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A joint law enforcement operation has managed to seize hundreds of Dark Web domains that have been associated with over a dozen black market wesbites. On top of taking and shutting domains, was the seizure of various products such as computers, drugs, weapons, and gold.

The operation was revealed on Thursday, which involved the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Europol, and the Department of Homeland Security. Called Operation Onymous, the joint venture resulted in the arrest of 17 people that included Silk Road 2’s alleged operator Blake Benthall (26 years old) in San Francisco. Benthall is accused of running the new Silk Road under the handle “Defcon” for the past year ever since the original Silk Road website was taken down by the FBI.

“Blake Benthall’s arrest ends his status as the alleged administrator of a website that allows illicit black-market activities to evolve and expand, and provides a safe haven for illegal vices,” said HSI Executive Associate Director Peter Edge.” HSI will continue to work in partnership with its federal and international law enforcement partners around the world to hold criminals who use anonymous Internet software for illegal activities who seek to hide behind the anonymity of the Internet to carry out illegal activities accountable for their actions.”

Aside from the arrests, 414 .onion domains, which are web addresses used by Tor software that provides anonymity to internet users, were taken down which includes drug sites such as Cloud 9 and Hydra while the task force also took down contraband markets like Cannabis Road, Black Market, Pandora, and Blue Sky. Money laundering sites were also scooped up that includes Cash Machine Golden Nugget, and Fast Cash. According to reports, over $1 million in Bitcoin and $250,000 in cash along with computers, gold, silver, drugs, and weapons were seized from criminal suspects.

However, despite the takedown of so many sites, only half of the most popular Tor-based sites were taken down. Agora, Evolution, and Andromeda are still online and active for the sellers and buyers to relocate to and continue selling mostly illegal items and services.

Sounds pretty serious... They took down 'Hydra'? as a longtime comic book fan, Hydra is a Super Villain Bad Guy group in Marvel Comics, 'Captain America' specifically! You can't make this stuff up! Its good to see our government is on their toes. Reality is, the web IS like a 'Hydra' cut off one head and two more grow to take its place, its a futile game of 'whack a mole' for the most part.


I'm not sure the government really cares about all these dark web sites that they've been attacking (with the exception of TorMail). What they are primarily concerned with is the anonymous communication that takes place on the dark web, and the protection it affords whistle blowers. The government has gotten so used to having unfettered access to our communications via e-mail and social media, that it can't stand any hindrance to its ability to violate our privacy.

The true motive behind these raids, as I see it, is to justify and procure the resources necessary to wage a full scale war on the dark web.


There was a day when I would consider your comment ludicrous. While the issues they tackled in this take down are legitimate, I can't help but wonder if the bigger picture doesn't at least resemble your assumption.


oh look the government is trying to make themselves look good by attacking the things they create with their insane, evil and illegal laws... how... ordinary


not to mention the fact that they just took down the competition for the sites they didn't get... Power vacuum, anyone?


Since it can easily go back up in the onion. This means nothing.