Update included below.
According to TechCrunch, “The FBI have arrested several people suspected of involvement in running Deep Dot Web, a website for facilitating access to dark web sites and marketplaces.”
Deep Dot Web is said to have made millions of dollars in commission by offering referral links to dark web marketplaces, accessible only at .onion domains over the Tor Network. Tor bounces internet traffic through a series of random relay servers dotted across the world, making it near-impossible to trace the user.
Its .onion site displayed a seized notice by the FBI, citing U.S. money laundering laws. Its clear web domain no longer loads.
The FBI posted notice of seizure on their website.
Times of Israel was the first to report the arrests after two Israelis were arrested on suspicion of running the dark web site according to authorities on Tuesday that was part of a 2-year, multi-national operation working with the FBI.
Arrests were made in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Brazil and Israel — where police tracked down and on Monday arrested a 35-year-old resident of Tel Aviv and a 34-year-old resident of Ashdod.
“Tuesday’s arrests follow an operation by U.S. and German authorities earlier in the week that took down the Wall Street Market, one of the largest remaining dark web marketplaces. Thousands of sellers sold drugs, weapons and stolen credentials used to break into online accounts.”
On Friday, European and American investigators announced they had broken up one of the world’s largest online criminal marketplaces for drugs, hacking tools and financial theft wares in raids in the United States, Germany and Brazil.
Three German men, ages 31, 22 and 29, were arrested after the raids in three southern states on allegations they operated the so-called “Wall Street Market” darknet platform, which hosted about 5,400 sellers and more than 1 million customer accounts, Frankfurt prosecutor Georg Ungefuk told reporters in Wiesbaden.
A Brazilian man, the site’s alleged moderator, was also charged. In addition, two people US prosecutors said were top WSM vendors and major drug dealers operating out of Los Angeles were also arrested.
In the nearly two-year operation involving European police agency Europol and authorities in the Netherlands as well as the US and Germany, investigators pinpointed the three men as administrators of the platform on the dark web.Times of Israel
According to The Verge, the FBI’s seizure notice occupies both Deep Dot Web’s “dark web index and news site,” which provided links to dark web marketplaces, as well as “the site’s dark web site.”
The FBI declined to comment and a spokesperson for the US Department of Justice has not responded to US media requests for comments yet.
TechCrunch reports that their “efforts to reach Deep Dot Web over encrypted chat were unsuccessful.”
According to a new report on Wednesday, the DOJ, in a newly unsealed indictment the two Israelis, now named, Tal Prihar, 37, and Michael Phan, 34, alleged to be the co-owners and administrators have both been charged with “one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Prihar, who resided in Brazil, was arrested by French police in Paris on Monday, while Phan was arrested by Israeli police in a simultaneous raid.
The two are accused of making millions of dollars in commission from Deep Dot Web, a website featuring news, reviews, and information about dark web sites and marketplaces. Prosecutors said the administrators made their commission by linking to marketplaces on the dark web — only accessible through Tor, an encrypted anonymity network.