The administrators of the Kraken dark web marketplace have hacked and taken over the infrastructure of Solaris, one of their rivals.
The hack came to light on January 13 when the Solaris market started redirecting visitors to the Kraken portal, where they were greeted by a message from the Kraken admins claiming to have taken over Solaris infrastructure, cryptocurrency wallets, and source code repositories.
Blockchain analysis firm Elliptic, which documented and confirmed the hack, says Solaris was one of the largest drug markets on the dark web last year, processing around $150 million in sales of drugs and other illegal goods and services in its short lifespan.
Elliptic says the market was closely associated with Killnet, a pro-Kremlin hacktivist group, although it’s unclear if the group was also in charge of the market itself.
In December last year, Alex Holden, a US security researcher with Ukrainian roots, claimed to have hacked Solaris and stolen $25,000 worth of cryptocurrency, which he later donated to Ukrainian charity organizations.
Elliptic believes this initial hack attracted the attention of the Kraken administrators and led to Solaris’ demise.
But unlike Holden’s intrusion, motivated by the Russian-Ukrainian war, Elliptic says the new Kraken admins are also pro-Kremlin group, so the hack is unlikely to be politically motivated.