Darknet Tales -The Rise and Fall of Hydra

Breakfield and Burkey
3 min readApr 10, 2022
A graphic containing imagery of a Hydra with european style dragon characteristics.
Image by Tami Arens from Pixabay

Hey! Did you hear that crashing sound? On April 5th the German Frankfurt am Main Public Prosecutor’s Office — Central Office for Combating Cybercrime (ZIT) — and the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) secured the server infrastructure of the world’s largest illegal Darknet marketplace — Hydra Market — closing it. Link for those who want the details.: https://www.bka.de/DE/Presse/Listenseite_Pressemitteilungen/2022/Presse2022/220405_PM_IllegalerDarknetMarktplatz.html

Germany and United States Crack Heads

Not to be outdone, the U.S. Justice Department announced their involvement as well claiming a collaborative effort in the seizure of Hydra Market (Hydra), the world’s largest and longest running darknet market. In 2021, Hydra accounted for an estimated 80% of all darknet market-related cryptocurrency transactions, and since 2015, the marketplace has received approximately $5.2 billion in cryptocurrency. Link: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-investigation-leads-shutdown-largest-online-darknet-marketplace

Then, throw in the OFAC, U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, sanctions against a Russian cryptocurrency exchange Chainalysis has previously investigated for its role in money laundering: Garantex. Link: https://blog.chainalysis.com/reports/hydra-garantex-ofac-sanctions-russia/


Both organizations, Hydra and Garantex, are heavily dependent on favorable Russian treatment during sunny day operations. In a previous post we speculated that Russia would need to leverage their darknet operatives for the cryptocurrency to finance their outrageous war against the Ukraine. Vlad, there won’t be any help from these two cyber slimeballs so take that upside the head.

Hydra had quite a run from its inception in 2015 until April 5, 2022. Last year it’s estimated that Hydra took in $1.7 billion in cryptocurrency. What’s remarkable is Hydra only paid out in Russian Ruble so if you wanted a different currency, tough. Still, their business model of money laundering and brokering services for anything illegal soared from their inception. We aren’t sorry to see them go.


Breakfield and Burkey

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