German authorities dismantle Dark Web Hub ‘Kingdom Market’ in global operation

Dark Web Hub Kingdom Market

German law enforcement has announced the disruption of a dark web platform called Kingdom Market which specialized in selling narcotics and malware to “tens of thousands of users”.

The excerciseinvolving cooperation between authorities from the US, Switzerland, Moldova and Ukraine, began on December 16, 2023, the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) said.

Kingdom Market is said to have been accessible through the TOR and Invisible Internet Project (I2P) anonymization networks since at least March 2021, trading illegal narcotics and promoting malware, criminal services and forged documents.

As many as 42,000 products were sold through hundreds of seller accounts on the English-language platform before it was taken down, 3,600 of which came from Germany.

Transactions on the Kingdom Market were made possible through cryptocurrency payments in the form of Bitcoin, Litecoin, Monero and Zcash, with the website operators receiving a 3% commission for processing the sale of the illegal goods.

“The operators of ‘Kingdom Market’ are suspected of commercially operating a criminal trading platform on the Internet and of illegal narcotics trafficking,” the BKA said, adding that an investigation into the seized server infrastructure is ongoing.

In addition to the seizure, one person connected to run Kingdom Market has been charged in the US with identity theft and money laundering. Alan Bill, who also goes by the aliases Vend0r and KingdomOfficial, is described as having Slovak nationality.

The development comes days after another coordinated law enforcement effort resulted in the dismantling of the BlackCat ransomware’s dark web infrastructure, prompting the group to respond to the seizure of the data breach site by wresting control of the page and claiming that they had “unlocked” it.

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