Silk Road And The Other Dark Web Markets

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 idea of anonymous markets selling drugs and other illegal goods and services is much older than the Internet; the appearance of the World Wide Web has not only put things in motion; it has also accelerated everything! Internet is the perfect environment for all illicit trades. But how it all began and who are THE names on the Dark Web?

The outrunner of the dark web was certainly The Hive, an online community forum used for discussions about marihuana.

Silk Road Reloaded

One of the first dark web markets was The Farmers Market. Launched in 2006, it moved to Tor in 2010. Two years later, several operators were arrested and the market closed. They were busted quite easily since they had been using PayPal and Western Union! Nevertheless, in the dark web annals The Farmers Market stands as the forerunner of Silk Road and the multitude of other markets.

Silk Road was founded by Ross Ulbricht, also known as Dread Pirate Roberts, in February 2011. They were the first to use Tor, bitcoin escrow and customer feedback system. It was something entirely new and it became standard for all then and the future dark web markets.

They became globally popular after Gawker published an article about the site. They also became No.1 wanted criminals in the eyes of the Senator Chuck Schumer, who pressured the Department of Justice to catch the people behind this dark web market.

After more than two years of investigation, Silk Road was seized by the FBI and Ross Ulbricht arrested in October 2013. Earlier this year, he was sentenced to lifetime in prison.

Silkroad Seized

Merely a month after the fall of the famous dark web market, Silk Road 2.0 was founded, apparently by the remaining staff of the previous giant. It was the exact replica but with some safety issues handled much better, or so they claimed. SR 2.0 market promoted the very same idea of its predecessor – they were selling quality goods in nonviolent environment and they were never into child pornography, guns, prostitution, stolen credit cards etc.

In February 2014, $2.7 million worth of bitcoins was stolen from the site’s escrow; but, luckily admins gave up their commissions in order to refund the stolen money. How about that?!

The Silk Road 2.0 was seized in the Operation Onymous, along with other dark web markets – all in one day. Blake Benthall, also known as Defcon, was arrested as admin of the site.

Many markets saw the Onymous operation as an opportunity to climb higher on the dark web ladder. Agora was definitely one that succeeded. It was a pretty strong market even before the operation; but for some reason it was omitted. In April 2015, they saw their peak, becoming the leading market on the dark web.

In August 2015, they took down their own site, temporarily as they said, due to some security issues with Tor.

Code

After the fall of Silk Road, some markets saw their chance in fraud. One of the biggest exit scams was performed by the admins of Evolution market. Founded in January 2014 it appeared to value similar creeds as Silk Road – it didn’t allow child pornography, prostitution, murder/assassination, Ponzi schemes; but unlike SR, they were dealing with stolen credit cards.

In March 2015 Evolution counted a decent number of loyal and happy customers, when they decided to “retire” from the business with $12 million worth of bitcoin in escrows! Some users allegedly warned about the exit scam a week before it actually happened speaking of their troubles to withdraw bitcoins from the escrow.

Another SR wannabe appeared on the I2P network – Silk Road Reloaded.  It does remind somewhat of the philosophy and security of the original Silk Road. Namely, the I2P network is much safer than Tor. A novelty on Silk Road Reloaded market is the possibility to use multiple cryptocurrencies – Anoncoin, Darkcoin, Dogecoin and Litecoin; the list is constantly expanding and it will be possible to exchange any currency for bitcoins. As someone noticed, now not only that the site admins are earning from sales commissions, but from currency exchanges as well. Silk Road Reloaded can only be approached by I2P software or any other software that has access to eepsites.

And, such is the legacy of Silk Road, once a giant Dark Web marketplace. Many have tried to recreate, replicate the success (if you can call it that) of the original SR brand and many new markets that appear today are just pale copies of the original. Perhaps, it’s time to finally let this dinosaur rest in peace.

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The Mysterious Dark Web

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silk Road 2.0.

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

For most people, the dark web is a place of intrigue and mystery. It is where the villains and shady dealers of the Internet congregate, a place wherein the trade of the illicit and the illegal is the main order of the day… every day. Stolen credit cards, fake documents, dangerous drugs, weapons, murderers-for-hire, and pornography of unspeakable magnitude – all of these can be found with just one click away.

Dark Web

It’s easy to see why the “dark web” has gotten such an infamous reputation as it has right now. For one thing, most of the things mentioned above are somewhat true. The Silk Road was a prominent marketplace on this network that leaned on such kind of illegal trade. Silk Road was eventually shuttered down by the FBI after its founder, Ross Ulbricht (Dread Pirate Roberts), was caught.

Accessing Dark Web Content and Marketplaces like the Silk Road

DeepWeb

In a nutshell, the dark web is a network of websites and online content that require special browsing software to access. As such, the websites on the network are inaccessible to “normal” search engines like Google and Bing. Dark web content can’t also be viewed through normal browsers. It’s basically a no-holds barred, free-for-all version of the internet that most people use. There are no regulations to be followed, no censorship, and no surveillance to be worried about (especially if one is particularly careful about how he/ she browse dark web content).

One kind of service that allows people access to dark web content is the Tor (The Onion Router) Network. What this network does is scramble a user’s IP address over a series of “relays” all over the world, thus making everything untraceable. Should one want to browse the Silk Road and other illicit marketplaces online, user’s Internet traffic and IP address will be passed through these relays for so many times, that it is nearly impossible to trace the traffic back to the user.

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Dark Web Site Like Silk Road, Shut Down By Authorities

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silk Road 2.0.

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

Ross Ulbricht’s Silkroad is gone and his Silkroad trial has been a wrap. However, that has not stopped the emergence of other dark web marketplaces whose intent is to fill the void left by Silkroad. Italian police report that they have closed the curtains on another major dark web site, said to be trading anything from child pornography to guns and drugs.

Filling in the void left by Silkroad

Arrested

Police say that in an operation they dubbed “Babylon”;a systematic infiltration led to the closure of one of the more notorious havens of drugs and pornography around, collecting over 11,000 bitcoins wallets worth about1 million euros. The site had been in use for a while and just like Silkroad, it made use of the bitcoin cryptocurrency to ease transactions and throw a veil over the identities of those involved. Speculation is rife over what the market could realistically have been worth. However, the fact that it had over 14000 members and facilitated over 170,000 transactions points that a lot was going on in there. Police estimation puts the number of drug dealers using the site up until the time of closure at around 200, a hefty number only heard back in the day when Silkroad was in its prime.

An “extremely difficult” call

Michele Prestipino, a public prosecutor who led the investigation, has pointed out that what started out as an attack on child pornography brought down an entire site. The dark web’s frustrating antics seem to continue haunting the police, with the official claiming that getting into the depths Of the Babylon site was “extremely difficult”.

Money

The Italian site “Babylon” is said to have been the brainchild of an Italian citizen from Naples. Like Silkroad, this site was only available via the Tor anonymous browser.

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Silk Road 2.0 Vendor Is Jailed For Two Years

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silk Road 2.0.

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

Cei William OwensA 29-yr.-old Welsh man by the name of Cei William Owens pleaded guilty to charges of supplying of class A and B drugs; he now faces a 2-yr. jail term. William was arrested alongside six other British nationals by the (NCA) National Crime Agency, being part of a broader clampdown on dark web site Silkroad 2.0. Reports indicate that he used to run his Silkroad business as a small mail order-style service, shipping narcotics to clients at certain pre-arranged drop off points.

He’s been charged with distribution of both class A & B Silkroad drugs including magic mushrooms and bhang, plus three other counts of possession. Owens, who’s a former resident of Aberdovey but recently staying at Aberystwyth, will be subjected to an additional “Proceeds of Crime” investigation. This will give the courts supreme power to seize any cash or assets derived from his illegal Silkroad activities.

During his Silkroad sentencing at the Swansea Crown Court, it was revealed that William went under the virtual pseudonym “Johnny Alpha” and traded with his account as part of the organized and sophisticated delivery system. Also for the campaigns, he advertised the narcotics as “quality hash” while promising clients free next day delivery and offering to ship illicit Silkroad substances via 1st class registered mail. Following a sanctioned raid at his residence, detectives recovered narcotics, digital scales and data encryption software installed within his computer.

In spite of a defence plea to give a suspended sentence, Recorder Ian Murphy QC said that he had no other option but enforcing an immediate prison term on the Silkroad dealer. The nature of his operations was quite complicated, with photographic exhibits showing a room had actually been converted to a distribution center; he also had lots of customer feedback from clients on his Silkroad profile.

On the home raid conducted by federal agents, various prohibited Silkroad paraphernalia was recovered including cannabis, MDMA, heat-sealing machines and legal highs with an estimated street value of £1,700. Moreover, stamps from Canada and Netherlands were discovered in the house showing that maybe Cei William was shipping narcotics to these countries as well.

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Successors Of The Silk Road

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silk Road 2.0.

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

In recent years, the United States government has cracked down on online marketplaces in the deep web, where people can buy illegal drugs. The most popular online marketplace at the time was the Silk Road, which allowed people to buy and sell illegal drugs and other illegal items. After the government shut down the Silk Road, they arrested the man who started it, Ross Ulbricht, and sentenced him to life in prison.

Ross UlbrichtWhen the Silk Road started in 2011, it was very small, which allowed it to exist in anonymity from law enforcement authorities, who weren’t aware of its existence at the time. A year later, it has become very popular, and caught the attention of the government. This started an investigation, which led to the apprehension of the dealers on the site and the eventual shutdown of the site in October 2013.

The life sentence given to Ulbricht was the government’s way of making an example, and sending a message to other people who might want to step in and fill his shoes. After the Silkroad was shut down, some of its former administrators launched Silk Road 2.0, as an act of defiance, but by November 2014, the site was shut down, and Blake Benthall, its last administrator, was arrested.

Besides Silkroad, there were other online black markets that sold drugs, and were operating at the time, Atlantis was Silkroad’s biggest competitor, but the administrators shut down the site just before Silk Road was shut down by the Feds. Evolution was another site in existence at the time, and it got even bigger than Silkroad, after the FBI had shut it down, because people that used Silk Road to buy and sell their drugs started using them instead. Evolution was shut down without giving users any warning, but it wasn’t due to the government. Apparently, the administrators of both Atlantis and Evolution shut down their sites and made off with bitcoins that their users had in escrow accounts.

Despite those sites being gone, other online marketplaces still exist on the dark web. Russian Anonymous Marketplace is one of the black markets still in existence, and since it is operating in Russia, it can’t be shut down by the FBI, because they have no jurisdiction. The marketplace that used to be known as Diabolus Market is also still in existence, but its name has been changed to Silk Road 3.0.

The thing that ultimately led to the Silkroad’s demise was its own popularity. What was once only known to people on the deep web, had become popular and known to people on the regular Internet, and they all found their way to the site.

Silk Road MarketplaceBecause weapons and illegal drugs trade are very lucrative markets, there are always going to be more sites like the Silk Road, and they will eventually become even bigger than it was.

The only difference is that these sites will try to avoid being popular, because that was what led to the downfall of the Silk Road. These sites probably exist already, but aren’t known to a lot of people, because their operators would have told their users to wipe their tracks by using better encryption and security, but it is impossible to know for sure, unless you go into the dark web.

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The Dark Web And The Silk Road Marketplace

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silkroad 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silkroad 2.0.

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

FBIStudies show that a typical web user can only access 0.03% of all available online content; the other portion is hidden and comes in form of dark web sites such as the Silk Road. It’s impossible to access these portals through regular browsers, only a special search engine known to users can perform this task and Tor is one of them. Recently, file downloads from this program have been on a sharp increase amidst speculations that both US and UK Intelligence agencies are actively monitoring standard web traffic.

Silk Road is one of the most successful dark web stories, it was run by an administrator who went by the pseudonym “Dread Pirate Roberts” but was soon discovered and shut down by FBI agents in 2013. The site was relaunched, Silk Road 2.0, but in 2014 it was also shut down and arrested its alleged operator as part of “Operation Onymous”. The original Silk Road creator,  and is currently facing a court conviction.

There are many other dark web marketplaces similar to Silk Road which operates as “onion domains”, which means that the service provider and user constantly remain anonymous throughout a search session. Their physical location and browsing history can be difficult to trace. This phenomenal poses a huge security threat since criminals can trade anything online, including drugs and weapons.

DarknetAccording to one security researcher, there are currently more than 300 criminals arrested who had been operating on darknet sites similar to Silk Road. The expert further says that this is just a drop in the ocean, since there are many other felons who use such underground platforms to conduct illicit businesses.

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Silk Road Closure Make Darknet Activities Harder To Track

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. <<

TOR and National Security AgencyIn October 2013, the FBI took down the original Silkroad site and proclaimed a huge breakthrough against the darknet illegal markets. But, only months after the closure of Silkroad, the number of such sites was higher than ever. It is being reported that the takedown of the online illegal drug marketplace Silkroad has made it harder to track criminals on the Dark Web.

According to a report published by the Global Commission on Internet Governance, increased scrutiny on the Tor network and higher monitoring of the internet is making criminals more careful in hiding their tracks warned by the epic SilkRoad shutdown.

Ross Ubricht and DrugsThe seizure of Silkroad and the conviction of Silkroad mastermind, Ross Ulbricht, may make it harder for law enforcement agencies to track criminal activities on the dark web. These sites have operated with such indemnity for so long because their servers are running on non-standard protocols encrypting in and out of the website. That makes it extremely difficult to locate the servers physically, thereby making it hard to shut them down. Thus, these sites are having large amount of illegal drug market activities and transactions.

The authorities are trying to work out a way to bring these sites down. Those involved in the world of darknet will surely be attempting to figure out what happened already, what were the possible security flaws and how can they be patched up again. Thus, more darknet sites are re-appearing after Silkroad getting down, as the dark web experts began working out innovative ways to evade detection.

It would be to conclude that instead of putting a halt to the dark web activities, the Silkroad closure has led to a surprising acceleration of the same.

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Mother Of Alleged Silk Road Mastermind Blasts US Drug War And The Growing Scope Of Online Surveillance

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. <<

Silk Road MarketplaceIf you have been paying attention at all to the darker fringes of the internet, there is a good chance that you have heard of the Silk Road. This website hidden in an anonymous area of the web has caused quite the stir recently, including a rather high profile bust by US authorities.

 

Ross UlbrichtLyn Ulbricht’s Son Ross was arrested in San Francisco in 2013 for allegedly being the mastermind behind the Silk Road. The site according to some was a bastion for private drug deals and even hiring hit men. It used the virtual currency bitcointo make transactions difficult to trace. Needless to say a site like this will attract the attention of the authorities.

Lyn has had a lot to say about the recent events that include her son. She was recently at a gathering of interested people to discuss the dark web, including sites like the Silk Road, and the increasing scope of government spying and surveillance. She defended her son claiming that prosecutors were making unfounded allegations of murder against her son. She said that they have effectively “poisoned the trial”.

She was also critical of the US Governments controversial War on Drugs. She discussed wondering if it has simply been a great excuse to expand the prison systems, referring to it as a “prison industrial complex”. She added that if this was the goal they have been successful at achieving it.

Her blasting of the US Authorities included delving into online surveillance and privacy. She accused the FBI of using illegal methods of gaining entry to the servers that ran the Silk Road, including hacking their way in. Overall, the conversation showed how law enforcement’s tries to police a borderless online realm and called the US Authorities out for continuing to increase the areas that it places under its blanket of surveillance.

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Many Of The Darknet Sites Seized In Operation Onymous Were Clone Sites

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. <<

Laptop Crime SceneAfter law enforcement took down the original Silkroad, the Dark Web made a vengeful comeback through the establishment of Silkroad 2.0 and a bunch of other Dark Web websites. However, several of these sites have also been taken down in a joint operation between the FBI and Europol a few weeks ago. However, it is emerging that a large number of the 414 sites involved in this operation were ‘clones’. The grim realization has forced Europol to admit that it has seized only about two dozen sites, including Silkroad 2.0. This means that the actual black market sites remain operational while their clones fell into the hands of the law enforcers.

How did this happen?

Unlike in the past, law enforcement authorities targeted servers hosting Tor hidden sites rather than targeting specific sites and then trying to determine their identity as was the case with Silkroad. Luckily, this operation helped nab several sites. However, it seems that a bot called “Onion Cloner” targeting Dark Web sites would make clones of actual black market sites in an attempt to steal passwords and intercept Bitcoin transactions. Consequently, the FBI ended up seizing these clone sites instead of the actual sites. It is possible that all Onion Cloner sites were affected by this operation. Operation Onymous was however, able to seize about $1m in bitcoins, gold, silver, narcotics, and 180,000 Euros in cash.

Conclusion

Deep WebThe Dark Web is notorious for its spirited comebacks after every significant sting operation, as evidenced by the establishment of Silkroad 2.0. However, this time it seems that the online black market has dodged the greatest attempt to cripple its operations since the original Silkroad was taken off the web, and the presence of clone sites created by a bot in an attempt to steal from users of Tor hidden sites. Although Silkroad 2.0 has been taken down, the online black market remains largely unaffected.

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US Senator Has Called For A Crackdown On The Dark Web

>> Click here to find the Silkroad URL and know how to get to the Silkroad 2.0 <<

United States Senator Charles SchumerRecently, United States Senator Charles Schumer, New York, called for a major crackdown on the dark web. Since the original Silkroad shutdown, he has been concerned about the presence of illicit marketplaces on the internet. Even though the government shut down Silkroad, there’s still a need to regulate the internet.

Charles Schumer wrote an open letter to the Attorney General Eric Holder. On 27th October, the letter was published by the Senator’s office. In the letter, Charles Schumer pledged to both continue the demand for increasing oversight on various technologies facilitating illicit activities, and secure extra funding for anti-dark web policies.

The letter mentioned that Bitcoin and Tor network work as the primary mechanisms used by anti-social elements, hackers and criminals to conceal drug trade around the world. In another statement, Schumer reported that he expects the United States Justice Department to make more efforts against illegal drug trade. He emphasized the need for additional funds.

Until now, the Senator from New York has sent some mixed messages about the digital currency industry. For instance, Charles Schumer has openly voice his opinions against Bitcoin. He even called this technology the primary tool for money launderers. However, about a year ago, Schumer tweeted about the promising future of the digital currency. In recent times, Schumer has refrained himself from giving any direct comments to the Press.

Schumer Voices Opinion Against the Dark Web

In the open letter to the Attorney General, the United States Senator reported that advanced encryption methods have allowed illicit marketplaces to easily function even after the Silkroad shutdown. In recent years, the number of websites like Silkroad offering illicit drug sales and purchases has grown substantially. The research was conducted after the Silkroad shutdown.

Schumer had some strong opinions about the dark web, and wanted the Attorney General to take strong action against the culprits. He even claimed that law enforcement agencies in both the United States and other countries weren’t doing enough to completely stop the threat. He said there weren’t enough people in authorities to target these illicit websites.

In a statement released to the Press, Schumer’s office said that the funding would go toward hiring a lot more cybercrime experts. They will be assigned specific positions at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department. These experts will also be assigned to jobs in various agencies in New York. Schumer called the situation a chronic staffing issue. He says such issues encourage drug traffickers using marketplaces like Silkroad.

Drug Markets like Silkroad Could Continue Rising

Silk Road SeizedIt’s worth mentioning that the Senator’s letter didn’t outline any steps beyond asking for more funding to fight of the dark web. However, the New York Senator accepted that there were too many complications associated with the process of investigating any drug related crime. He even accepted that Federal authorities lack a lot of resources required to effectively address the issues.

According to Senior Researcher and Lecturer at the Macquarie University, James Martin, there has been significant growth in dark web markets. In fact, the pattern is quite similar to general technological growth. Thus, Martin believes that online drug markets like Silkroad will continue to rise in future.

>> Click here to find the Silkroad URL and know how to get to the Silkroad 2.0 <<

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