International law enforcement agencies launched a large-scale crackdown on criminals using Tor identity-hiding software to trade illegal goods on the "darknet".
The week-long "Operation Hyperion," involved law enforcement agencies from the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the European Union's Europol, to target underground marketplaces where illegal goods, particularly drugs are sold.
While software such as Tor can be used for legitimate purposes, such as masking communications among users in authoritarian countries, it has also increasingly served as a way to anonymously purchase illegal goods and services.
The law enforcement agencies' dragnet in October mainly involved drug-related arrests, but the group said it will also seek to prosecute perpetrators who use the darknet to traffic counterfeit goods, chemical, and stolen credit card information.
Tor software is seen as a valuable tool to protect privacy by being able to communicate online anonymously, while law enforcement agencies worldwide seek to crackdown against its use to commit crimes. Explore the Trend: Cybersecurity: How can we fight against new threats?