back to article Feds slay dark-web souk Hydra: Servers and $25m in crypto-coins seized

US and German federal agencies came down hard on Hydra, the longest-running known dark-web marketplace trafficking in illegal drugs and money-laundering services, with a multi-pronged attack that aimed to cut off multiple heads of the nefarious online beast. First, German federal police in coordination with US law enforcement …

  1. Mayday Silver badge

    What happens to the seizures?

    I've always wondered what happens to the seized crypto in operations such as this. At least weekly you hear "Crooks get done, $x million/billion in crypto seized" or similar.

    So where does it go? Restitution/returned to "victims"? Stored for infinity in some fed-held wallet as it's not a recognised asset in whatever jurisdiction it is? 80% gets forgotten about and the remaining 20% gets declared in the press release as a successful bust?

    Icon for effect.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What happens to the seizures?

      It's crazy that people run DNM sites on servers that aren't encrypted, allowing wallets to be seized, or have no backups so they can quickly wash the entire balance into another wallet. Like.. it's 2022.. full disk encryption is a thing... DNM's being raided and seized is a thing... do they literally have so much money they just don't care if $25 million gets stolen?

      Somebody help these people out with their devops. It should be a single-click to generate a .onion domain and deploy the site, then a few seconds to ssh in and unlock the wallet.

  2. Clausewitz 4.0

    Hydra hosting provider

    So, basically, feds got the prefered hosting provider of Hydra Market and seized servers.

    Nothing else.

    1. mhoneywell

      Re: Hydra hosting provider

      Well, apart from the other stuff, yes.

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Hydra hosting provider

      What they have so far is:

      1. Servers seized, possible source of more evidence.

      2. Market is shut down. To move it, the admins will have to generate a new address and migrate users, and some users won't switch because it could always be an operation by law enforcement to find them.

      3. If the summary is correct, some cryptocurrency previously controlled by the operators is now unavailable to them.

      4. One person connected to it has been publicly identified. He's probably not going to court, but he would prefer to have remained anonymous.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Hydra hosting provider

        "He's probably not going to court"

        I'm sure the US have in mind that the only way to settle the Russian aggression in Ukraine and elsewhere is regime change in which case he might well end up in court.

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Hydra hosting provider

          I think that's probably right, but knowing that regime change is needed to end a serious crisis and mustering the power and resolve to invade a massive country with nuclear weapons are two different things. I don't think any country will be willing to use military force to force Putin out, and therefore, if the regime does change, it will be to someone who is already somewhat powerful there. That person is less likely to submit to all the U.S.'s requests.

  3. DF118

    Here's an idea

    Stop trying to police what people do with their own bodies. Make psychoactive drugs a public health issue rather than a law enforcement issue. Once we do that, the remaining reason for DNMs to exist will only be for actual nefarious purposes. Then go after them full tilt.

    1. Valeyard

      Re: Here's an idea

      where do you think druggies get their money from?

      it's usually someone else's house. god damn student stoner nonsense comment.

      1. DF118

        Re: Here's an idea

        where do you think druggies get their money from?

        it's usually someone else's house. god damn student stoner nonsense comment.

        And do you think that fact might just perhaps be related to criminalisation?

        FFS think

      2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

        Re: Here's an idea


        Never has the phrase "OK, boomer" been so appropriate.

      3. jvf

        Re: Here's an idea

        They break into your house because, being illegal, the s**t is so expensive. Removing the huge profit margins will make your house far less likely to be burglarized (by a drug addict, at least). Trouble is, the ‘war on drugs’ means lots of money for cops also so it’s unlikely this mess will go away anytime soon.

        1. Jesthar

          Re: Here's an idea

          Why is it the cynic in me suspects the huge profit margins might well remain, and just be collected by pharmaceutical companies instead...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Here's an idea


      Just keep them away from any dangerous machinery like cars, motorbikes, guns etc. Let employer fire them if they are unable to perform their tasks or are dangerous to others while performing them - and of course no subsidies should be paid by others to maintain them - it's their decision to get those drugs.

      And of course if they cause harm to others while under the influence of drugs punish them very, very severely - they have no right to harm others and doing it while under drugs freely taken should be a big, big aggravating factor.

      There's no freedom without accountability and responsibility.

      1. julian.smith

        Re: Here's an idea

        Is alcohol on your list of drugs?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Here's an idea

      Wise words, well spoken, but as you can see, the majority of people do indeed think they have the right to tell other people how to live their lives and have therefore down-voted you. :(

      You can't get rid of "evils" in society by making them illegal. All it does is push the market underground to dangerous conditions and great expense for the users or addicts that leads to street crime to fund their wants and needs, but at great risk to their health and safety.

      Prohibition is a lose-lose proposition for society when you're dealing with behavior that doesn't directly cause harm to others. Although I believe in the rule of law, I believe in the right to live one's life how one chooses within the restrictions of reasonable laws, not those based on judgemental busybodies trying to mold society into their particular vision at the expense of others.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Here's an idea

        A completely un-prohibited market in tobacco allowed millions to die of lung cancer and other respiratory diseases - including those whose smoking was only passive. That also was a lose-lose proposition.

        1. DF118

          Re: Here's an idea

          Hence my point about why it should be a public health issue not a law and order issue.

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Here's an idea

      "Stop trying to police what people do with their own bodies."

      But also stop inducing others to do things to their bodies brains which will do them long term harm.

      1. DF118

        Re: Here's an idea

        Agreed, although I was talking about using, not pushing. Plus having psychoactives being almost entirely a law and order issue just hands the entire field of play to pushers and criminals. And heavily costs all of society in so many ways.

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