Last Updated on 31/01/2022 by Nidhi Khandelwal
Nearly a year after pleading guilty to the charges, an Israeli national was sentenced to 97 months in jail in connection with the operation of the DeepDotWeb (DDW) clearnet website.
Tal Prihar, a 37-year-old Israeli citizen living in Brazil, is believed to have been a DDW administrator since the website’s launch in October 2013. In March 2021, he agreed to surrender the fraudulently acquired profits after pleading guilty to money laundering charges.
DDW allegedly acted as a “news” website that connected internet users with underground dark web marketplaces that operate via darknets like Tor, allowing the purchase of illegal firearms, spyware and hacking tools, stolen financial data, heroin, fentanyl, and other drugs.
Prihar, along with co-defendant Michael Phan, 34, of Israel, provided direct links to illegal marketplaces and reaped substantial profits by receiving kickbacks from the marketplace operators in the form of virtual currency totaling 8,155 bitcoins (worth $8.4 million at the time of the transactions) in exchange for advertising these links.
“Prihar transferred the funds from his DDW bitcoin wallet to other bitcoin accounts and to bank accounts he controlled in the names of shell corporations to conceal the nature and source of these illicit kickback payments,” the US Department of Justice (DoJ) said in a statement last week.
In related news, Canadian law enforcement officials seized and shut down Canadian HeadQuarters (aka CanadianHQ), a darknet marketplace specializing in the purchase and sale of spam services, phishing kits, stolen credential data dumps, and access to compromised machines, which were used by purchasers to engage in a variety of malicious activities.
This follows the Europol-led takedown of VPNLab.net earlier this month, a VPN provider used by criminal actors to spread ransomware against over 100 enterprises and support other cybercrime.