The U.S. Department of the Treasury sanctioned what it called “the world’s largest and most prominent darknet market” based in Russia and a cryptocurrency exchange associated with ransomware activities.
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- The Treasury Department Tuesday sanctioned Hydra Market, alleging it offered a marketplace for illicit ransomware and hacking software.
- It also sanctioned a related crypto exchange Garantex, which handled US$6 million in illicit transactions for Russian ransomware gang Conti.
- The Treasury’s move reinforces its recent efforts to cut Russia from channels that could potentially be used to evade sanctions.
- About 86% of the illicit Bitcoin received via Russian crypto exchanges in 2019 came from Hydra, the Treasury said.
- Police in Germany Tuesday shut down Hydra servers there, seizing about US$25 million worth of Bitcoin.
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