European law enforcement structures closed popular underground market in Darknet, known as Wall Street Market.Its owners have stolen all the currency that was deposited by platform’s clients.
Wall Street was described as “the world’s second largest dark web market, enabling the trade in drugs (including cocaine, heroin, cannabis and amphetamines), stolen data, fake documents and malicious software. The illegal platform was exclusively accessible via the Tor network in the so-called Darknet and aimed at international trade in criminal goods.”
Interestingly, the week before closing Wall Street Market administration argued that “resource has certain issues with Bitcoin servers”. Since that moment clients lost access to their deposited finances. As on many similar platforms, payment for the pursuits was performed through deposits, where customers stored money and suppliers wrote them off after delivery of goods.
On platform’s deposits was stored about $30 million of cryptocurrency that vanished now.
However, it left some traces while vanishing: visitors of deepdotweb.com forum traced bitcoins’ movement from Wall Street Market and established that all these finances were transferred to the external wallet, next they were divided and transferred on new wallets (so called “transactions’ mixing”).
Exists likelihood that process will continue: tracing money transactions will be the more difficult if they will change greater number of wallets.
Additionally, arrived information that Wall Street Market “customers’ service” blackmails some clients, promising to submit information about them to law enforcement structures, if they will refuse to pay 0,05 bitcoin.
It is no excluded that Wall Street Market creators are trying to protect themselves from persecution: police is actively investigating cases of illegal goods’ sales now. Since January 2019, FBI agents arrested 61 underground markets’ drug traffickers. This was a reason to close Dream Market that is one of the most popular drug markets in Darknet.
It is most likeable that majority of clients tried to transfer their operations on Wall Street Market.
“Most possible that creators of the market decided that hiding and meanwhile “washing out” stolen cryptocurrency is easier than to deal with penitentiary system”, – considers Alexander Khamit, SEO Consult Services information security expert. Tracing bitcoins after transactions mixing is not easily, and with single-use wallets search for stolen money will be impossible”.
German police arrested three supposed creators and moderators of Wall Street Market platform.
All suspects are German citizens aged between 22 and 31 years. For every deal, they received 6% of commission in cryptocurrency. Now they face up to 15 years in prison. During searches were found digital media with evidence. In investigation participated German, American, Dutch law enforcement officers and European police agency (Europol).
Fate of the stole bitcoins is unclear.