Cyber Crime

Cops wage psychological warfare against online drug bazaars

In an innovative blow to illicit internet commerce, cyberpolice shut down the world's leading "darknet" marketplace — then quietly seized a second bazaar to amass intelligence on illicit drug merchants and buyers.

AlphaBay, formerly the internet's largest darknet site, had already gone offline July 5 with the arrest in Thailand of its alleged creator and administrator. But on Thursday, European law enforcement revealed that Dutch cyberpolice had for a month been running Hansa Market. Like AlphaBay, Hansa operated in the darknet, an anonymity-friendly internet netherworld inaccessible to standard browsers.

AlphaBay's users had flocked to Hansa, which is largely...

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