The CyberBunker’s underground facility in Germany is up for sale


A Cold War-era bunker, built by the German military and later used by cybercrime ring CyberBunker to power the dark web, is now for sale.

The state of Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany is looking to sell the CyberBunker property in Traben-Trarbach to the highest bidder, according to the German Press Agency dpa.

The story of CyberBunker gained widespread attention when it was featured in a Netflix documentary.

The 5,500 square meter bunker was used as a darknet data center and cybercrime haven, facilitating almost 250,000 crimes, such as drug deals, data trafficking, cyberattacks, counterfeit money transactions, and others.

CyberBunker was an internet service provider popular among cybercriminals. It hosted The Pirate Bay and one of the many WikiLeaks mirrors. The bunker in Traben-Trarbac was the second of the two company-operated bunkers.

In September 2019, almost 650 officers from German security authorities participated in an operation to storm and secure servers and documents stored in a former NATO bunker. After the raid, the operators were prosecuted, and their sentences ranged from probation to over 5 years in prison.

Now, the German state is looking for a buyer.

The 13-hectare CyberBunker site, consisting of a five-level bunker complex and two above-ground buildings, was initially confiscated by the Attorney General's Office, and the Federal Agency for Real Estate refused to take over the facility, golem.de reported.

The two above-ground buildings need significant renovation, and the state tax office in Koblenz wants to “sell the property as soon as possible.”

There are currently no preferred potential buyers, the office told dpa, but the aim is to sell the entire facility “at full value.” The asking price is still unclear due to the nature of the “special property.” So far, several buyers have expressed their interest without obligation. The hope is that the new owner will contribute to the regional economy and create jobs.

Some previous proposals were made to turn the bunker into a cheese storage facility, wine depot, or bunker hotel.

Before the criminal operation, the bunker served as the headquarters of the German military Bundeswehr’s meteorological division, which closed at the end of 2012. At the end of 2013, the ringleader of the CyberBunker gang bought the Bundeswehr bunker, built to withstand a nuclear blast, for €450,000 (around $488,000 at today’s exchange rate).