The US sanctioned on Tuesday a Russian darknet marketplace known as Hydra Market, as well as crypto exchange Garantex, in what the Biden administration said was an effort to thwart cybercrime.
The Treasury Department said Hydra is the world's "largest and most prominent darknet market." The decision to blacklist was made after German authorities shut down its servers in the country and seized $25 million in Bitcoin.
“The global threat of cybercrime and ransomware that originates in Russia, and the ability of criminal leaders to operate there with impunity, is deeply concerning to the United States,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.
“Our actions send a message today to criminals that you cannot hide on the darknet or their forums, and you cannot hide in Russia or anywhere else in the world. In coordination with allies and partners, like Germany and Estonia, we will continue to disrupt these networks,” she added.
Garantex was registered in Estonia in 2019 but most of its operations are run out of Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia, according to the US agency.
Hydra and Garantex operate out of Federation Tower in Moscow, it added.