On Wednesday, police around the world coordinated a major bust, closing down a massive, highly-guarded black market for hackers.
Darkode, the shuttered black market, was a website where hackers would trade their dangerous wares.
Criminals would swap huge batches of stolen data. Identity thieves would purchase databases of Social Security numbers and credit cards. Cyberweapons dealers would sell malware that could break into government and corporate computer networks -- or fry hardware and cause millions of dollars in damage.
Hackers who snuck into millions of computers -- and turned them into a slave network under their control -- would sell temporary access to their powerful computing power of their "botnets." These are regularly used to attack websites, overloading them and knocking them offline.