International law enforcement effort takes out hundreds of “dark market” hidden sites

The U.S. and many European countries have cooperated to take down more than 410 hidden web services that were running “dark markets” for drugs and weapons. 17 people have been arrested, including the alleged proprietor of the Silk Road 2.0 site, Blake “Defcon” Benthall. In Benthall’s case, human intelligence (and human error) played a big part in the law enforcement success. Beyond that, the fact that so many hidden services running through Tor were targeted, raises questions over the security of the anonymous browsing network. Europol is not sharing details of its techniques. Earlier this year, Tor — also used by many activists and journalists in oppressive regimes — detected attackers trying to de-cloak hidden services and their users.