MoneySuperMarket fined for sending seven million unwanted emails

Moneysupermarket website  MoneySuperMarket fined for sending seven million unwanted emails c597fcabbfImage copyrightMoneySuperMarket
Image caption The website compares prices on many services

Price comparison website MoneySuperMarket has been fined £80,000 ($103,000) by the Information Commissioner’s Office for sending more than seven million emails to people who had opted out of receiving its communications.

The firm said it apologised “unreservedly”.

The emails regarded changes to the terms and conditions of the site.

However they also invited people to “reconsider” their opt-out.

Asking them to do this is against the law, said the ICO.

“Organisations can’t get around the law by sending direct marketing dressed up as legitimate updates,” said ICO enforcer Steve Eckersley in a statement.

“When people opt out of direct marketing, organisations must stop sending it, no questions asked, until such time as the consumer gives their consent. They don’t get a chance to persuade people to change their minds.”

MoneySuperMarket issued an apology.

“We take the protection of our customers’ data and privacy very seriously,” said a spokesman.

“We apologise unreservedly to the customers affected by this isolated incident and we have put measures in place to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”

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Newcastle University students targeted by cyber-scam

Newcastle University tweet  Newcastle University students targeted by cyber-scam da8f11cf12Image copyrightNewcastle University
Image caption Newcastle University has issued a warning about the fake site

Newcastle University is warning prospective students not to give out personal details on a fraudulent website taking payments for courses.

The fake site uses pictures of Newcastle University buildings and takes payments for a non-existent “Newcastle International University”.

It is “in no way associated with the university”, warns the university’s official Twitter feed.

Students should avoid accessing the site, the university advises.

The site has been described as unusually realistic, but Newcastle International University does not appear on the government’s official lists of degree providers in the UK.

‘Effective scam’

Azeem Aleem, director of advanced cyber-defence practice at RSA security’s Europe Middle East and Africa region, said: “Make no mistake, this is an effective scam.

“They’ve put in the time and effort to create a remarkably realistic website, and it highlights the very real danger of modern spoofing attacks.”

Mr Aleem said the fake site carefully targets overseas students “who may not have the local knowledge to spot the difference between this site and Newcastle University’s official site”.

He praised Newcastle University for a swift response once the fraudulent site was reported to them earlier this week.

Image copyrightNewcastle University
Image caption The fake site features pictures of Newcastle University buildings

Kirsten Edmondson, head of digital at the university, said the scam came to light when a prospective international student tweeted a question about it.

Ms Edmondson said she was particularly concerned that the site asks for passport numbers and credit card information.

“We would never ask for these details as part of an application,” said Ms Edmondson.

New features

Handing them over on this site would leave prospective students at risk of identity theft and losing their money and not receiving any education in return, she added.

She said it was impossible to say whether anyone had handed over personal information – but investigations have shown that the site has been active since 7 July and new features have been added even since it was discovered.

She is particularly concerned that the site is targeting agencies who help pair overseas students with suitable UK courses.

In a statement, Newcastle University said it had reported the site to the internet hosting company and to the internet standards organisation ICANN.

“The University is working with National Cyber Crime police team, and the case has been registered with the cyber-security team in the National Crime Agency.

“We proactively announced on social media that this is a fraudulent website and have responded to some student enquiries and will continue to do so. We would urge any students not to access this site and go to our official site: www.ncl.ac.uk or call the university’s general number if they have any queries.”

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YouTube to redirect searches for IS videos

YouTube  YouTube to redirect searches for IS videos c0250272f3Image copyrightYouTube
Image caption YouTube will offer curated playlists denouncing terrorism

YouTube says it will redirect people searching for “violent extremist propagandaand offer them videos that denounce terrorism.

People searching for certain terms relating to the so-called Islamic State group will be offered playlists of videos “debunking its mythology”.

YouTube said it wanted to help prevent people being radicalised.

The company told the BBC that uploading IS propaganda was already against its terms and conditions.

In a blog post, the video-streaming giant said it was implementing ideas from the Redirect Method, a campaign that tries to steer the IS audience towards videos that debunk the group’s recruitment tactics.

Image copyrightRedirect Method
Image caption In one of the videos, an elderly lady confronts so-called Islamic State fighters

The themed video playlists challenge claims by the so-called Islamic State group that it provides good governance, is a strong military force, and that world powers are conspiring to harm Muslims.

Rather than producing new material, the playlists contain videos already uploaded to YouTube that present an opposing point of view, such as:

  • testimony from people who have left IS, describing what life in the group was really like
  • footage of a suffering elderly lady confronting two IS fighters and telling them to “return to the way of God”
  • speeches by imams denouncing violence and extremism
  • footage from inside IS-controlled areas, showing the reality of life there

The Redirect Method says pre-existing videos, rather than specially commissioned content, are more effective because they are seen to be more trustworthy.

“Media created by governments or Western news outlets can be rejected on face value, for a perception of promoting an anti-Muslim agenda,” the organisation says in its methodology.

Image copyrightYouTube
Image caption Footage on YouTube shows a long queue for food in IS-controlled areas

It said videos uploaded by the public “would not be be rejected outright by our target audience”.

YouTube told the BBC that it would begin redirecting users searching for particular terms in English, but would later add other languages including Arabic.

Algorithms will help determine whether other search keywords need to be included in the scheme, and the company will monitor whether people are engaging with the curated playlists.

While anybody searching for terrorist propaganda would be redirected, including academics and journalists, YouTube said such content was already against its terms and conditions and was removed when discovered.

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AI demo picks out recipes from food photos

spaghetti bolognese  AI demo picks out recipes from food photos 10606fe57fImage copyrightGetty Images
Image caption One suggestion for spaghetti bolognese was “gunk on noodles”.

An algorithm created to identify recipes for food just from a photograph has been demonstrated by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The neural network was trained on a dataset of one million photos and one million recipes.

The trial model worked best on desserts and found smoothies and sushi more challenging, the researchers said.

The team has released an online trial although it is not a finished product.

When tested by the BBC, recipes that were generated based on a picture of spaghetti bolognese included “Italian tomato sauce” and “gunk on noodles”.

A photo of a Black Forest gateau yielded “chocolate mocha cake” and “frozen grasshopper squares” – both of which looked similar to the image uploaded – and it successfully identified a hot dog.

“In computer vision, food is mostly neglected because we don’t have the large-scale datasets needed to make predictions,” said MIT researcher Yusuf Aytar.

“But seemingly useless photos on social media can actually provide valuable insight into health habits and dietary preferences.”

The team will be presenting their paper at a conference in Honolulu later this month.

Previous models by other researchers have not used such a large data bank.

In the future the system could be developed to include how a food is prepared and could also be adapted to provide nutritional information, MIT said.

Deep learning

AI demo picks out recipes from food photos f082f2b13e
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption“Deep learning” is a branch of machine learning based on a set of algorithms

Artificial intelligence expert Calum Chace, author of The Economic Singularity, said the system was an interesting use of deep learning.

“It’s an example of how machines can not only do things that humans cannot, but they perceive the world very differently from us,” he told the BBC.

“Just as AlphaGo showed the world’s best Go players whole new ways of looking at the game they had spent their lives mastering, this system will enable us to see the very food we eat in a different way.”

In May 2017 Google’s DeepMind AlphaGo artificial intelligence defeated the world’s number one Go player Ke Jie, who was reduced to tears.

Following its success, AlphaGo was retired, with DeepMind founder Demis Hassabis saying it had achieved its objective.

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3D-printed drone’s space station pictures and other news

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Who is the laziest?

N Peats next to his speed and distance metrics  Who is the laziest? 1cc8f5ab88Image copyrightNRL
Image caption Australian rugby league fans could see how fast and active each player was during the game

Sports teams have used wearable sensors in training for several years as a way of tracking player development and fitness. But now live streaming of such data during matches and races is ushering in a new era of fan involvement.

For the rugby stars lining up for the opening clash of Australia’s annual State of Origin series in May, this was a game of firsts.

For the first time ever in rugby league, the first time in Australian sport, and the first time in a stadium of more than 50,000 spectators, players would have their data streamed live so fans could track every aspect of their performance in unprecedented detail.

Each player wore a vest under their shirt fitted with a UWB (Ultra Wide Band) device.

More accurate than GPS, the system – dubbed ClearSky – relied on 20 beacons placed around the stadium generating more than 1,000 live data points per second. The positioning information was accurate to within 15cm (6in).

Fans could track the distances players ran, the speed of their runs, their “micro-movements”, and as well as heat maps of where each player had mostly been on the pitch.

It was the kind of data hitherto reserved for sports scientists and professional coaches.

Image copyrightNRL
Image caption Johnathan Thurston managed to reduce his heart rate before a crucial conversion

The project – the result of a two-year partnership between National Rugby League (NRL) and analytics company Catapult Sports – was intended to pave the way for a new era of fan involvement.

“With this advanced technology, viewers will be able to access new insights into how the game is played and it will no doubt further highlight the unbelievable athletic qualities of the best of the best in rugby league,” says David Silverton, NRL head of strategy.

Cameras have tracked player speed and distance in football and rugby for some time, but this doesn’t tell the whole story, argues Catapult’s Karl Hogan, global head of league and data partnerships.

“Wearable data provides much more physical data such as stop/starts, impacts, changes of direction, jumps, dives, plus much more. These are all then aggregated into a score.

“Say you have two players running the same distance but player B changes his direction twice, jumps to head a ball and makes a tackle during the distance.

“They’ve run the same distance but player B’s score will be much higher.”

Live data analytics is also integral to cycling these days and helping to bring fans even closer to the action.

At this year’s Tour De France, data from a GPS transponder installed under each saddle is being combined with external data, such as the gradient of hills and weather conditions, to provide live speed, position, distance between riders, and the composition of groups within the race, amongst other insights.

Image copyrightTour de France/Dimension Data
Image caption Tour de France fans now have access to reams of performance data

Fans can access all this data by web, app and television, thanks to a tie-up between the Tour de France and Dimension Data.

Applying machine learning and predictive analytics to the data can then be used to forecast likely winners, taking into account all the many variables, from road gradient to headwind strength, humidity to relative speed.

“We’ve created complex algorithms using historical data collated from our live tracking of bikes over the last two years,” says Scott Gibson, Dimension Data’s group executive of digital practice, “as well as rider performances, stage profiles, and race statistics across all UCI [Union Cycliste Internationale] races over the past five years.”

The data analytics platform is able to learn from these algorithms and combine these insights with the live data being received.

And Dimension has an impressive track record of predicting winners, with 75% of the group winners coming from a selection of five potential victors chosen by the system.

Image copyrightAll SPORT/GETT IMAGES
Image caption The moment Mark Cavendish (far left) had a crash on stage four of the Tour de France

There was one unfortunate exception, however: on 4 July Dimension Data’s own Mark Cavendish was involved in an horrendous crash that brought his Tour to an abrupt end after he suffered a broken shoulder.

“We’d predicted he’d win the stage, but you can’t predict a crash,” says Mr Gibson.

“We never set out to create a perfect model for race predictions – for a live sporting event, that would be impossible and would detract from the exciting and dynamic nature of the experience.

“While a machine can learn from historical data and create an informed view on what might happen next, some scenarios are simply not possible to predict.”


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Image copyrightGetty Images

TV channel Eurosport is also trying hard to enhance the fan experience with the aid of live data.

It has partnered with software provider CA Technologies to create a “second screen” app that viewers can refer to as a complement to the TV coverage.

It was rolled out during its coverage of Giro d’Italia cycling race earlier this year, and is also being used for the Tour de France.

Fans are treated to interactive features, analytics tools, a live interactive map, GPS positioning, and constantly updated rider data, such as altitude, speed, power, cadence and heart rate.

Image copyrightMatthew Ashton/AMA
Image caption West Bromwich Albion players train with fitness trackers, but what about live in-game data?

“While television remains the most popular way to watch major sporting events, second-screen experiences enabled through apps have become increasingly important to viewers,” says Lauren Flaherty, chief marketing officer at CA Technologies.

And this integration of live data analysis into sport is a trend that’s likely to continue, says Alex Fenton, associate director for Salford University’s sport industry collaboration zone.

“The technology and accuracy will continue to improve and new generations of coaches will increasingly adopt the idea of using data and insight.

“Equally, there will be a place for gamification and live data,” he says.

So could live streaming of player data during games come to other sports, such as football?

The UK’s Premier League says it has no plans to introduce it, but as the technology improves and fans enjoy its benefits in other sports, pressure will surely begin to grow.

Whether the pampered sports stars themselves will appreciate this extra level of fan scrutiny remains to be seen.

  • Follow Technology of Business editor Matthew Wall on Twitter and Facebook

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Tracking the stars

N Peats next to his speed and distance metrics Tracking the stars Tracking the stars 1cc8f5ab88Image copyrightNRL
Image caption Australian rugby league fans could see how fast and active each player was during the game

Sports teams have used wearable sensors in training for several years as a way of tracking player development and fitness. But now live streaming of such data during matches and races is ushering in a new era of fan involvement.

For the rugby stars lining up for the opening clash of Australia’s annual State of Origin series in May, this was a game of firsts.

For the first time ever in rugby league, the first time in Australian sport, and the first time in a stadium of more than 50,000 spectators, players would have their data streamed live so fans could track every aspect of their performance in unprecedented detail.

Each player wore a vest under their shirt fitted with a UWB (Ultra Wide Band) device.

More accurate than GPS, the system – dubbed ClearSky – relied on 20 beacons placed around the stadium generating more than 1,000 live data points per second. The positioning information was accurate to within 15cm (6in).

Fans could track the distances players ran, the speed of their runs, their “micro-movements”, and as well as heat maps of where each player had mostly been on the pitch.

It was the kind of data hitherto reserved for sports scientists and professional coaches.

Image copyrightNRL
Image caption Johnathan Thurston managed to reduce his heart rate before a crucial conversion

The project – the result of a two-year partnership between National Rugby League (NRL) and analytics company Catapult Sports – was intended to pave the way for a new era of fan involvement.

“With this advanced technology, viewers will be able to access new insights into how the game is played and it will no doubt further highlight the unbelievable athletic qualities of the best of the best in rugby league,” says David Silverton, NRL head of strategy.

Cameras have tracked player speed and distance in football and rugby for some time, but this doesn’t tell the whole story, argues Catapult’s Karl Hogan, global head of league and data partnerships.

“Wearable data provides much more physical data such as stop/starts, impacts, changes of direction, jumps, dives, plus much more. These are all then aggregated into a score.

“Say you have two players running the same distance but player B changes his direction twice, jumps to head a ball and makes a tackle during the distance.

“They’ve run the same distance but player B’s score will be much higher.”

Live data analytics is also integral to cycling these days and helping to bring fans even closer to the action.

At this year’s Tour De France, data from a GPS transponder installed under each saddle is being combined with external data, such as the gradient of hills and weather conditions, to provide live speed, position, distance between riders, and the composition of groups within the race, amongst other insights.

Image copyrightTour de France/Dimension Data
Image caption Tour de France fans now have access to reams of performance data

Fans can access all this data by web, app and television, thanks to a tie-up between the Tour de France and Dimension Data.

Applying machine learning and predictive analytics to the data can then be used to forecast likely winners, taking into account all the many variables, from road gradient to headwind strength, humidity to relative speed.

“We’ve created complex algorithms using historical data collated from our live tracking of bikes over the last two years,” says Scott Gibson, Dimension Data’s group executive of digital practice, “as well as rider performances, stage profiles, and race statistics across all UCI [Union Cycliste Internationale] races over the past five years.”

The data analytics platform is able to learn from these algorithms and combine these insights with the live data being received.

And Dimension has an impressive track record of predicting winners, with 75% of the group winners coming from a selection of five potential victors chosen by the system.

Image copyrightAll SPORT/GETT IMAGES
Image caption The moment Mark Cavendish (far left) had a crash on stage four of the Tour de France

There was one unfortunate exception, however: on 4 July Dimension Data’s own Mark Cavendish was involved in an horrendous crash that brought his Tour to an abrupt end after he suffered a broken shoulder.

“We’d predicted he’d win the stage, but you can’t predict a crash,” says Mr Gibson.

“We never set out to create a perfect model for race predictions – for a live sporting event, that would be impossible and would detract from the exciting and dynamic nature of the experience.

“While a machine can learn from historical data and create an informed view on what might happen next, some scenarios are simply not possible to predict.”


More Technology of Business

Image copyrightGetty Images

TV channel Eurosport is also trying hard to enhance the fan experience with the aid of live data.

It has partnered with software provider CA Technologies to create a “second screen” app that viewers can refer to as a complement to the TV coverage.

It was rolled out during its coverage of Giro d’Italia cycling race earlier this year, and is also being used for the Tour de France.

Fans are treated to interactive features, analytics tools, a live interactive map, GPS positioning, and constantly updated rider data, such as altitude, speed, power, cadence and heart rate.

Image copyrightMatthew Ashton/AMA
Image caption West Bromwich Albion players train with fitness trackers, but what about live in-game data?

“While television remains the most popular way to watch major sporting events, second-screen experiences enabled through apps have become increasingly important to viewers,” says Lauren Flaherty, chief marketing officer at CA Technologies.

And this integration of live data analysis into sport is a trend that’s likely to continue, says Alex Fenton, associate director for Salford University’s sport industry collaboration zone.

“The technology and accuracy will continue to improve and new generations of coaches will increasingly adopt the idea of using data and insight.

“Equally, there will be a place for gamification and live data,” he says.

So could live streaming of player data during games come to other sports, such as football?

The UK’s Premier League says it has no plans to introduce it, but as the technology improves and fans enjoy its benefits in other sports, pressure will surely begin to grow.

Whether the pampered sports stars themselves will appreciate this extra level of fan scrutiny remains to be seen.

  • Follow Technology of Business editor Matthew Wall on Twitter and Facebook

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BMW ‘favouring Oxford’ to build new electric Mini

BMW workers at the Cowley plant BMW 'favouring Oxford' to build new electric Mini BMW 'favouring Oxford' to build new electric Mini c00faed706Image copyrightGetty Images
Image caption Workers at the Cowley plant, where BMW makes Minis, had been on strike

BMW’s Oxford factory is the favoured location for building an electric version of the Mini, sources have claimed.

Two sources told Reuters the company is leaning towards the UK plant, where it has invested heavily in recent years.

The company makes about 60% of its approximately 360,000 compact cars at the Cowley factory.

A BMW spokeswoman said: “A final decision has not been taken.”

As well as Oxford, the company has built up an alternative manufacturing base in the Netherlands amid concerns about Brexit.

Reuters said its sources were “familiar with the company’s thinking” and a final decision is due in September.

‘Lose its relevance’

Between 2012 and 2015, BMW Group invested £750m to upgrade manufacturing sites in Oxford, Hams Hall and Swindon.

One source said: “If Mini became a fully electric brand in the long run, and Oxford only knew how to build combustion-engine variants, the plant would lose its relevance.”

In March, the head of BMW in the UK, Ian Robertson, said the UK was “in a strong position but it’s not the only production facility we have”.

The company said it could also build the vehicle at a plant in the Netherlands, where a plug-in hybrid version of the Mini is already being built, or a plant in Regensburg, Germany.

The threat of further strikes at the Oxford plant ended last month when Unite members accepted a revised offer over the closure of their final salary pension scheme.

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Kodi magazine ‘directs readers to pirate content’

The Complete Guide to Kodi on a newsstand Kodi magazine 'directs readers to pirate content' Kodi magazine 'directs readers to pirate content' 4c73a78e07
Image caption The Complete Guide to Kodi is on sale at a number of retailers

A British magazine is directing readers to copyright-infringing software, the Federation Against Copyright Theft (Fact) has said.

Kodi is a free, legal media player for computers but software add-ons that in some cases make it possible to download pirated content.

The Complete Guide to Kodi magazine instructs readers on how to download such add-ons.

Dennis Publishing has not yet responded to a BBC request for comment.

The magazine is available at a number of retailers, including WH Smith, Waterstones and Amazon and was spotted on sale by cyber-security researcher Kevin Beaumont.

It repeatedly warns readers of the dangers of accessing pirated content online, but one article lists a series of software packages alongside screenshots promoting “free TV”, “popular albums” and “world sport”.

“Check before you stream and use them at your own risk,” the guide says, before adding that readers to stay “on the right side of the law”.

Police discussions

A spokesman for Fact said the body was working with the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (Pipcu) as it made enquiries.

“We are fully aware of this magazine and have already been in communication with Dennis Publishing regarding our concerns that it signposts consumers to copyright infringing add-ons,” said Kieron Sharp, chief executive of Fact.

“[…] it is concerning that the magazine’s content provides information to consumers on add-ons that would potentially allow criminality to take place,” he added.

In April, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that selling devices pre-configured with add-ons allowing access to pirated content is illegal, and that streaming such content was also against the law.

Two of the add-ons listed in the article are on a banned list maintained by the Kodi developers.

“We don’t support piracy add-ons and so we don’t like the idea of someone selling a magazine encouraging people to use them,” said Nate Bentzen, Kodi’s community and project manager.

“I am a bit surprised anyone is still selling a magazine like this physically, given all the lawsuits and the recent EU court decision,” he added.

WHSmith declined to comment but the BBC understands that the newsagent has no plans to stop sales of the magazine.

In February, it was reported that five people had been arrested and accused of selling set-top boxes with modified versions of Kodi allowing them to stream subscription football matches, TV channels and films for free.

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AlphaBay and Hansa dark web markets shut down

Seized noticed on AlphaBay AlphaBay and Hansa dark web markets shut down AlphaBay and Hansa dark web markets shut down bed4fb054dImage copyrightUS Department of Justice
Image caption AlphaBay went offline earlier this month

Two of the largest dark web marketplaces have been shut down following a “landmark” international law enforcement investigation.

The AlphaBay and Hansa sites had been associated with the trade in illicit items such as drugs, weapons, malware and stolen data.

According to Europol, there were more than 250,000 listings for illegal drugs and toxic chemicals on AlphaBay.

Hansa was seized and covertly monitored for a month before being deactivated.

The agency said it believed the bust would lead to hundreds of new investigations in Europe.

“The capability of drug traffickers and other serious criminals around the world has taken a serious hit today,” said Europol’s executive director Rob Wainwright.

It was a “landmark” operation, according to US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director Andrew McCabe.

AlphaBay has been offline since early July, fuelling suspicions among users that a law enforcement crackdown had taken place.

‘You cannot hide’

“We know of several Americans who were killed by drugs on AlphaBay,” said US Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

“One victim was just 18 years old when in February she overdosed on a powerful synthetic opioid which she had bought on AlphaBay.”

He also said a 13-year-old boy died after overdosing on a synthetic opioid bought by a high school classmate via the site.

Mr Sessions cautioned criminals from thinking that they could evade prosecution by using the dark web: “You cannot hide,” he said, “We will find you.”

AlphaBay and Hansa dark web markets shut down AlphaBay and Hansa dark web markets shut down be0a313821
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionJeff Sessions highlighted the significant quantities of illegal drugs traded via the dark web

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) said that illegal drugs listed for sale on AlphaBay included heroin and fentanyl.

Investigations were led by the FBI, the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Dutch National Police.

Police in other countries, including the UK, France and Lithuania, also contributed.

The Dutch National Police took over the Hansa marketplace on 20 June after two men in Germany were arrested and servers in Germany, The Netherlands and Lithuania were seized.

This allowed for “the covert monitoring of criminal activities on the platform” until it was eventually shut down a month later.

Ever since AlphaBay went offline earlier in July, users of the site had discussed potential alternative dark web marketplaces on online forums.

Hansa was frequently mentioned, meaning that the authorities were likely able to uncover new criminal activity on Hansa as users migrated to it from AlphaBay.

“We recorded an eight times increase in the number of human users on Hansa immediately following the takedown of AlphaBay,” said Mr Wainwright.

AlphaBay and Hansa dark web markets shut down AlphaBay and Hansa dark web markets shut down cc7d483be5
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionTechnology explained: What is the dark web?

Analysis: Dave Lee, BBC North America technology reporter, San Francisco

The significance of today’s announcement will only truly be known over the coming year or more as authorities follow up the “many new leads” they said had been found as a result of infiltrating and shutting down these two enormous networks.

While the sites’ closure is a massive boost, the DoJ and Europol both readily acknowledge that new services will simply pop up to replace them. After all, the closure of previous dark web marketplace Silk Road in 2013 was eventually followed with AlphaBay – bigger, more lucrative and, by the looks of it, more dangerous.

What authorities really want to do is start putting significant numbers of people behind bars.

This huge coordinated action has only resulted in a handful of arrests – and one key suspect apparently took his own life seven days after being brought into custody.

It’s a start, but it’s clear such big services require an large, intricate network of criminals – and that’s what authorities are targeting.

Follow Dave Lee on Twitter @DaveLeeBBC

An alleged administrator of AlphaBay, 26-year-old Canadian Alexandre Cazes, was arrested in Thailand on 5 July following a joint operation between US, Canadian and Thai authorities.

Police also seized millions of dollars in assets, three properties and four Lamborghini cars.

But Cazes was later found dead in a Bangkok jail cell.

The DoJ said that he apparently took his own life.

A previous dark web marketplace, Silk Road, was shut down by the FBI in 2013 and a successor – Silk Road 2.0 – was deactivated the following year.

However, in its press release today the DoJ said that AlphaBay had more than 350,000 listings for illicit items of various kinds – Silk Road only had 14,000 when it was seized in 2013.

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