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Darknet Investigations Now a Priority, Says German Federal Police Chief

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:50 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:50 PM

Investigations in the aftermath of the recent terror attack in Munich which saw nine people killed in a Munich shopping center on Friday will now see darknet markets under the scanner.

Speaking to journalists today, Holger Muench, the chief of Germany’s Federal Criminal Police (also known as Bundeskriminalamt or BKA), has stated that the emergence of the darknet as a trading platform will see investigations focus on the clandestine corner of the internet.

The darknet, an overlay network that can only be accessed by specific software and nodes like Tor is commonly known as an illicit marketplace that sees drugs and other items sold frequently on different darknet websites.

As reported by Reuters , Muench stated:

We see that the dark net is a growing trading place and therefore we need to prioritize our investigations here.

Furthermore, the report asserts that darknet marketplaces are increasingly used to “procure drugs, weapons and counterfeit money,” while directly mentioning bitcoin as an example of digital currencies used to make payments on the marketplaces.

Numerous reports in German media had linked the weapon used in the terror attack to a marketplace on the dark web.

Bavarian officials in Munich have concluded that a “reactivated 9mm Glock 17 pistol” used by 18-year-old David Sonboly was purchased on the dark web.

The BKA also said that previous operations targeting darknet platforms have seen five marketplaces taken offline in 2015.

A different operation that concluded this year saw a coordinated effort and investigation from various law enforcement agencies across Europe to shut down what authorities referred to as five “Underground Economy Forums”.

The five darknet marketplaces saw multiple arrests that included several German citizens accused of running websites where weapons, drugs, fake IDs, counterfeit currency and stolen data were available for sale. The websites also had services for sale that included DDoS attacks, malware samples and more, all of which contribute to cybercrime.

Featured image from Facebook.