Silk Road, the world’s biggest online market famous for illicit drugs and its use of Bitcoin and Tor to protect its user’s privacy, reported last month that it was undergoing a serious problem because of what is dubbed as distributeddenial-of-service (DDos) attack. During that time, users couldn’t access their accounts but the official Silk Road forums were accessible. Also, some users reported intermittent periods which they were able to access the site. While all this was happening, Silk Road is said to have received a message from unknown assailants demanding a ransom of approximately $5,000. This was from the Australian news media but till now, there is no evidence backing up this claim because Dread Pirate Robert’s (the Silkroad admin)public forum post doesn’t mention this anywhere.
This wasn’t the first time users weren’t able to access Silkroad site. In November 2012, because of technical difficulties and the huge traffic in the site that time, the site suffered major outage for almost a week. Dread Pirate Roberts admitted that this DDos attack cannot be matched with others which had happened before. Actually, this was happening after the April 26 and April 24 attack which made the site unavailable for 36 hours. The similarities of these two attacks and the one which happened last month provides some evidence that the perpetrators of these attacks are hi-tech and most probably, it is an organization of computer wizards.
The admin during the time of the attack offered users a semi-private scheme that allows them to access Tor site. Silk Road 2.0 has been a vulnerable target where attackers are utilizing flaws in the system to create outages. In February, the site lost about 4,476 bitcoins due to a malleability attack on the site. The company then decided to compensate its customers after the attack. The source and the goal of the latest DDos attack still remain unclear. Some sources are even saying that the law enforcement might be responsible for the attack with the aim of ascertaining the location of Silk Road 2.0 servers. Some people say that the attack was launched by competitors; others say it was initiated by internet criminals. But one question still remains in the minds of Silk Road 2.0 users-will these frequent attacks ever stop?