Operation Onymous Catches Big “Fish” like Silk Road 2.0 in the Deep Web – The top-secret operation known as Operation Onymous, was flawlessly executed over the course of two days on November 5th and 6th, by a conjoined effort of law enforcement agencies from 16 European nations and the United States.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations and Europol spent six months investigating deep within the “Dark web” of cyberspace. Their mission was to uncover evidence that would lead to the dissolve of the black market trade of illegal contraband and activities that operated under the concealment of the TOR network.
In all 27 web sites were shut down, one of the more notorious sites was Silk Road 2.0, an online black marketplace specialized in the retail of illegal-drugs, operated by a 26 year old San Francisco resident named Blake Benthall who is known by the screen alias ‘Defcon‘.
The Silk Road website was launched in 2011, under the concealment of the TOR network. The site, who was then operated by Ross William Ulbricht was shut down in 2013, only to be placed back online in November of that year under the name Silk Road 2.0. After the initial government take down of the site in 2013, Ulbricht or “Dread Pirate Roberts” was placed under arrest for a massive list of charges including money laundering, computer hacking and procuring murder.
The TOR Network
The TOR network is software that cloaks its users actions with encryption, preventing them from being observed from unwanted parties such as government agencies and corporations. The TOR or “The Onion Router”, was invented in the middle of the 1990s to protect U.S intelligence communications that were being relayed online.
The uncharted regions of the World Wide Web known as the “Dark Web” was the crux of this exercise. The “Dark Web” is a metaphorical section of the Web that is seldom seen by the standard online user. Many of the sites are not indexed or easily viewed and retrieved by standard search engines, creating a haven for devious activities.
This collective take-down removed over 400 hidden services; ranging from hired assassins, illegal-drugs, counterfeit money, stolen credit cards and forged identification papers to name a few.
In all this raid netted the arrest of 17 individuals, one million in bitcoin dollars, 180,000 in Euros, drugs, gold and silver.
Full list of websites seized below (via Gizmodo):
- Black Market
- Blue Sky
- Bungee 54
- Cloud Nine
- Fake Real Plastic
- Fast Cash!
- Golden Nugget
- Pablo Escobar Drugstore
- Pay Pal Center
- Real Cards
- Silk Road 2.0
- Sol’s Unified USD Counterfeit’s
- Super Note Counter
- Tor Bazaar
- The Green Machine
- The Hidden Market
- Zero Squad