Italian state police have said that a British model was kidnapped to be reportedly auctioned off and sold on the dark web.
The dark web is unindexed web that is only accessible by means of special software. This allows users and website operators to remain anonymous or untraceable. Many access the dark web through Tor, a free software that enables anonymous communication.
Illicit trade and illegal activity is rampant on the dark web. In July 2017, two of the largest marketplaces in the “dark web”, Alphabay and Hansa, were shut-down in a joint effort by the US Department of Justice and Europol. Alphabay reportedly had more than 200,000 users and made a $1bn in revenue annually.
The British model (who has not been named) was assaulted, drugged and handcuffed. The 20-year-old was also stuffed into a travel bag. She had been visiting Milan, Italy, on an assignment when she was attacked in an apartment by two men. She was held hostage for a week. For reasons that are still to be revealed by the police, one of her abductors, Lukasz Herba, dropped her off at the British Embassy. He has been arrested on kidnapping charges. He told the police that he was working for “the Black Death group." It is an organization involved in illegal trafficking on the dark web.
Milan police officer Lorenzo Bucossi spoke about the kidnapping noting, “Certainly the author of this very serious crime is a dangerous person - don't forget he was also ready to carry out a 'final solution', as he called it. He was a killer and was working for an organization on the deep web that is offering mercenary services such as bombing attacks, kidnapping and the selling of girls on the dark web.”
This isn’t the first time the suspected kidnapper has been involved in such a case. The police have noted that he has already organized multiple auctions to sell abducted women and girls. He allegedly referred to them as “prey.”
As we have predicted, kidnapping will be a new frontier in cyber terrorism. Our assessment would follow that despite the increased crackdown of the dark web by law enforcement agencies, criminal organizations will innovate anonymously in the deep web to carry out operations with both impunity and anonymity.