We reported in July 2017 that the AlphaBay dark web was shut down by law enforcement agencies when Europol and multinational law enforcement agencies to participate in the hunt.
This dark web also runs on the private onion network, and its mode of operation is mainly peer-to-peer transactions and the website collects hosting fees from it. A large number of dark web buyers and sellers use the AlphaBay platform to continue various illegal transactions.
This made AlphaBay quickly become the largest dark web at the time, attracting more than 40,000 sellers/200,000 buyers to trade various contraband on the platform at its peak.
Buyers of selected products will pay to the dark web in virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, and then the black market will transfer the virtual currency to the seller after the seller confirms the delivery of the goods.
The dark web mainly undertakes the functions of information display and trust intermediary in transactions, and AlphaBay’s daily revenue has been as high as 600,000 to 800,000 US dollars by charging handling fees.
The main reason for attracting so many users is all kinds of contraband. Some hackers also sell illegal products such as hacker tools and databases in these black markets.
In 2017, Europol and multinational law enforcement agencies launched a hunt. After identifying the main management personnel of the website, the law enforcement agency raided and arrested the platform management team.
The founder of the dark web was arrested in Thailand in the same year, but his founder committed suicide when he was about to be extradited from Thailand to the United States for trial, but this did not affect other administrators.
Herrell from Colorado, USA is one of the main administrators of the dark web. After investigation, law enforcement agencies obtained definite evidence for Herrell to confess.
In the end, Herrell explained all the criminal content, including handling up to 20,000 transaction disputes, and responsible for risk control to check whether buyers or sellers have fraud problems.
The US Department of Justice stated that although Herrell uses the onion network and virtual currency transactions, it is clear that these are not enough to protect him from being fully pursued by law enforcement agencies.
Herrell is only 26 years old this year. He may have been a black market administrator when he was 22, and he may have participated in various dark web black market transactions when he was less than 20 years old.
In the end, the US court sentenced Herrell to 11 years’ imprisonment. For Herrell, 11 years’ imprisonment should be considered relatively light.