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EU Agencies Join to Tackle Dark Web Crime

In an effort to strengthen their ability to fight cybercrime on the dark web, multiple law enforcement agencies have come together to establish a Dark Web Team. Europol announced yesterday that it will work with EU partners and global law enforcement agencies to reduce the size of the underground crime economy.

In a 29 May event that marked the official launch of the new Europol Dark Web Team, stakeholders from the European Commission, Interpol, and Eurojust joined with law enforcement agents from 28 countries in The Hague, the Netherlands, and expressed their enthusiasm over the expanded efforts to take down cybercriminals on the dark web.

Through its European Cybercrime Centre (C3), Europol has been actively monitoring the dark web for several years. Investigations in the underground marketplaces have yielded an array of tools, tactics and techniques used by cybercriminals. 

As a result, Europol, in partnership with other law enforcement agencies, has successfully shut down AlphaBay and Hansa, "two of the largest marketplaces responsible for the trading of over 350 000 illicit goods like drugs, firearms and cybercrime tools, such as malware," according to a Europol press release

The reported success of the crime-fighting partnerships has led to a reduced number of illicit transactions, with Europol reporting that some dark web traders have closed down their platforms for fear of getting caught. 

The dedicated Dark Web Team will share information through a coordinated approach, allowing the different agencies to provide operational support and varying degrees of expertise in the wide range of cybercrimes that they are fighting.  

Chief commissioner Ivaylo Spiridonov, director of the Bulgarian general directorate combatting organised crime, delivered the opening remarks on behalf of the current Presidency of the Council of the EU and highlighted that “today’s expert assembly will further enhance the law enforcement’s ability to find sustainable solutions and a common coordinated approach to respond to criminality on the dark web.”

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