What happened? German authorities recently shut down a cybercrime data center that was discretely operating within the confines of a 5,000-square-meter former NATO bunker. Authorities found “countless” websites on the servers, hosting pages specializing in the sale of illegal drugs, weapons, stolen data, counterfeit documents and even child pornography.
The raid went down last Friday in the sleepy riverside town of Traben-Trarbach. According to reports, more than 600 members of law enforcement were involved in the operation. Police were able to successfully breach the facility’s defenses including iron doors, barbed wire fences and surveillance cameras as well as crack the “digital protections” of the data center.
Police reportedly seized around 200 servers, cell phones, documents and a large quantity of cash. All said and told, 13 people allegedly tied to the facility’s various nefarious operations were arrested.
Wall Street Market, once known as the second largest darknet marketplace in the world before it was shut down earlier this year, was once hosted on the servers, police said.
But really, that only scratches the surface. Jürgen Brauer, director of the public prosecutor's office in Koblenz, said it could take months or even years to process everything on the servers.
A 59-year-old Dutch man who had been living in the bunker is reportedly said to be the ringleader. Authorities say he has ties to organized crime in the Netherlands and first set up the servers in Traben-Trarbach in 2013.
Masthead credit: hacker by Gorodenkoff