Germany takes down largest cybercrime market in the country, arrests 6

Police arresting cybercriminal

The Düsseldorf Police in Germany have seized Crimemarket, the largest German-speaking illicit trading platform on the internet, arresting six people, including one of its operators.

Crimemarket was a hub for trading illegal drugs, narcotics, and cybercrime services, while it also hosted tutorials/guides for conducting various crimes.

This law enforcement action resulted from years of investigations and numerous searches that produced evidence leading to the identification of the platform’s operators and many users.

“In a concerted campaign, investigators across Germany and abroad took action against the largest German-speaking criminal trading platform on the Internet on Thursday evening,” reads a machine-translated announcement.

As part of the operation, 102 search warrants were executed throughout the country simultaneously during the evening of February 29th, 2024.

The press release says the focus was primarily in North Rhine-Westphalia, where three people were arrested, including a 23-year-old man considered the main suspect. An additional three people were arrested in other federal states.

“The police seized numerous pieces of evidence, especially cell phones, IT devices and data carriers. In 21 cases, officers in North Rhine-Westphalia seized narcotics, including 1 kilogram of marijuana and various ecstasy tablets. A total of almost 600,000 euros in cash and movable assets were seized,” reads a translated press release.

“A total of three more people were arrested in police measures in other federal states, which were initiated by the police there.”

The German police say that the operation is targeting not only the operators of the Crimemarket platform but also its users, and the investigation is ongoing.

The end of Crimemarket

According to user reports, the cybercrime market started to have accessibility issues earlier this week, with many reporting an inability to log in though the site remained online.

Crimemarket’s homepage
Source: BleepingComputer

Rumors emerged that the intermittent outage resulted from the ChipMixer bust, which the platform used as a payments laundering service provider.

Some claimed that investigations on the ChipMixer’s seized infrastructure might have exposed the Crimemarket’s administrator, ‘Evolution.’

With today’s police announcement, it becomes clear that the site accessibility problems were indeed caused by law enforcement and not related to a technical issue.

Interestingly, the site’s homepage remains available at the time of writing this, though attempting to visit any other page on the domain displays the following seizure notice, shown below.

Seizure banner on Crimemarket
Seizure banner on Crimemarket
Source: BleepingComputer

The notice mentions that the police “monitored this platform and its content over a long period of time as part of a Europe-wide coordinated operation and confiscated the data.”

Also, BleepingComputer has found that the forum space where sellers connect with buyers was active until yesterday, with new posts added.

Based on the above and the seizure banner, it appears the police opted to allow cybercriminals to continue using the platform post-confiscation (or compromise) to gather identification data, login credentials, and other incriminating information.

This content is being syndicated from Source link for documentation purpose. If you are the owner of the content and like it removed, kindly contact me here and I will remove the content.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top