Former Tor Developer Helped FBI To Bring Down Silk Road

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. Silk Road 3 is up and running with a big selection of goods.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3 Guide <<

How did the Feds manage to unmask Tor browser users, when The Onion Router is one tricky anonymity tool, layer after layer of relays? What steps did the FBI take to finally seize the Silk Road underground drug market and arrest the Tor hidden Silk Road site’s founder? It now makes sense- it was an insider’s job.

An eye for an eye. Tor for Tor.

download (4)Chris Soghoian, technologist from ACLU stated that the U.S. government is hacking itself with one arm funding the Tor Project, and the other tasked to hack it.

Well, hiring someone with firsthand experience was the best way to go to beat Tor, and the person found fit for the job is cybersecurity expert and former Tor core developer Matthew J. Edman. The closure of darknet marketplace Silk Road alone has produced a series of dark web drug busts and nabs throughout the globe until today.

As Tor Project Software Developer

The nonprofit organization confirmed that Edman worked with them until the year 2009, and was subsequently employed by an FBI defense contractor to develop an anti-Tor malware.

In 2008, Matthew Edman joined the Tor Project same day as Jacob Appelbaum, hacker and journalist known for his work on WikiLeaks and as one of Edward Snowden’s staunchest supporter.

The developer was then working on Vidalia, a software designed to deliver an easier to use Tor by presenting people with a simplified interface. Tor dropped it in 2013 and replaced the Vidalia with other tools aimed towards improving user experience.

As Anti-Tor Malware Developer

In 2012, Edman functioned as senior cybersecurity engineer for Mitre Corporation and was assigned to the Remote Operations Unit of the FBI. This internal team catered to the development or purchase of exploits and hacking tools for the purpose if spying on potential targets.

He then became part of Operation Torpedo, built against 3 Tor hidden child pornography sites within the dark web. The malware he came up with, dubbed Torsploit has rendered at least 25 individuals de-anonymized and netted a total of 19 convictions.

Cornhusker: Unmasking Tor Users

Edman, together with Steven A. Smith, an FBI Special Agent, developed and took to customize, test, configure, and deploy the Cornhusker or Torsploit while at Mitre.

The malware aided the bureau by allowing agents to deanonymize Tor users with its primary task to gather identifying information. Torsploit has then been wielded in a number of investigations by US law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

FBI agents packed it inside a Flash file placed on each of the Operation Torpedo sites. The Cornhusker exploited Flash vulnerabilities whenever a Tor user had it enabled in order to reveal actual IP address being used, setting aside the Tor browser’s privacy protection and anonymity. The information is then sent to FBI servers along with a timestamp.

Court documents state that the Cornhusker has been stopped and FBI moved on to other malware and newer techniques meant to target a wider scope on Tor users.

Collaboration with the FBI Continues

download (5)Besides working on the aforementioned Operation Torpedo, Edman had a lion’s share in the federal agency’s shut down of Silk Road and conviction of its creator Ross Ulbricht.

He played a significant role, from tracking $13.4 million bitcoins in transactions which previously took place at the Silk Road marketplace, to tracing Ulbricht’s laptop that lead the FBI to him on October 2013 which brought an end to the Silk Road dark path.

Edman worked at FTI Consulting as senior director during this time covering the Silk Road investigation, and is currently a Berkeley Research Group key executive.

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The Silk Road And The Changing Drug Laws

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. Silk Road 3 is up and running with a big selection of goods.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3 Guide <<

The launch of the darknet marketplace Silkroad led to the proliferation of illicit activities on the internet. Politicians, especially Charles Schumer, quickly started targeting Silkroad and the website was shut down by the law enforcement in 2013. However, the concept of distributed, anonymous and peer-reviewed e-commerce using digital currency originated by Silkroad is here to stay.

ross-ulbrichtThe central theme of the operations in the darknet marketplace is bitcoin, the digital currency developed by a person known as Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, which enables pseudonymous transactions. Ross Ulbricht, the founder of Silkroad who was convicted, leveraged bitcoin technology to enable purchase and sale of illicit goods on his website. During the heydays of Silkroad, researchers from academic institutions demonstrated as to how the transactions executed using bitcoin could be tracked as well as analyzed.

The reputation of Silkroaddeclined after the hire-for-murder scheme offered by the website was brought to light. Though the damage it caused through sale of drugs is still unclear, one heroin dealer has said that Silkroad was instrumental in ruining his life. However, as drug laws are changing very fast, particularly with respect to cannabis, the website deserves a fair deal. Further, various political establishments around the world are pushing for decriminalization of different drugs.

The Netherlands is notorious for its lax marijuana laws. In Vancouver in British Columbia, proliferation of cannabis stores, on and off, is very common. In fact, Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, has even said that he would like to decriminalize, but regulate, cannabis. In many jurisdictions around the world, marijuana is legal.

Australia wanted to control enteogens and the Supreme Court overturned the decision of a New Mexico Court, preventing the federal government from banning the use of a sacramental tea by UDV (a Christian Spiritist religion) as it contained a Schedule-1 substance.

US politicians Rand Paul and Ron Paul have worked for the decriminalization of several drugs. Paul has even hinted at decriminalization of Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Academic institutions have also classified certain drugs as having therapeutic benefits, for example, LSD.

In an article recently published by Reuters, David Nutt, professor of neuropsychopharmacology who has worked with Carhart-Harris, said that it is now possible to see as to what is going on in a person’s brain when it is in the psychedelic state and better understand as to why LSD profoundly impacts self-awareness. According to him, this would mean a lot as far as psychiatry is concerned.

The studies on beneficial effects of drugs would definitely be continued and, therefore, law enforcement agencies should be aware of the implications of once forbidden drugs. Actually, Silkroad was futuristic in the sense that it set the trend for drug commerce, especially marijuana, in the years to come. Most of the transactions on Silkroad involved marijuana.

In the US, legalization of marijuana is a bi-partisan problem. Sixty-three percent of the Republican Millennials and seventy-seven percent of the Democratic Millennials support legalization of cannabis. If marijuana is legalized, movements that promote decriminalization and legalization of Schedule-1 drugs might ensue.

Even pharmaceutical users who did not have insurance allegedly had accounts on Silkroad for purchasing medicines. This is because the site offered privacy, a key health care system attribute, for the procurement of medicines.

silk-road-logo (1)Further, Silkroad offered a rating system that was akin to what eBay or other e-commerce sites offered. This meant that the product sold on the Silkroad site were peer-reviewed. In addition, the rating system effectively monitored the buyers, sellers and products. The rating system also plays a role in keeping a check on false claims through advertisements.

However, many questions remain unanswered, especially the violent services allegedly offered by Silkroad. In addition to counterfeit money, fake IDs and passports, the Silkroad also purportedly offered hitmen services. It is alleged that Ross Ulbricht, who just completed one year in jail, ordered one hit on-site users.

However, the law enforcement agencies that tracked down Ross Ulbricht and Silkroad did not experience any difficulty in cracking the darknet marketplace. If regulated, a pseudonymous marketplace might prove to be a safe option for people who want to buy substances like marijuana that are on the fence as far as legality is concerned. Further, the law enforcement will be in the know of the deals taking place on these websites and will, therefore, be able to enforce better oversight.

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Nucleus Vanished, Crypto Market Is One Of The Best Option


nucleusWhat’s happened to Nucleus? That is the question on everyone’s lips at the moment. The site has now been down for over a week and with many users screaming “exit scam!”, talk has now turned to which are the best darknet markets to migrate to. While plenty of people are now recommending Dream Market – due mainly to the affiliate bonuses that users can enjoy when new people sign up using their link – we recommend Crypto Market or as one of the best current options available for vendors and customers alike.

It feels like every other day another dark web market disappears. Wasn’t it just a few months ago we were lamenting the loss of Abraxas? Unfortunately, as is the common case, one of the populist favorites has yet again disappeared – and this time it was Nucleus, the second biggest of the darknet markets. With the days since the outage growing ever longer, it’s now time for Nucleus users to turn to other options.

What’s the best option for me?

While many will simply hop on over to AlphaBay, there are another options: Crypto Market (while Silk Road 3.0 is down for maintenance). Although Crypto Market isn’t the largest darknet market around, it is growing insanely fast, it has a dedicated following and is most definitely fully up and online, and has a surprisingly vast range of goods available. The market is a “clean” market, where child porn, terrorism, murder, violence, firearms, weapons, poisons, chemical weapons, etc. are not allowed for trade. Interestingly, Crypto Market also prohibits sales into and out of Russia, as well as Russian users. So, for Russian potential Crypto Market users, we recommend RAMP instead.

A little bit more about Crypto Market

Crypto Market is by the same markers as Silk Road 3.0 and sprung up in February of 2015, but has been down for a couple of months for security upgrades, making it a little over a year old. On the market you will find tens of thousands of listings, the majority of them being for various drugs. The biggest amount of listings are found in the Cannabis and eBooks categories, the latter being where you can find titles such as “Carding – The Complete Tutorial,” “Uncle fester – Secrets of Methamphetamine Manufacture 8th Ed.,” and the classic “Anarchist Cookbook 4.”

In fact, on Crypto Market, you will find a great many items that are not simply drug related, although there is plenty of that too – “5 Yellow Warner Bros 200mg+ XTC MDMA”, anyone?

Other features

crypto-tor-marketplace-logoThe Crypto Market features a useful news feed, where various vendors can post up special offers, new stock etc.,so if you’re not sure what you’re after you can have a browse around to see if anything new or interesting takes your fancy. Some good deals go up, and every now and then a vendor will have a fire sale.

There’s also a sales feed, where specific items that are on sale are advertised, along with their old prices so you can see how much of a bargain you’re actually going to get. The Crypto Market Q&A section is great for all levels of users, too.

The site isn’t quite as user friendly as Nucleus, but if you’ve been around the darknet markets long enough, you will know that UI doesn’t mean too much. There’s also a forum that is shared with Silk Road 3.0. New users to the forum will have to post five times before gaining access to the full forum. The Crypto Market/ Silk Road 3.0 forum contains interesting info about potential scams, good users to shop with and all sorts of help and bits and pieces.

As with all darknet marketplaces, joining up for this market, and conducting business on it, involves using heightened security measures to ensure your identity is protected and your Bitcoins stay safe.

Crypto Market will be one marketplace to watch in the aftermath of the Nucleus Market outage. If you’re looking for alternative trading places, why not sign up, have a look around and get yourself familiar with the place. You might like to try Crypto Market in combination with a few other markets, just to spread yourself around. After all, your best bet when using these markets is to not put all your interests in the one marketplace, should they suddenly (ala Nucleus) simply vanish without a word.

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forbidden flower

Students To Plot Efforts To Help Pass Marijuana Legalization


origins-drugsAt least 500 students and advocates from different states and nations had participated in the Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) International Conference held between April 15 and 17 to discuss about the present state of drug policy and plans for future reforms.Marijuana legalization was the main topic asmore U.S. states gear up to legalize medical or recreational marijuana in the month of November.

In this connection, Lyn Ulbricht, the mother of Ross Ulbricht, the founder of the Silk Road marketplace, was among the speakers at the SSDP gathering. Other speakers include academics, elected members of the government, law enforcement and medical professionals. Ross Ulbricht is currently serving a life sentence in prison as punishment for many charges, including conspiracy with vendors to sell banned/illegal drugs through the Silk Road.

Demonstrations by both allies and studentsfollowed after the conference, whogathered outsideof the United Nations conferenceon the worldwide drug war.The protest occurred in time for the UN General Assembly Special Session on drugs, among the first ones to be organized in a span of two decades.

The young activists’ contention has been that officials always justify harsh actions on drug offenders as the right method to protect vulnerable youth from falling prey to destructive drug habits. However, the whole process has put youth at greater risks such as racial disparities during enforcement of drug laws, use of resources for building prisons instead of schools, provision of lesser funding for implementation of proven drug harm reduction strategies, among others. All these have caused much more harm, the young voices contend. The youth are looking to voice their opinion on how to change and combat drug use in the communities in which they live.

In more than five states in the US, voters may be casting their votes to legalize and regulate the use of marijuana in the month of November this year. This means a doubling of the number of states that are looking to end prohibition. It is also expected that the states of Florida and Ohio, that are considered important presidential swing states, will be casting their votes for ballot measures on medical cannabis. These are seen as important developments. In the past years, the youth activists have put in efforts to get as many young supporters of SSDP to find their way to get to the polls (in specific states) in a bid to increase youth turnout. The international arm of the SSDP made use of phone-banking to help supportive voters reach the poll venues.

Lyn Ulbricht

Screen-Shot-2013-11-20-at-5.57.08-PMLyn Ulbricht, mother of Ross Ulbricht, the Silk Road founder, has relocated from Texas to New York to be near her son who is serving a prison sentence. She has also been giving speeches, raising funds for her son’s appeal and making appearances in the media in an effort to educate the public about the issues in her son’s case. She has repeatedly stated that her son did not create the Silk Road as a drug site and is only a free market libertarian. She believes that he was sentenced because he was a political threat and the sentence meted out to Ross Ulbricht was draconian.

She believes that he is being penalized for all the drug lords that they have not arrested yet. The drug war that has been going on for the last 40 years are only increasing the number of persons convicted for drug crimes, some of them falsely, while the problem still continues to fester. The drug war has not stopped too many from doing drugs, she adds.

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Toyota Worker Bought Drugs On Silk Road

downloadA 28 years old man working for Toyota was served a suspended sentence following the interception of the drugs bought by him from a darknet marketplace at the Heathrow Airport in London, according to reports. The name of the Toyota worker is Adam Yates and he belongs to Derby. The court was informed that he purportedly bought drugs online from Silk Road, an online black market that is currently not operational, and sent it to a lady named Leah.

Baz Bhattia, who is defending Yates, said that he bought ecstasy, cocaine and ketamine, but the character of his client was positive and good previously. He added that Yates started dealing in drugs only after a previous relationship broke down.

The border agency launched an investigation after they intercepted a package that contained ecstasy tablets in February 2014. The package was addressed to Adam Yates. According to Judge Robert Egbuna, intelligence information and verification of text messages available on Yates’ phone showed that he was dealing in drugs with more than one person.

At the time of the first hearing, Yates who hails from Arran Close in Sinfin City, pleaded guilty of possessing drugs with the intention of supplying ecstasy (MMDA) during the period December 2011 to August 2014, proposing to supply cocaine during the period March 2013 to June 2014 and offering to provide the anesthetic drug class B ketamine in June 2014.

On 13 April 2016, Yates was sentenced to a two-year term in prison. A different judge suspended his sentence for a period of two years after they came to know that Yates had turned around his life since he was arrested in 2014. According to Recorder Ciaran Rankin, the background to his arrest in February 2014 is that the package in his name intercepted at the Heathrow Airport contained as many as 50 ecstasy tablets in it.

Rankin also added that when the police interviewed him, Yates answered saying “no comments” to all of the questions asked by the police. However, a mobile phone and the computer that were seized brought to light the fact that he had been dealing in drugs for a considerable amount of time during the period between December 2011 and August 2014.

Additionally, the Recorder said that he has read references saying that Yates is now a reliable and trustworthy and that he has no records of previous convictions. He also referred to the letter from Yates wherein he states that he is disappointed with his own actions.

Silk Road is only one among the many marketplaces on the dark web. Many criminals actively participate in activities on the sites like Silk Road, which includes, but is not limited to, the sale of drugs as well as weapons. Silk Road shut down by the federal authorities in October 2013 and its founder is currently serving a life term in jail. Silk Road was operated on the Tor network as a hidden service, which enabled users to browse incognito without being monitoring by authorities.

3541921Steve Holme, drugs expert in Derbyshire police department, said that even though Silk Road has been closed down, there are more than 70 other sites around the world operating on the Tor network that offer services similar to that was being offered by Silk Road.

Mr. Bhattia said, sitting at the court of Southern Derbyshire Magistrate, during Yate’s sentencing hearing at the Derby Crown Court that his case is an unusual one and that the set of circumstances are also unusual. He also added that there is evidence to show that his client has completely turned around his life from 2014 onwards. He also noted that Yates’ temporary job has now become his permanent job and that he is now paying a mortgage.

During the sentencing, it was also ordered that Yates should carry out unpaid work for 200 hours along with his suspended sentence. Additionally, Yates will also have to present during the procedure of crime hearing scheduled for July 20. During this time, the police may recover the money that he received as part of his drug dealings.

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Uber Has Been Compared To Silk Road

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. Silk Road 3 is up and running with a big selection of goods.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3 Guide <<

Uber frequently finds itself in the news and many a time for the wrong reasons. The latest beating that it took was when a judge recently, during the course of the hearing (in an antitrust case being heard out at New York), compared Uber to Silkroad, the now defunct online black marketplace.

BN-GD837_skuber_P_20141224020938The allegations were made against Travis Kalanick, the CEO of Uber and other Uber drivers as regards their price-surge policy. A class-action suit was filed as a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act (Section 1). The acts were seen as a conspiracy in illegal price fixing by the accused.

How illegal the whole case may be, there are interesting facts that make up the case. Uber is known to organize meet-ups called “partner appreciation,”wherein the participants agree to reinforce their commitment to the agreement that may in fact be illegal or unlawful. All Uber drivers sign an agreement as part of the terms of employment, which purportedly gathers the implicit agreement of the signees to support price-fixing. As such, it was easy to get the drivers to agree to the cab company’s terms and policies. Further, there are other pending lawsuits and regulatory offences charged against the company and its business model that await legal hearing.

Uber, however, counter-argued that the drivers are being accused of conspiring with Travis to increase the fares and this just does not make any sense. At this instance, Uber’s argument was dismissed and a comparison was drawn with the now defunct darknetsite Silkroad. The judge compared the case with the Silkroad creator, Ross Ulbricht, currently serving a life sentence in prison.


ross-ulbrichtIn the Silkroad case, the government accused Ross Ulbricht as the ultimate leader of a single conspiracy that was responsible for all the vendors included in Silkroad who sold any type of narcotic substance. Judge Jed Rakoff compared this to Travis and the Uber drivers. The digitally decentralized Uber app was in many ways similar to Silkroad. The Uber app resembled a marketplace that was used by Travis to hatch a conspiracy along with all of the Uber drivers.

Another point of comparison that was drawn was that Silkroad was not just a website or platform that sold drugs. The vendors along with the Silkroad site owner had conspired to sell drugs using the Silkroad façade. Similarly, the price surge did not just happen on the call-a-cab platform, all the Uber drivers purportedly conspired together to create the price surge. To be fair, the judge concerned cited many other cases where they weren’t Tor-hidden websites like Silkroad and the group conspiracy angle was absent. However, things do not look rosy for the Uber head Travis Kalanick. The litigation is well on its way and a trial has been scheduled for the 1stof November this year.

With Judge Jed Rakoff of the U. S. District Court in Manhattan denied a bid to dismiss a class action suit against Travis Kalanick which alleged that Uber’s smartphone app was being used to coordinate high surge prices with hundreds of drivers all over the world, this case, opens a new line of allegations and legal attacks on many businesses that function on the sharing-economy models.

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Silk Road Mastermind In His Prison Cell

ross-ulbrichtRoss Ulbricht, the creator of Silk Road, was sentenced to a life in prison in the end of May 2015 on count of seven different charges. Judge Katherine Forrest handed over multiple sentences: for 5 years, 15 years, 20 years and two for life. As the charges have to be served for concurrently, Ross has to serve a lifetime in prison without any parole.

However, the convicted Silk Road head has launched an appeal to have his case heard once more. According to the US Court of Appeals (Second Circuit) in which a filing has been lodged, Ross Ulbricht’s team of lawyers’ argument was that a fair trial was not provided to him, key evidence was left out and that Ross was not the actual person who played the Dread Pirate Roberts’ role. Silk Road was an online darknet market that sold everything from drugs to stolen identities and counterfeit documents.

The Silk Road Conviction and After

Ross Ulbricht is housed in the New York Metropolitan Correctional Center and just turned 32 years old on March 27. His parents have moved to a small apartment (from Texas) nearby. It has not been an easy time for the rest of Ulbricht’s family. The situation has been grim with Ross’s mother, Lyn, suffering from health complications due to the stress that she is going through. She suffered a heart attack and is coping with a broken heart. The parents’ lives have been drained both financially and emotionally.

According to an article by Patrick Howell O’Neill, who tracked the everyday life of Ross Ulbricht, the Silk Road kingpin seems to be settling for a life in the prison. He spruced up his life by planting an apple seed in a corner of his room where there was sunlight. However, the sapling was uprooted and placed in the counselor’s office. He has started growing another one it seems. Ross’s mother believes that the life in prison is turning her son into a more humane individual. The Silk Road head is also into bringing up a mouse as a pet in a cardboard box, the prison cell has many of them running around. However, no guard has snatched it off as yet.

Ross does not speak to the media. He spends his day teaching GED to some of the inmates of the prison. He also teaches them physics. Ross is often shifted to other prisons at short or no notice and the task of tracking him down to meet him on their next visit is left to his family.

Screen-Shot-2013-10-02-at-8.33.10-PM1Ross’s mother, in the meanwhile, has been travelling to different libertarian gatherings and garnering support as well as funding for the Silk Road kingpin’s appeal. She speaks out on topics ranging from fair trials, sentencing laws, and Internet privacy laws, to criminal justice procedures. She believes that her son has been imprisoned because he was a political threat. This has been echoed by other alliances and groups such as Drug Policy Alliance and Electronic Frontier Foundation among others.

The US Government however believes otherwise. Contending that Silk Road darknet market sold drugs worth $80 million to its customers, the government believes that the Silk Road founder is responsible for the drug overdose deaths of six other individuals. Ulbricht’s sentence brought to the fore the fact that he was just another drug dealer and racketeer who sought to hide his identity from the authorities and no one is above the law. In this context, it is also interesting to note that many of the alleged nefarious crimes against Ross were never proved in court. Many observers also feel that the sentence has been a heavy one and issued too quickly with basic lack of understanding. As for now, the Silk Road founder would have to spend his days in prison while his family has raised about $433,000 for his legal defense.

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Man Arrested For Selling Drugs On Silk Road And Other Darknet Markets


download (2)David Ryan Burchard from Merced in California was arrested for distributing cocaine and marijuana all over the US through darknet markets such as the Silk Road, AlphaBay, Abraxas and Agora. The man who is 38 years old operated under the nickname Caliconnect. According to the Federal authorities’ estimate, the total value of all the deals made by him is $1.43 million.

The investigation against Caliconnect, which involved several people and agencies, started in March last year. Matthew Larsen, an HSI agent, launched an investigation against Burchard after he sold bitcoins worth millions of dollars to a digital currency exchanger who did not have a license.

Authorities carried out surveillance on his vehicle and residence through GPS, which revealed mailing of parcels by Burchard from a post office. Jessica Burger, a Postal Inspector, identified Burchard. HSI agents also observed Burchard’s attempt to mail parcels to a person in North Carolina. They retrieved the parcel from the bin and sent it to North Carolina Postal Inspectors.

Burger who had obtained a warrant for searching the seized parcel went to Fresno HSI office and with Larsen opened the seized parcel and found marijuana in it. In the meantime, a Postal Inspector from North Carolina reported that the addresses written on the parcels were bogus and that the parcels consisted of a controlled substance. A search of the parcels after obtaining a warrant showed that they contained marijuana.

HSI agents also learned that Burchard operated under the moniker Caliconnect and they searched the Internet for more information about Caliconnect. They came across Reddit posts and found out the names of people who had ordered marijuana from him. A review of the Silk Road vendor list given by HSI Headquarters helped Larsen to locate Caliconnect’s name on the list.

On the Silk Road, Larsen determined, Caliconnect was the eighteenth largest vendor. His sales volume was $1,250,248.65. Larsen also came across a vendor by name the_real_caliconnect on Agora, who claimed to be a vendor at Silk Road, Silk Road 2.0 and the Black-Market Reloaded as well. He also sold marijuana. A search of the PGP key of the_real_Caliconnect on Grams showed that he operated under the name Caliconnect4life on AlphaBay.

In the meanwhile, Larsen determined, through postal tracking numbers, that the post offices used for sending the parcels were all located near to Burchard’s home. He also learned through DEA that a vendor with username Caliconnect2 bought phentermine from the Silk Road marketplace. A review revealed 977 transactions carried out by Caliconnect on the Silk Road marketplace and HSI determined that he sold 10.5 grams of cocaine and 704 pounds of marijuana.

Subsequently, Larsen along with another HSI investigator obtained surveillance photos from Raley’s Supermarket, which helped people ship products, to get pictures of Burchard as he booked parcels from this supermarket. Larsen followed David Burchard to Raley’s Supermarket and reviewed response received from AccountNow as regards a Prepaid Visa card. The information from AccountNow matched with the data Larsen had collected on Burchard.

Intern Mann, Daniel, a detective in Fresno Police Department, and Larsen contacted Caliconnect4life using username Megiddo to buy half a pound of marijuana (OG Crack) for $900. The packet was to be delivered at Buffalo in New York. Caliconnect4life informed Megiddo through a private message as to when the delivery can be expected. Larsen received the packet at the specified address.

Following this, Larsen obtained a warrant to search Burchard’s residence. It was executed by the IRS, Larsen, the USPIS, other HSI agents, California Highway Patrol and the Police Department in Merced. They found Burchard, his wife, and 3 children at home. They also seized various computers, storage devices and other items that are normally associated with narcotics. They also found clothing with Caliconnect label on it.

Though Burchard denied selling marijuana, he did admit that his clothing brand’s name was Caliconnect. Further, computer forensics revealed incriminating evidence about his dealings in the darknet markets.

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What is on Crypto Market

logoCrypto Market is a relatively new dark web marketplace which is rapidly growing thanks to its security, reliability, attractive design and easy navigation. In case you haven’t heard, Crypto Market is designed by the same team of developers that also runs Silk Road 3.0. If you have been a fan of Silk Road 3.0, you will definitely find the Crypto Market a more than suitable alternative.

What’s certain is that Crypto Market has brought a new level of security to the Dark Web. Indeed, the security is impressive and it starts with the sign-up procedure, where you are prompted to use the PIN code. This will also be useful later when you withdraw your bitcoins. You are also prompted to enter the 10-alphanumeric part of the URL (found between crypto and .onion).

xxxxYou may have also noticed a novelty called Newbie Guide. This is something that other markets don’t have and if you are new to Dark Net Markets, Crypto Market may just be the ideal choice for you; and not just because of this Newbie Guide, but in general – it’s quite easy to find everything you’re looking for. This Newbie Guide will provide a basic set of instructions and information which you will find very handy once you create your account.

After you’ve created your account and logged in, you will first see the News section which mainly features information related to the market, and of course product categories listed just below the news. Vendors themselves often publish updates of their services in the News section; but the Support team also publishes important announcements from time to time.

If you scroll down through categories, you’ll see that the Crypto Market is mostly drug related; there are several main drug categories (Cannabis, Stimulants, Ecstasy, Opioids, Benzos, Dissociatives, Psychedelic, Prescription) and then there’s also a category called “Others,” which further features subcategories such as Digital, Bitcoin, Accounts, Money, Software, Misc, eBooks, Services, Others.

Drug related categories are further subcategorized in the following way: (numbers in brackets show the current number of listings)

Cannabis Stimulants Ecstasy Opioids
Weed (6215)
Hash (748)
Edibles (244)
Concentrates (353)
Seeds (195)
Others (5941)
Stimulants (503)
Cocaine (1525)
Speed (835)
Meth (488)
Ecstasy (1056)
MDMA (1283)
Methylone (142)
Pills (1016)
Opioids (636)
Oxycodon (616)
Heroin (896)
Opium (75)
Methadone (93)
Fentanyl (194)
Benzos Dissociatives Psychedelic Prescription
Benzos (612)
Valium (184)
Xanax (695)
Diazepam (81)
Dissociatives (45)
Ketamine (583)
MXE (58)
GHB (99)
Psychedelic (312)
2C (138)
DMT (158)
LSD (562)
NB (90)
Mushrooms (285)
Prescription (1899)
Steroids (454)
Relaxants (63)
Analgesics (38)


So, as you can see, navigation on Crypto Market is fairly simple – you can either browse through categories or simply search by keyword. A powerful search filter will enable you to specify your query according to shipping and payment option (escrow or finalize early).

Obviously, the total number of drug listings is huge, and the market features almost any drug in existence!

However, it feels important to us to stress out at this point that these are all illicit drugs and we are certainly not encouraging you to venture into any illegal activity.

The price will vary depending on the vendor, as well as the quality and the origin of the item. The general rule is that if you are buying from a vendor who lives in the western hemisphere, you will have to pay more; and vice versa, it will cost you less if your vendor is from a country located in the eastern hemisphere. This is related purely to the economical status of the country.

Perhaps more interesting category is “Others.” You can even find some legal stuff here, such as books or cigarettes and cell phones.

You can get 15 GB worth of Photoshop templates for mere $15! Also in just $1 you can learn how to rank your YouTube videos better; if you’re into smoking, look for naturally grown tobacco – 80G (which is about 170 cigarettes) for just $12 and since the tobacco is grown in Spain, the shipping will be free if you’re from the EU!

qZtjvImMA Lifetime Netflix subscription is also available for just $0.6! Or if you’re into that, you can get a premium access to some adult websites for just $5; there are also lists of .onion URLs that you might find interesting; various guides for various frauds, like carding or hacking are also on the market here.

But, the Crypto Market offers plenty more for both, vendors and customers:

  • First of all, there is a secure option of paying through escrows; but for trusted vendors, there is an FE (Finalize Early) option.
  • Vendors also have the option of publishing news, particularly useful when they have new products or new stock supply available.
  • Customers have a handy option of tracking their orders; if you don’t have anything to track, it says – It is empty and cold as the Russian winter, comrade!
  • Probably the most interesting feature on Crypto Market is the “Sales” section. You can find various items on discount which can save you some cash.
  • Another very cool feature is the ability to track your activity on the website.
  • Also, you have a Q & A section where you can ask the community various questions; they’re always happy to help. But, before asking, it is always advisable to check whether someone has already asked that particular question. It’s good manners and also helps keep things organized and not overcrowded with same questions.
  • Finally, you can always head to the community forum. It has now merged with the Silk Road 3.0 community forum, and here you will find a number of threads about vendors, their products and services, shipping, security, accounts, anything really.


We must note that we are not encouraging people to buy anything illegal from the Crypto Market; the purpose of this article is purely informational.

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Dark Net Market “Crypto Market” Created By Silk Road 3 Team


Reportedly, the Crypto Market is made by the very same developer team that also runs the Silk Road 3.0. As you may already know, Silk Road 3.0 has previously been offline due to some maintenance issues; it was subjected to some DDoS attacks, so the developers decided to improve the overall security. The same set of security measures was applied to the Crypto Market a few weeks ago.

Previously, if you try to visit the official SR 3.0 URL (http://reloadedudjtjvxr.onion), you will come across the following statement:

Silk Road 3.0: Offline

Silk Road 3.0 down for upgrades. While it is down we recommend our other market, Crypto Market. Crypto Market is a secure market run by the same team as Silk Road 3.0.

Silk road announcmentYou can still visit the forum, though; and there you will notice that it’s become the joint forum of both markets, Crypto and Silk Road 3.0 markets.

Silk Road 3.0 & Crypto Market Community Forums – reloadedudjtjvxr.onion (Silk Road 3.0) cryptomktgxdn2zd.onion (Crypto Market)

forumIt’s easy to deduce that the SR 3.0 and the Crypto Market are designed by the same person; but perhaps for different target groups?!

For example, they both have dark backgrounds; navigation is smooth and simple with categories arranged a bit differently. The products’ prices are clearly labeled, as well as the vendors’ reputation on the site.

Both markets have invested in security measures recently and they both have reliable and responsive support systems, according to the user community.

New Generation of Security on Dark Web

New Crypto Market developing team has made a huge effort in securing their market from DDoS attacks, phishing attacks and other attacks that regularly happen on the Deep Web for the purpose of ruining competition or stealing bitcoins.

The anti-phishing method is somewhat new on Dark Net markets. Both Crypto Market and SR 3.0 are constantly reminding their users to check whether they have the proper URL. Also, if you try to make a Crypto Market account, you will be prompted to enter the adequate 10 alpha-numeric part of the URL that stands between the crypto- prefix and the .onion- suffix.

xxxxObviously, the developers have worked hard to improve design and security of the Crypto Market and it’s good news that they are now implementing the same for the SR 3.0.

For example, if you try to send a message to any user, you will have the option to encrypt the message on your own by using your chosen PGP client, or alternatively you will also be able to send automated encrypted messages via a built-in encryption app in case you don’t have or use any specific PGP software. Thanks to Crypto Market developers, security of the Dark Net markets is brought to a new level.

Another novelty implemented by the Crypto Market developing team is a Newbie Guide. Lots of others Dark Net Markets are very confusing for the newcomers; but not the Crypto Market. You simply pick the Newbie Guide from a dropdown menu while you are making an account, and once you make your account you will get a set of the most important instructions for getting around on the market.

Silk Roads of the Old Generation

An interesting fact is that the three Silk Road-named markets were not made by the same developing team.

First and the most successful of them was Silk Road, created by Ross Ulbricht back in 2011. The market evolved into the largest online drug selling community and the amount of money that went through it is estimated to be $1.2 billion in total, more than $79.8 million from commissions!

The idea behind the Silk Road was Ross Ulbricht’s and it was to clean the streets from drug-related crime and transfer it to the web, which seemed as a much safer environment than dark alleys of ghettos where drugs are usually sold. Unlike other Dark Net markets, Ulbricht’s SR didn’t sell child pornography, weapons and other stuff that might cause harm to a third party; he was categorical at this. The main products were drugs, which can harm only the person buying. Ideally…

However, it didn’t last too long and in 2012, the FBI and the National Security both started investigating mail packages that contained drugs and were leading to the Dark Net market called Silk Road. It took them a whole year to make the connection between the infamous Dread Pirate Roberts, the main admin of the Silk Road and Ross Ulbricht; but once Ulbricht had been arrested, the market was seized by the FBI and all its vendors and customers lost their precious market and bitcoins that were left in escrows.

Almost instantly, just a few days after the arrest, Silk Road 2.0 appeared. Its design was practically the same as its predecessor’s, with certain security improvements. It was believed that the Dread Pirate Roberts’ account wasn’t managed by a single person; but by several people; allegedly, one of the managers of the Dread Pirate Robert’s account created this 2.0 version of the website. Not surprisingly, SR 2.0 didn’t have as nearly as much success as the pioneer Silk Road, so vendors and buyers spontaneously moved to the newly made markets whose name didn’t make so much noise in the ears of the authorities.

SR 2.0 was seized in the Operation Onymous, together with many other Dark Net markets. Blake Benthall, who allegedly ran the market, was arrested in San Francisco.

Almost immediately after the fall of Silk Road 2.0, Silk Road 3.0 was created. It was obvious from the beginning that the SR 3.0 was entirely new; a market with an old and infamous name has not only been built and designed from scratch, but it leans on new philosophy viewpoint – security before everything else. It has an elegant, dark background with (somewhat) creepy mask on the landing page – symbolizing anonymity and security above all.

Our predictions are that the bright and prosperous future lies before the Crypto Market and its brother market, Silk Road 3.0, that’s currently undergoing some serious security makeover. It remains yet to see…

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