Regulators are trying to restrict access to the Tor network, but it is technically impossible to block a specific site on the darknet, says Vladimir Dryukov, director of the Solar JSOC cyberattack counteraction center at Rostelecom-Solar. The Russian authorities began restricting access to the Tor project website and the service itself from December 1, 2021, but on December 9, the authorities lifted the blocking of the network itself. There are ways to bypass such locks in Tor, but the task of the authorities is to complicate the use of the browser and cause problems for users, Sergey Nikitin, head of the global headquarters of Group-IB in Singapore, said earlier. The chairman of the IT Committee of the State Duma, Alexander Khinshtein, wrote on December 8 in his Telegram channel that restricting access to the Tor site “will make it possible to resist crime more effectively.”
Now sites in the darknet are periodically blocked
Tracking the real servers on which they are located, said Kolmakov from Group-IB. For example, on April 5, the German Federal Criminal Police announced the closure of Hydra, the largest Russian—language darknet resource for the sale of drugs, fake documents, etc. The authorities confiscated the server infrastructure of the site in Germany. In addition, during the operation, they seized €23 million worth of bitcoins that related to the platform. According to the estimates of the German police, about 17 million users and more than 19,000 sellers are registered in the store, for 2020 the turnover of Hydra amounted to at least € 1.23 billion.