Police forces worldwide have added a number of new sites on their bucket list to track down, a majority of which mostly picked up where the Silkroad has left off with a name that’s not easily forgotten, and never will be.
ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.
This is not the first time the very first modern black market and best-known platform for illicit drugs emerges in the darknet. Following predecessors that law enforcement agencies have been forcibly shut down- the original Silk Road and Silk Road 2.0, comes Silkroad 3.0.
The darknet market has reportedly been active weeks prior to its initial publicity on a Reddit thread on May 15th. It’s impressive how in such a short time, the Tor hidden site is now brimming with all sorts of goods and services, from hardcore drugs, hacking guides, exploit kits, Netflix accounts, fake IDs and passports, but many remain skeptical amidst the new Silkroad’s massive offerings.
Still, whether you need or want anything or simply out of curiosity, Silkroad 3.0 is something one cannot help but take a close look.
Welcome to the Silkroad
Registered members are given a warm welcome by staff member with the pseudonym “Dimitri” along with a greeting post, conveying the message “You will find everything that you desire here.”
Silkroad 3.0 boasts of being the oldest and most secure marketplaces on the darknet that has stood the test of time. The post tells of the Silkroad staff and vendors catering to software, services, and every substance imaginable, and providing only the highest quality products and the best service you can get.
Putting a keen eye on the platform, it seems that the bulk of the operation is centered on drugs. The menu-style sidebar displays a category including Cannabis, Benzos, Dissociatives, Ecstasy, Opioids, Stimulants, Psychedelic, and Prescription. The popular Weed, Cocaine, MDMA, Heroin, Meth, and Speed fall under some of the headings. Other links are comprised of software, eBooks, and digital goods such subscription accounts for eBay, Netflix, and PayPal.
Sounds like what a drug user, hacker, or anyone with a particular purpose needs. But why aren’t many users convinced of its legitimacy?
A Troubled Past
There’s no one to blame for the looming suspicions, since the big name has constantly been associated with FBI crackdowns, exit scams, drug busts and arrests.
The original Silkroad website in 2011 quickly gained notoriety and became a haven for underground dark web-based global trading, and a marketplace that people have come to trust. By the year 2012, Silkroad managed an estimated $15 million worth of annual transactions. It was at its peak and at the top of the game, but Silkroad ended in total disaster with the website seized by the FBI and its creator Ross Ulbricht arrested.
What about Silkroad 2.0? It suffered the same fate and was shut down a year upon launch. An earlier version of 3.0, Silk Road Reloaded, was reportedly mysteriously abandoned after just two months, despite doubts of being FBI-run honeypot.
Warning Signs along the Silkroad Path
The Silkroad 3.0’s support forum is piling up with unhappy customers and a number of “unresolved” topics that are currently listed. One comment shares that after several emails, there were still no goods and no feedback from the vendor.
Another comment tells of pills offered at a discounted rate, only to be asked at the last minute for another 30 bucks for shipping. The seller hasn’t been online for a couple of days and this buyer is asking for help, by which a Silkroad 3.0 admin simply answers with “I think a vendor is a scammer [sic].”
The forums do give users a warning that certain products and services, like child pornography, firearms, chemical weapons, and terrorism-related items are not allowed to be sold on Silkroad.
This area of the Silkroad 3.0 website is directly linked to the Crypto Market, another underground darknet market for irregular commodities, whose admin is said to be the people behind the revamped Silkroad darknet market.
On keeping up with users’ expectations and evading seizure by authorities, will Silkroad 3.0 last? There are indeed a myriad of unfortunate events that could soon befall the marketplace, but there’s no better answer than to let the website speak for itself.