U.S. Treasury Department Sanctions Russia-based Hydra Darknet Marketplace

The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday sanctioned Hydra, the same day German law enforcement authorities disrupted the world’s largest and longest-running dark web marketplace following a coordinated operation in partnership with U.S. officials.

The sanctions are part of an “international effort to disrupt proliferation of malicious cybercrime services, dangerous drugs, and other illegal offerings available through the Russia-based site,” the Treasury Department said in a statement.

Along with the sanctions, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) disclosed a list of more than 100 virtual currency addresses that have been identified as associated with the entity’s operations to conduct illicit transactions.

The sanctions come as Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office shut down the online criminal marketplace that it said specialized in the narcotics trade, seizing its servers and 543 bitcoins worth 23 million euros ($25.3 million).

Hydra was a Russian-language darknet platform that had been accessible via the Tor network since at least November 2015, facilitating the trafficking of outlawed goods and services, including illegal drugs, stolen financial information, fraudulent identification documents, and money laundering and mixing services.

The Treasury Department, in a related move, also sanctioned the virtual currency exchange Garantex, making it the third crypto platform to be blocklisted by the U.S. after SUEX and CHATEX.

“Analysis of known Garantex transactions shows that over $100 million in transactions are associated with illicit actors and darknet markets, including nearly $6 million from Russian RaaS gang Conti and also including approximately $2.6 million from Hydra,” Read more:https://bit.ly/3jdu8XW

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