law enforcement agencies involved. "We have proven that we can work well together, like a well-oiled machine."