Moldova’s Cyber Crime Defences Questioned After DarkNet Sting

Security experts in Moldova are raising questions about the resilience of the country's cyber defences after a massive operation at the European level, to which Moldova contributed, uncovered and closed the biggest DarkNet website selling drugs, stolen credit card data and malware.

German authorities dismantled DarkMarket, which was hosted by DarkNet, on Tuesday. Prosecutors from Koblenz said that "more than 20 servers from Moldova and Ukraine" had been confiscated and shut during the international police operation.

According to investigators, DarkMarket was "without a doubt, the largest market in the world on DarkNet". They say the online platform included over 500,000 users and over 2,400 sellers.

"Moldova does not entirely control its territory where certain criminal groups covered by influential factors from Moldova and Russia are operating," retired colonel Rosian Vasiloi observed to BIRN.

"In this sense, the authorities show their weakness because we have all the necessary levers to intervene in this regard with special investigation activity and criminal investigations - but somehow we don't," the military and security specialist told BIRN.

The former border police chief also stressed that whikle Moldova is doing well on paper in laws and security strategies, it has major difficulties implementing them. He also urged more transparency on such matters, as Moldovan authorities have stayed largely quiet so far on this problem.

Vasiloi said Moldova should cooperate more with Western investigative bodies and be more proactive in tackling such phenomena, not only when it is asked to. "We have specific commitments regarding this in the context of implementing the Association Agreement with the European Union," he noted.

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