According to reports, a Ukrainian man living in the United States has managed to infiltrate the Russian dark web by hacking a prominent drug market and diverting some of its crypto funds.
The man said that the digital cash that he stole from the illicit website has been donated to an organization providing humanitarian aid in his homeland amidst the ongoing war.
Alex Holden is a cyber intelligence expert born in Ukraine, who left his country in the 1980s as a teenager and now resides in Mequon, Wisconsin.
He claimed that he had hacked one of the largest online drug markets in Russia named Solaris. His team at Hold Security supported him and this allowed him to compromise some of the bitcoin that had been sent to the owners and dealers of the darknet site.
The value of the cryptocurrency that was diverted from the drug market was valued at $25,000 and it was transferred to a charitable foundation named Enjoying Life, based in Kyiv.
Holden did not provide any details of precisely how he accomplished it, but he did say that he was able to take control of most of the internet structure of the site.
He was able to gain control of some of the administrator’s accounts and also managed to obtain the source code of the website.
Some of the other information that he was able to get his hands on included a database of the website users and the locations that were used for dropping off the drug deliveries.
In fact, the Ukrainian and his team were also able to gain access to the marketplace’s ‘master wallet’ for a while.
Dealers and buyers used it for depositing and withdrawing funds and it functioned as the crypto exchange of the platform.
As it had a very quick turnover, the balance in the wallet did not exceed 3 BTC at a time. Holden was able to get ahold of 1.6 BTC and donated it to Enjoying Life.
An additional $8,000 was also donated by Hold Security to charity, which is aimed at assisting those who were affected by the ongoing war in Ukraine.
It is also suspected that Solaris may have connections to Killnet, which declared itself a ‘patriotic’ hacking group after Russia invaded Ukraine in late February.
The hacking crew vowed to target Ukrainians and those supporting the country. The hacking group went as far as targeting the United States, as it attacked state government websites and airport.
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency was also one of its targets. Some of the other targets include the National Health Institute of Italy, the Estonian government, and the Eurovision song contest.
The group had also been blamed for attacking Solaris’ main competitor, Rutor, which became the leading underground drugs market in Russia after Hydra shuttered.
Zerofox, the cybersecurity firm in the US, said that Solaris had been paying Killnet for providing DDoS services.
Ukraine and Russia have also been battling online and not just in the field.