Jan 30

Anonymizing Service Tor Was Not Compromised, According To Developers

If you want to visit Silkroad 2.0 then you will want to know that it was shut down by the feds on 5th November 2014 and the alleged operator “Defcon” has been arrested. The best alternative is Agora Marketplace, it actually has more listings than Silkroad 2.0. Silkroad 3.0 is ALREADY live and there will be more info about it here soon.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace. <<

unmasking-tor-browser-userWith the take down of Silkroad 2.0, it has made many Tor users worried as to whether the anonymizing service Tor was compromised. Whenever a Tor hidden service is taken off the internet, it brings up speculation as to whether the take down was made possible via vulnerability in Tor or poor operations security (OPSEC). This in turn has caused concerns to arise with many users worried about whether the browsing system is a safe place to continue private communications away from the authority’s prying eyes.

In response of these concerns, which were heightened more-so in 2014, Tor Project’s Roger Dingledine and Jacob Appelbaum wanted to reassure users that Tor was not compromised during the Silkroad takedown operation. In a statement released it was said:

“The authorities want to scare you into making you believe that Tor doesn’t work properly when in fact it really does, and that is a problem for them.”

Screen-shot-2013-10-24-at-9.58.19-PMDuring the Chaos Communication Congress, both Dingledine and Appelbaum wanted to reassure Tor users that the service was not compromised by explaining how Silkroad 2.0 was taken down. With inside knowledge and help from law enforcement personnel, Dingledine was able to let users know the details of the taken down.

“From what I was told, apparently a Silkroad 2.0 guy had written his name down somewhere, and the authorities found out, brought him in, and questioned him. Once the interrogation started the man started naming names. Apparently there were a total of 16 names and the authorities were about to arrest all those people, along with collecting their computers. After this, authorities sent out a press release saying they were successful in their Tor attack.”

In other words, Dingledine and Appelbaum still state that Tor wasn’t compromised in anyway during the Silkroad 2.0 takedown. That in fact, that incident was actually caused by one person’s mistake which caused repercussions. Overall Dingledine and Appelbaum have said the Tor is still and will continue to be a safe haven for private communication.

Jan 30

Ulbricht Admits Building Silk Road To College Friend

ANNOUNCEMENT: Well it has happened! Another Silk Road Darknet Market has spawned after the demise of Silk Road 2.0. The new site is called Silk Road Reloaded and is utilizing different technology than its predecessors therefore a new guide for Silkroad Reloaded will be coming soon. In the meantime Agora Marketplace is still alive and kicking bigger than ever with more listings than Silkroad 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace. <<

ross-ulbrichtIt is now emerging, that Ross Ulbricht got help with the construction of the Silk Road website. Richard Bates, Ulbricht’s college friend testified in the case against the alleged owner of the darknet bazaar that he helped put up what was once the largest illegal-drug marketplace on the internet.

Bates said he helped with the coding for two years between 2010 and 2011. He however, claims he initially had no information of what he was working on. Despite what he terms as Ulbricht’s partial disclosure, he kept meeting the alleged Silkroad mastermind often especially during the busy construction period. He also admits that he continued to offer coding advice even after Ulbricht had revealed that the website was going to be an online bazaar for illicit drugs.

Ross William UlbrichtBates, who now works for eBay as a software engineer however, admits to more than just helping code for the website. He admits that he bought drugs on the Silk Road as well. Bates even confessed that Ulbricht did hand him a black garbage bag with psychedelic mushroom. Bates’ testimony now contradicts opening arguments made by the defendant’s attorney, Joshua Dratel. Dratel informed the court that Ulbricht had long handed over the reins of the Silkroad by the time the authorities allege the illicit transactions took place.

According to these arguments, Ulbricht is nothing more than a “fall guy” who developed an “economic experiment” whose stresses, he is made to bear albeit unfairly. It is believed that the darknet bazaar handled transactions in contraband valued at about $1.2 billion.

FBI agents questioned Bates back in 2013 following Ulbricht’s arrest. He now claims he lied to the agents during this initial round of questioning especially concerning his involvement in the Silk Road saga. He admitted in court to buying ecstasy, marijuana, mushrooms, Vicodin and even antibiotics through the bazaar.

Jan 28

Defcon’s Right Hand Man Arrested In Seattle

ANNOUNCEMENT: Well it has happened! Another Silk Road Darknet Market has spawned after the demise of Silkroad 2.0. The new site is called Silkroad Reloaded and is utilizing different technology than its predecessors therefore a new guide for Silkroad Reloaded will be coming soon. In the meantime Agora Marketplace is still alive and kicking bigger than ever with more listings than Silkroad 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace. <<

SilkRoad_JailThe continued efforts of law enforcement against Silkroad 2.0 have notched another victory as they have now arrested the supposed second-in-command of the site, Brian Farrell in Seattle. Silkroad 2.0, a revitalized version of the illegal goods trafficking site shut down 2013, was itself shut down late last year. Now with Farrell facing serious drug charges, it appears as though the most powerful members of the organization are going to be behind bars.

Farrell, known on Silkroad 2.0 as DoctorClu, is facing charges for the intention of distributing several illicit drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine through the site. He outlined his role on the site, being quoted as saying that “You are not going to find much of a bigger fish than me”, an apparent reference with his connection with the alleged head of Silkroad 2.0, Blake Benthall. Benthall, whose screen name on the forums was Defcon, was taken into custody in November 2014.

shutterstock_117580762The federal government, hoping to discourage other sites like this from going into operation, has been rather open about the steps that they took to get their hands on Brian Farrell. The FBI was able to convince a source within the site to feed them an IP address that was shown to have accessed the vendor section of Silkroad 2.0. This means that the individual who operated at this address had to have administrator or moderator access to the site. The FBI followed the leads through until they managed to get a cooperating witness, a person who was a roommate with Farrell. This individual gave the feds the information that they needed for finding out more about Farrell’s Silkroad operations before securing his arrest.

Farrell’s arrest is the second in connection with the black market site Silkroad 2.0., which was shut down by the FBI in November 2014 as part of Operation Onymous.

Jan 26

Ross Ulbricht’s Digital Journal Reveals Silk Road’s secrets

ANNOUNCEMENT: Well it has happened! Another Silk Road Darknet Market has spawned after the demise of Silk Road 2.0. The new site is called Silk Road Reloaded and is utilizing different technology than its predecessors therefore a new guide for Silkroad Reloaded will be coming soon. In the meantime Agora Marketplace is still alive and kicking bigger than ever with more listings than Silkroad 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace. <<

UntitledApparently, Ross Ulbricht, the alleged mastermind in the development and running of the seized black market site, Silk Road, chronicled details and thoughts about the infamous site in a digital journal found by authorities on his personal laptop. Among his thoughts about the now defunct black marketplace is the fact that it would become a “phenomenon”.

The laptop, labeled Government’s Exhibit 200, is a Samsung 700z laptop seized by authorities in October 2013. The laptop was taken from Ross Ulbricht while he was in a public library in Glen Park, San Francisco. Two agents started an argument to distract Ulbricht while a third took the opportunity to snatch the laptop from him. The laptop was then analyzed immediately and an image of its hard drive created for more detailed evaluation.

Jurors were showed journal entries from 2010 and 2011 found on Ulbricht’s laptop. The confessions on the journals are quite incriminating,and clearly support some of the claims made by the prosecutors that Ross Ulbricht, for instance, was the mastermind behind the creation of Silk Road. In the journal entry created in 2010, Ulbricht simultaneously predicts the forthcoming unprecedented growth of Silkroad while also admitting to being the site’s creator.

Screen-Shot-2013-10-15-at-5.50.37-PMHowever, Ulbricht, through his lawyer, Joshua Dratel, denies charges of conspiracy to traffic in narcotics, despite admitting to being the creator of Silkroad. The journal undeniably demonstrates that Ulbricht was behind the site’s creation. For instance, an entry says that the site’s original name would have been “Underground Brokers”. The journal entries also reveal that Ulbricht viewed the US government as his “main enemy”. Another describes the trouble he found having to talk about the site to a girl he met without revealing the “bad part”.

Silk Road generated about $200 million in sales from drugs trading before it was shut down by law enforcement authorities. The prosecutors are keen to prove that Ulbricht had a pivotal role in the site’s thriving narcotics trade.

Jan 23

The Silk Road Trial Denotes A “Bad PR Moment” For Bitcoin

ANNOUNCEMENT: Well it has happened! Another Silk Road Darknet Market has spawned after the demise of Silk Road 2.0. The new site is called Silk Road Reloaded and is utilizing different technology than its predecessors therefore a new guide for Silk Road Reloaded will be coming soon. In the meantime Agora Marketplace is still alive and kicking bigger than ever with more listings than Silk Road 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace. <<

Lyn UlbrichtProsecutors in the Silk Road case look likely to use the cryptic and pseudonymous nature of bitcoin to their advantage as the prosecution of Ross Ulbricht, alleged Silkroad mastermind strides into its second week. Washington D.C. based cryptocurrency legislation expert Jared Marx saysbitcoin’s complexity provides just the right ammunition that the prosecution needs. Mr Marx thinks the prosecution will try to convince the jury that the anonymity that comes with transferring bitcoin and the fact that such transfers do not need banks associates the cryptocurrency with illegal dealings.

During period of the dark net bazaar’s operation, it did allegedly process transactions worth more than $1 billion in illegal goods transactions. Moreover, all these transactions were completed in bitcoin. The fact that this cryptocurrency traded online owns no allegiance to any central bank and that it is difficult to trace could not have come at a more inopportune time.

Despite bitcoin transactions’ shady nature, Mr Marx still thinks bitcoin is mature enough to fend off any ‘bad PR moment’ that the Silk Road trial brings its way. According to him, there are two faces to this situation: The effects of this trial on bitcoin as a brand and the regulations as they stand now. Bitcoin may be associated with illegal activity but policy makers had figured this out long ago.

1212_Bitcoin_IRA_630x420Despite this general belief and the fact that bitcoin is not the focus of the Silk Road alleged mastermind’s trial, it remains a vital resource in this case. All transactions made in bitcoin as well as public records related to this currency may offer crucial evidence for both sides of the divide. So far, the prosecution has not presented in court specific bitcoin transaction. There however is no doubt that they will. They however face an uphill task explaining all this new information concerning bitcoin and hoping the jury will buy it. This is especially so, considering that opposing sides of the case cannot seem to agree on the definition of technical terms.

Jan 21

“I am not Dread Pirate Roberts”, Mt. Gox Former CEO Denies

ANNOUNCEMENT: Well it has happened! Another Silkroad Darknet Market has spawned after the demise of Silkroad 2.0. The new site is called Silkroad Reloaded and is utilizing different technology than its predecessors therefore a new guide for Silkroad Reloaded will be coming soon. In the meantime Agora Marketplace is still alive and kicking bigger than ever with more listings than Silkroad 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace. <<

Ross Ulbricht30-year-old Ross Ulbricht who is currently on trial for being the anonymous mastermind behind Silkroad, an online black marketsite dealing in drugs, has alleged that he is innocent and has been framed by Mark Karpeles, whom he who insists is the real “Dread Pirate Roberts”. Dead Pirate Roberts, name used to refer to the anonymous mystery man behind Silkroad.

Mark Karpeles, former CEO of Mt. Gox, a Bitcoin exchange, has protested and has been quoted as saying “I’m not a pirate or a fraudster”. Karpeles later took to Twitter to clarify what he meant by “pirate”, tweeting “I am not and have never been Dread Pirate Roberts.”

Joshua DratelUlbricht’s defense attorney, Joshua Dratel claims that the government has the evidence they need to prove that Karpeles, not Ulbricht is that mystery man behind Silkroad. In cross examination of Jared Der-Yeghiaya, Dratel read emails to the court which show that Der-Yeghiayan, lead investigator of the Silkroad case had collected sufficient evidence to accuse Karpeles of being the brains behind Silkroad.

While cross-examined by Dratel, Der-Yeghiayan, who is employed by Homeland Security, said that he had actively pursued Mark Karpeles as the alleged operator of Silkroad. In August 2013, less than two months before Ross Ulbricht’s arrest, he swore in an affidavit that it was highly likely that Mark Karpeles was the man they’d been looking for.

There are also allegations being made against Karpeles as it has been pointed out that Karpeles sounds exactly like the “Dread Pirate Roberts” did, in an interview back in August 2013. To add further fuel to these allegations being made against Karpeles, Der-Yeghiayan has testified that both silkroadmarket.org and tuxttele.com were registered and hosted under a Karpeles holding. In response to Silkroad allegations been made against him, Karpeles maintains that “he has nothing to do with Silkroad”.

Jan 20

DHS Special Agent Went Undercover To Infiltrate The Silk Road

ANNOUNCEMENT: Well it has happened! Another Silk Road Darknet Market has spawned after the demise of Silk Road 2.0. The new site is called Silk Road Reloaded and is utilizing different technology than its predecessors therefore a new guide for Silk Road Reloaded will be coming soon. In the meantime Agora Marketplace is still alive and kicking bigger than ever with more listings than Silk Road 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace. <<

Jared Der-Yeghiayan first met with alleged Silk Road creator, Ross Ulbricht, at 3:16 pm on October 1, 2013. This was moments after Ross was arrested for his involvement in the notorious online drugs marketplace. But according to prosecutors, October 1 was not the first time they met; they were communicating long before that.

Homeland Security InvestigationsHomeland Security Investigations (HSI) begun investigating the illegal marketplace in 2012, and by July 2013, Jared Der-Yeghiayan took over as “Cirrus”, Silk Road moderator. Jared, a special agent with HSI based out of Chicago, on 14th of January, 2015, testified concerning his role in a sting that led to Ross Ulbricht’s arrest. The investigation department was then investigating Ross as a possible match for the chief operator of Silk Road, the Dread Pirate Roberts, which was based on information received from Gary Alford, who is working as a special agent with the IRS.

According to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Gary’s information has triggered yet another investigation that involved Thomas Kiernan, a computer scientist working with FBI (expected to testify soon), as well as Christopher Tarbell, known for his role in hacker Sabu’s arrest. HSI and FBI merger was crafted with main intent of operating a sting to capture Dread Pirate Roberts including “Smoking Gun”, which was an open laptop that logged into the admin page of Silk Road.

dbpix-karpeles-tmagArticleDer-Yeghiayan used codename “Cirrus” for almost 2 months and managed to access the encrypted Silk Road staff chat room, which was hosted by a Tor hidden service. This chat room gave Der-Yeghiayan the leeway to see when Dead Pirate Roberts was available online. It is from here that FBI secured a warrant to arrest Ulbricht in September 2013.

On September 30, Der-Yeghiayan arrived in San Francisco and on October 1, at around 12.00 pm, a team of around six law enforcement agents including Der-Yeghiayan, Kiernan, and Tarbell met at Café Bello. This café was just a few blocks from Ulbricht’s house and Jared had his laptop powered on, and connected to a mobile hotspot, so that he could monitor if DPR was available in that encrypted chat room.

Fortunately, Dread Pirate Roberts was logged in and Ross was at home. It took the team a few hours to disperse and position themselves across few blocks that included Ulbricht’s house, Café Bello, and San Francisco Public Library’s, Glen Park branch. Jared’s laptop was open and running the entire period since it was used to monitor Dread Pirate Roberts at the time, which was critical for the success of the sting. At about 2:45 pm, Dread Pirate Roberts logged out, showing that he was about to switch location. As Ulbricht crossed the street and went in Café Bello, he saw that it was crowded and walked out heading towards the library next door.

Kiernan followed Ulbricht inside while Jared remained outside with his laptop. Tarbell then rejoined Jared and directed the rest of the team to stay put as Jared, alias “Cirrus”, chatted with Dead Pirate Roberts asking him to check a customer support issue that required him to log on to the admin panel. Once he was in, Tarbell gave a green light to the agents who subdued Ross Ulbricht in a matter of seconds and seized his laptop. After his arrest, alleged Dread Pirate Roberts met Cirrus face-to-face on his way down stairs, and this took place at 3:16 pm.

Jan 16

Trial Of The Alleged Operator Of The Silk Road Anonymous Marketplace Starts

ANNOUNCEMENT: Well it has happened! Another Silkroad Darknet Market has spawned after the demise of Silk Road 2.0. The new site is called Silk Road Reloaded and is utilizing different technology than its predecessors therefore a new guide for Silk Road Reloaded will be coming soon. In the meantime Agora Marketplace is still alive and kicking bigger than ever with more listings than Silkroad 2.0.

Trial Of The Alleged Operator Of The Silk Road Anonymous Marketplace Starts

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace. <<

Trial of alleged operator of Silk Road anonymous marketplace starts and it will be an unprecedented trial. Accused person is the one who created an online marketplace that offers unlawful items. After many months of delays, Silkroad trial got underway in Manhattan.

This case is being called first of its kind and a very significant case. Two reasons why this case is so unprecedented are that the government has never before used money laundering to include digital currency. Also, never before have charges been levelled against a web host for creating a website. Most people think that web hosts enjoy protection from the communication act.

Prosecutors may not find it easy to prosecute the operator because they will have to prove that he (Ross Ulbricht) is actually Dread Pirates Roberts who created and owned an online black market site called Silkroad that was taken down by Feds in 2013.

Ross UlbrichtUlbricht faces charges that include money laundering and hacking as well as trafficking of narcotics. He pleaded he is not guilty of these charges and he has also consistently denied that he is in fact Dread Pirates Roberts.When the trial got going, strong statements were issued by both defense and prosecution. Ulbricht’s defense lawyer however had to concede that Ulbricht actually founded the Silk Road but that he had given up control once he was arrested in 2013.

Prosecutors claimed that Ross had been caught in the act of running the Silk Road. They seemed determined on showing that the Silk Road was hell-bent on staying anonymous and that it could only be accessed in a special way that hid users’ IP addresses.

What’s more, since Silkroad was accepting digital currency like Bitcoin, government also expanded the act of money laundering to include digital currency.

Ulbricht’s lawyer had argued that bitcoin is not real money but Judge Forrest threw this argument out saying that bitcoins are valuable and they are a medium of exchange.

Jan 14

Silk Road Reloaded, Launched On The I2p Anonymous Network

ANNOUNCEMENT: Well it has happened! Another Silk Road Darknet Market has spawned after the demise of Silk Road 2.0. The new site is called Silk Road Reloaded and is utilizing different technology than its predecessors therefore a new guide for Silk Road Reloaded will be coming soon. In the meantime Agora Marketplace is still alive and kicking bigger than ever with more listings than Silk Road 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace. <<

Silk Road ReloadedSilk Road Reloaded, a new version of the online black market site, Silkroad, has been launched on the I2p anonymous decentralized network. This new online black market accepts several alternative cryptocurrencies, also called altcoins.

Launching on I2p anonymous network and accepting several altcoins are the two things which set Silkroad Reloaded apart from its predecessors. While the original Silkroad and Silkroad 2.0 made use of Tor network and Bitcoin cryptocurrency, Silkroad Reloaded will accept at least eight different types of cryptocurrency, including Dogecoin, Anoncoin, and Darkcoin. Others will be added in the future.

Silkroad Reloaded list many illicit items that one can imagine, except stolen credit card credentials and weapons. Of course, it goes without saying that this new black market site will list many illicit drugs for sale.

url3Other online black markets have struggled to find option to set up marketplaces after Silkroad 2.0 shut down in November last year. The biggest fear was whether Tor network had been compromised by U.S. government, which seems entirely plausible considering the history surrounding Tor. Silkroad Reloaded has avoided that trap entirely and gone ahead with I2p tech instead.

The I2p technology, also known as the Invisible Internet Project, is the same tech used by TheMarketplace, one of Silkroad’s competitors. Though not as famous as Silkroad, TheMarketplace is on the darkest, deepest web out there, even deeper than Tor, and is almost impossible to access. To access this network anonymously, one must use a custom operating system that is tailored specifically for this purpose. Once all the settings have been configured, users can then browse .i2p sites (eepSites) which can be accessed only on the I2p network.

According to report, as of now Silkroad Reloaded looks almost deserted with very little activity, but once it starts gaining traction thatcould all change.

Jan 12

Silk Road Judge Has Denied Requests To Remove Evidence Relating To The “Murder-For-Hire” Allegations

If you want to visit Silk Road 2.0 then you will want to know that it was shut down by the feds on 5th November 2014 and the alleged operator “Defcon” has been arrested. The best alternative is Agora Marketplace, it actually has more listings than Silk Road 2.0. Silk Road 3.0 is ALREADY live and there will be more info about it here soon.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace. <<

131108194733-t-silk-road-rebuilt-00001924-620x348A ground-breaking development has unfolded in the pending Silk Road case. U.S District Judge Katherine Forrest has stated that all evidence and notations regarding the alleged “Murder-For-Hire” will be made available to the jury. This was confirmed by a new judicial order that is predicted to cause severe blow to the defense. Although the defendant is not being charged with this crime, the evidence can be used to persuade and steer the minds of jury. This release was set a week before the criminal trial is to begin. What was a drug trafficking case is now taking on a much darker mood.

Forrest_Katherine_B.jpgThe defendant’s lawyer has been fighting to have the government evidence removed from the trial. The allegation states that the defended contracted and paid for no less than six attempted murders. Even though the defendant does not face charges for the murders, US District Judge Katherine Forrest has confirmed the evidence will be made available to the jury.

The order is comprised of over 45-pages of evidence. The government has been pushing to have this active and in-play for the trial. With less than a week before the criminal trial starts, it’s anyone’s guess as to what will happen. This is stated to be the last major pre-trial event before the case is set to begin.

The defense fears that the presentation of this evidence will tip the scales in favor of the prosecution. Many questions remain around the legality of the evidence and how the Silk Road servers were procured by the FBI.

Ulbricht who is the defendant has been in custody for over a year awaiting trial. Ulbricht was arrested in a public library located in San Francisco in October 2013. He is accused of being the founder and manager of the popular “darknet” site Silk Road. Ulbricht has pleaded not guilty.