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.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations on November 6, 2014 announced the arrest of Blake Benthall who it claimed is also known as ‘Defcon’ for allegedly owning and operating the Silk Road 2.0 website. Silkroad 2.0 was a hidden website that allowed users to buy or sell illegal drugs as well as many other forbidden goods and services without being detected by the authorities. Mr. Benthall was arrested in San Francisco and charged with conspiracy to traffic in illicit drugs, money laundering and computer hacking among other crimes. The Silk Road 2.0 had about 150,000 users who transacted about $8 million worth of drugs and contrabands each month.
According to the FBI, an undercover agent of the Homeland Security Investigations managed to infiltrate the website’s support staff. The agent as a result gained access to the website’s private sections and even communicated with ‘Defcon’ on a regular basis. The bureau has been investigating Silk Road 2.0 since it popped up late 2013 to replace the original website that was also taken down by the US authorities. The said undercover agent had been instrumental in running Silk Road 2.0 acting as one of its central organizing figures right from the beginning when the site came alive.
The Silkroad 2.0 website made basic operational security mistakes. It is alleged that Blake used his personal email address, [email protected], to register the servers that run the illegal drugs website. As a result of these breaches, the US government agents were able to identify the physical location of the computers that run the website. This discovery was made in May 2014 after which the government agents continued to monitor everything that happened in the website. The agents were also able to locate the foreign server that hosted the website despite it being masked by a Tor network. The records obtained from the server’s hosting provider identified Mr. Benthall as the administrator of the Silk Road 2.0.
The arrest of Mr. Benthall greatly mirrors that of Mr. Ross Ulbricht, the alleged mastermind of the original Silkroad website. Mr. Ulbricht, who is alleged to be ‘Dead Pirate Roberts’, allegedly operated a criminal enterprise that is very similar to the Silk Road 2.0 in many fronts. Like the predecessor, the Silk Road 2.0 used the tor network to mask its illegal dealings that mainly involved sale of illegal goods and services. The hottest items on sale in the website included illicit drugs like psychedelics, cannabis, ecstasy and opioids. The website had more than 13,000 listings just before it was brought down. The authorities also allege that Mr. Benthall used the moniker, ‘Dead pirate Roberts’ when he first launched the site before allegedly switching to the pseudonym, ‘Defcon’. And like Mr. Ulbricht, Mr. Benthall was also arrested in San Francisco.
Mr. Benthall’s arrest as well as the Silk Road 2.0’s takedown comes in the wake of a worldwide swoop on ‘dark net’ sites. Some 16 masterminds of such sites have been arrested in an exercise that also took down more than 400 ‘dark net’ websites and servers. These efforts are expected to continue so as to arrest even more perpetrators in a bid to rid the Internet of illicit trade and contrabands. The entire exercise is estimated to have affected some 18 countries netting digital currency worth over $1 million, over $250,000 in cash as well as silver, gold and narcotics.