Sep 20, 2023THNCyber Crime / Dark Web

Finnish law enforcement authorities have announced the takedown of PIILOPUOTI, a dark web marketplace that specialized in illegal narcotics trade since May 2022.

“The site operated as a hidden service in the encrypted TOR network,” the Finnish Customs (aka Tulli) said in a brief announcement on Tuesday. “The site has been used in anonymous criminal activities such as narcotics trade.”

The agency said that the drugs sold on the site were smuggled to Finland from abroad, adding a criminal investigation is underway in coordination with international partners from Germany and Lithuania, along with Europol and Eurojust. It’s not immediately clear if any arrests were made.

Romanian cybersecurity firm Bitdefender said it provided additional support that helped with the seizure of PIILOPUOTI.

“We are extremely pleased that PIILOPUOTI has been seized and would like to congratulate law enforcement, Finnish Customs, and everyone involved,” Alexandru Catalin Cosoi, senior director of the Investigation and Forensics Unit at Bitdefender, said in a statement shared with The Hacker News.


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“This operation is a prime example of the public and private sector pooling resources and working together to disrupt illegal online activities. It should also serve as a wake-up call for criminals who falsely believe their infrastructures, anonymity and actions are fully protected by the dark web. They should understand if they are in the crosshairs of an international effort, they will eventually be brought to justice.”

The development comes as law enforcement agencies have intensified their efforts to dismantle darknet marketplaces such as Genesis Market and the Lolek bulletproof hosting service. In May 2023, an international operation resulted in the arrest of 288 vendors who are believed to be involved in drug trafficking in the Monopoly market.

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