Darknet marketplace Nemesis Market seized by German police

Cyber hand disrupting wires

The German police have seized infrastructure for the darknet Nemesis Market cybercrime marketplace in Germany and Lithuania, disrupting the site’s operation.

The Federal Criminal Police Office in Germany (BKA) and the Frankfurt cybercrime combating unit (ZIT) conducted the action on Wednesday, March 20, 2024, with law enforcement taking down the website and confiscating approximately $100,000 in cash.

The Nemesis Market was launched in 2021 as a new marketplace to purchase illegal drugs and narcotics, stolen data and credit cards, and various cybercrime services related to ransomware, phishing, and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

The platform only prohibited the sale of child abuse material, contract killing services, weapons, and Fentanyl-based substances.

At its peak, Nemesis counted over 150,000 user accounts and 1,100 seller accounts worldwide, with about 20% of them being based in Germany.

BKA’s announcement says investigations into Nemesis Market started in October 2022, involving German, Lithuanian, and American agencies, including the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).

The Nemesis Market website displays the seizure banner below, informing visitors that the platform is now in the police’s hands.

Visiting the URL also triggers a retro video game animation, which is used to celebrate the operation’s success, as shown below.

Seizure banner
Nemesis Market Seizure banner (Animation sped up)

Data seized in the action will be used in the ongoing investigations against platform sellers and users, potentially uncovering their identities and organizing arrests.

BKA has not mentioned if the server administrators or any of the platform’s core operators were identified or arrested during the action.

At the start of the month, the Düsseldorf Police in Germany seized ‘Crimemarket,’ a German-speaking marketplace offering drugs and cybercrime services, counting 180,000 users, and arrested six people, including one of the leading operators. 

In December 2023, the BKA and ZIT seized another major darknet marketplace, the ‘Kingdom Market,’ and arrested one of the administrators in the United States.

The German police’s largest bust came in April 2022, when its investigators disrupted the world’s largest darknet market, Hydra, which had 17,000,000 members and 19,000 registered sellers.

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