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  • German police shut down Nemesis Darknet Marketplace

    In a significant operation, German law enforcement authorities have successfully dismantled the infrastructure of the Nemesis Market, a darknet marketplace. This coordinated effort was carried out by the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) and the Frankfurt Special Commission for Cybercrime (ZIT) on March 20, 2024, in both Germany and Lithuania, effectively halting the operations of this criminal platform.

    Established in 2021, the Nemesis Market rapidly emerged as a prominent online venue for illicit transactions, including the sale of illegal drugs, stolen data, credit card information, and a range of cybercrime services such as ransomware attacks, phishing schemes, and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Despite its comprehensive inventory, the marketplace explicitly forbade the sale of certain items, including child abuse material, contract killing services, weapons, and Fentanyl-based substances.

    At the height of its activity, the Nemesis Market boasted over 150,000 registered user accounts and more than 1,100 seller accounts globally, with approximately 20% of these sellers operating from within Germany. The German authorities initiated a meticulous investigation into the operations of Nemesis Market in October 2022, collaborating closely with international partners, including the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI).

    During the operation, law enforcement officials seized approximately $100,000 in cash and significantly disrupted the marketplace's functionality. The seized data from this operation is expected to be instrumental in further investigations aimed at identifying and apprehending sellers and users involved with the platform. While the BKA has not disclosed whether any arrests have been made concerning the platform's administrators or core operators, the ongoing investigations are poised to uncover more about the network's inner workings.

    This operation against the Nemesis Market is part of a broader effort by German police to combat cybercrime and darknet marketplaces. Previous successful operations include the seizure of the 'Crimemarket' and 'Kingdom Market' platforms, as well as the disruption of the Hydra market, which was the largest darknet market at the time of its seizure in April 2022.

    Author Gregory Wood
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