Hydra Market: authorities are trying to cut off the heads of the underground market

Shutdown for Hydra Market: the German Interior Ministry announced on Tuesday that it had seized the servers used by this illegal market place.

The authorities of the country have specified that an investigation into Hydra Market had been opened in August 2021, in collaboration with the American authorities.

23 million euros in bitcoins seized

According to the BBC, the investigation would have started following information from the American authorities, which indicated that the servers of the market place were potentially hosted in Germany. The German authorities have therefore undertaken to investigate the activities of a host suspected of being used by the market place to host its services and its site on Tor.

The German authorities gave few details about the dragnet. They nevertheless specified that only the servers, as well as 23 million euros in bitcoins were seized at the time of the operation.

The service operators were not arrested. Since yesterday, the Hydra Market site has displayed a page warning of the seizure of the site by the German authorities.

Dismantling without arrest

But the American authorities are on their side more talkative: in parallel with the police operation in Germany, the American ministry of Justice and the Treasury published press releases announcing the dismantling of the platform.

American justice thus accuses a Russian citizen, Dmitry Olegovich Pavlov, of being the administrator of the platform since 2015. “Since November 2015 or around this date, Pavlov would have operated a company, Promservice Ltd., also known as Full Drive, All Wheel Drive and 4x4host.ru, which administered Hydra’s servers,” summarizes the US Department of Justice. He has not been arrested, but he is now under charge from the American justice system and may therefore be arrested if he leaves Russia to go to a country with an extradition convention. with the United States.

The US Treasury has placed around 100 Hydra Market-related wallet addresses on its “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List”, a list of companies, organizations and individuals that the United States considers to be potential threats to international security. This listing restricts a U.S. individual or entity from doing business with the listed individuals or organizations.

Seven years of peace

Hydra is an illegal market place born in November 2015. Entirely Russian-speaking, Hydra offers an anonymous site based on Tor allowing users to sell illicit goods, including drugs, false papers or hacking services. Over the past few years, Hydra market has become one of the most important illegal sales platforms: the FBI estimates that in 2021, transactions orchestrated via this site represented around 80% of transactions made through marketplaces. illegal.

Since its inception, wallets associated with Hydra Market have received the equivalent of $5.2 billion in cryptocurrencies. In addition to these services, Hydra stood out from the competition by directly offering cryptocurrency laundering services, via “mixer” functions that blur the origin of a digital asset or exchange offers to convert cryptocurrencies into other currencies.

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