Hydra market taken down by German police and sanctioned by U.S.

Germany shuts down servers for Russian darknet marketplace Hydra and seizes $25.2 million USD in Bitcoin. (WAPO)

The illegal marketplace was a Russian-language Darknet platform that had been accessible via the Tor network since at least 2015. Their focus was on trading in illegal narcotics. In addition, data spied out worldwide, forged documents and digital services were offered profitably via the platform. (theRecord) Hydra also offered stolen databases, forged documents, and hacking for hire services—including murder, apparently. (see for instance bbc 2019)

A spokesperson of the BKA has told Bleeping Computer that no arrests have been made in this operation, and that due to the ongoing investigations, they cannot share any additional information on the evaluation of the seized infrastructure. (bka.de)

The operation to shut Hydra down apparently began with a tip-off that the site might be hosted in Germany. With the help of US monitoring activities, German police investigated and within a few months was able to locate the firm that was hosting Hydra in Germany.

Shortly after the German action was announced, the US Treasury issued sanctions against Hydra “in a coordinated international effort to disrupt proliferation of malicious cybercrime services, dangerous drugs, and other illegal offerings available through the Russia-based site.” (bbc)