back to article Europol takes down Wall Street market: No, the other cesspool of dark international financial skullduggery

Three people have been arrested in Germany in connection with a dark net souk for drugs, dodgy documents and stolen data called the Wall Street Market. Earlier this year Finnish customs and French police worked together to take down Silkkitie, also known as Valhalla Marketplace. Finnish customs seized a web server and sizeable …

  1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    I thought...

    The hype about the dark web is it secure from the monitoring of the local flatfeet if you use TOR or a VPN. I guess no one figure out delivery of goods and services requires outside parties to be innocently involved and will create a paper trail in meat space. If you are shipping drugs for delivery there is a carrier most likely innocently involved such as FedEx or DHL. The shipping documents automatically create a paper trail of the pickup/drop off point to the delivery point. Both are points that can or are monitored. Plus financial transactions even with Bitcoin create a paper trail that with patience can often be traced.

    The problem that most have is the local flatfeet have been doing investigations using shipping and financial documents for a long time and they are pretty good at knowing what to look for.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sounds like a dark net delivery service is required. Could it operate as a lawful / visible business on the basis that dark net trade may be legitimate? If dark net trade and linked services expand, the visible / taxable economy might begin to shrink, which is bad news for visible governments.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        If you have a "dark net" delivery service that is lawful and visible, as you say, then call it DHL and you're done. If you want it to deliver stuff outside of the law, then it has to be, itself, outside of the law. And that's just a recipe for disaster.

        The only reason there is this culture of dark net is because the Internet is not the real world and fudging one's existence, location and identity is very much easier on the Internet than it is in meatspace. However, when real goods need to be moved, you don't have the ability to fudge the destination or the amount unless you're smuggling - which is a crime in itself.

        And, as good as the dark net denizens think they are in hiding from the law, in real life their experience is probably a lot less valid, not to mention subject to the whim of fate and random police stops.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: I thought...

      "I guess no one figure (sic) out delivery of goods and services requires outside parties to be innocently involved and will create a paper trail in meat space..."

      Wrong - just use MyHermes or Royal Mail, who are essentially stochastic delivery firms and therefore utterly untraceable, even for their clients.

  2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge
    Holmes

    WSM got a lot of new traffic over the past month as the former biggest market (Dream) closed due to persistent DDOS attacks.

    A few days ago the owners started "exit scamming". That is to steal the money in people's accounts and run away. Apparently they made off with £14m.

    A moderator, presumably unhappy with not being part of the exit scam started blackmail customers who had sent their addresses without using PGP encryption for the equivalent of £280.

    He then leaked the IP address allowing law enforcement to raid the server.

    Apparently the owners have had their collars felt, hopefully the blackmailer is one of them.

  3. Paul Herber Silver badge

    Something, something, something dark side.

    <'cos it's one day early>

    1. Jemma Silver badge

      I don't think my mind will ever recover..

      From Herbert as Obi-Wan in "Blue Harvest"

      There were so many levels of wrong in that I just don't know where to start. Especially the musical number. Never in the field of human entertainment has so much "no" been inflicted on so many by so few..

      And I recognise the name Ruth Porat - wasn't she something to do with the story of the 2008 Lehmans et al implosion.

      PS to all businessmen and bankers. Please don't do that again because I don't want to have to wade through another Sorkin book - he can bore people to death at an Olympic level.

  4. BobProton

    Cut the head of a hydra and 2 grow back

    1. JeevesMkII

      Don't worry. When Amber "Iolaus" Rudd is PM, all your packets will be routed through a BBFC server to be inspected for wrongthink before being sent on to the wider internet. For your own good, citizen.

  5. Nunyabiznes

    Wall Street

    Too bad our Europol friends didn't get lost and "accidentally" close down the Wall Street you first think of when you hear about dodgy dealings, financial misconduct and fraud.

  6. MacroRodent Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Translation note

    Finnish "Silkkitie" translates as "Silk Road". Obviously borrowed from earlier, more famous darknet bazaar.

  7. VonDutch

    So

    That's where the elderly couple in Australia got the 20kg of methamphetamine from then!

    Then realise they're gonna get busted so hand it over and the deets for the website owners to cut a deal. Genius!

  8. Claverhouse Silver badge
    Holmes

    Hand Waving

    It might be nice if they expanded on what exactly was illegal here --- other than tedious drugs [ and one would think there are enough illegal drugs floating around to satisfy everyone 10 times over if everyone in the world was a druggie ].

    Bad things; Tor; Dark Web; Crime; Jail... almost as if they just wanted to frighten the public off the Internet except for continuously buying consumer goods when both awake and asleep.

    .

    And fer feck's sake: criminals seem are stupid as terrorists or elected politicians in preferring Theatre ! to effective results. 'Valhalla' ? 'The Silk Road' ?

    Just call it something nondescript and easily confused. Like 'Redundant Office Supplies Warehouse' or '19th Century Concordance Publishing' that no-one in their right mind would stumble upon by accident, with dummy front websites.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Just call it something nondescript and easily confused

      But that wouldn't be cool.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hand Waving

      Universal Exports.

  9. The Nazz Silver badge

    Genuine question(s).

    What do the authorities do with the seized Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies? Sell them on the open market, auction them off. If so, is there a fair chance that the next generation of "criminals" will acquire them?

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All of this is , perhaps, good but when we will can see the true bandits, murders, banksters, robberers, evil and rogue people of city of london will be accounted for their inaccountable crimes?

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