Just over a year later, however, AlphaBay has emerged as a top, if not the top, illicit marketplace. In fact, since AlphaBay’s August 2021 relaunch, the illicit marketplace landscape has been tumultuous to say the least. The first half of 2022 was marked by takedowns, shut downs, and exit scams of top markets. As part of the site’s relaunch, multiple new features have been advertised and new rules announced. Notable among new features are AlphaGuard , an automatic system to resolve disputes between buyers and sellers, exclusive use of Monero wallets, and the offering of I2P mirrors. Concerning rules, items newly prohibited from sale include COVID-19 vaccines, firearms, products containing the narcotic fentanyl, pornography, and “hitman services”.
He even claims that AlphaGuard will automatically hack other websites and plant data on their servers to give users “withdrawal codes” they can use to save the cryptocurrency they’ve stored on AlphaBay in case of a takedown. “It is a system to ensure users can withdraw funds, settle disputes, and generally go without a cent lost if raids happen,” DeSnake writes, “even if it happens on all servers at the same time. It is unstoppable.” “I am still in disbelief to this day that he had put his personal email on there,” DeSnake says. Okparaeke has been charged with distributing a substance akin to fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid that’s 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Authorities accused him of obtaining “fentanyl analogue” from Hong Kong via the mail, repackaging it in smaller quantities, then mailing it to customers who bought his products via underground online markets. Those allegedly included an undercover police officer who purchased fentanyl analogue from an AlphaBay seller, which authorities say was by Okparaeke.
However, after Cazes was held for exactly a week at the Narcotics Suppression Bureau in Bangkok, reports of his apparent suicide surfaced. Bangkok vowed to conduct an autopsy, while US authorities had no interest in verifying the legitimacy of the suspect’s death. Monero appears to have lost its darknet market integrations, and very well may have fallen victim to an exit scam. Largest mixing service BitMixer shuts down in a matter of days, leaving users both puzzled and curious.
How To Buy Drugs On The Darknet
Most of the forum is marked private until the user formally introduces themselves in accordance with the rules outlined by DeSnake. There is a “Admin” account as was the case with the historical AlphaBay forum, and DeSnake also has their own personal account. DarkOwl believes this account may be maintained by DeSnake based on the observation that they leave a similar “Thank You.” at the end of every post. Prior to AlphaBay, Alexander Cazes had a reputable history on the darknet – specifically in the carding community.
- For businesses, this includes maintaining proper procedures and security practices.
- While the Dutch focussed their efforts on Hansa, United States FBI operatives coordinated with international police to DDoS AlphaBay and seize its assets, enabling the Royal Thai Police to locate and arrest its administrator, Alexander Cazes (a.k.a. alpha02).
- In early July, multiple computer servers used by the AlphaBay website were seized worldwide, and the site’s creator and administrator—a 25-year-old Canadian citizen living in Thailand—was arrested.
- CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.
- While DeSnake very well could be legitimate, the sheer fact the authorities confiscated the market’s servers and Cazes’s unencrypted laptop should bring significant suspicion whether this new darknet marketplace is legitimate, or simply another covert law enforcement operation.
But it’s also important to remember that law enforcement investigations take time. As it turned out, that anonymous tipster who cold-emailed a DEA agent in Fresno about the identity of AlphaBay’s founder had the right man. But the investigators still had to pull all the threads and fingerprints left on the blockchain and the internet before going after Cazes. The Hansa takeover-takedown combo resulted in several arrests all over the world, and — more importantly — spooked the whole dark web illegal markets ecosystem, showing that even the biggest markets could be a sting operation run by the cops.
Dark Web Porngraphy
One AlphaBay staff member claimed that it serviced over 200,000 users and 40,000 vendors. Comparatively, the Silk Road dark web marketplace, which was seized by law enforcement in November 2013, had reportedly approximately 14,000 listings for illicit goods and services at the time of seizure and was the largest dark web marketplace at the time. AlphaBay Market was one of the most popular darknet trading platforms. The AlphaBay marketplace was launched in 2014 and, for obvious reasons, the founders of the platform had remained unknown until AlphaBay was shut down due to law enforcement action in 2017. There were over 300,000 advertisements for drugs, arms, fake documents, stolen credit cards and other illegal goods and services.
That makes the site’s sales difficult to measure and may mean it has fewer sales per listing, since many users prefer to trade in Bitcoin. Other markets touted in dark web forums like Archetyp and Incognito, meanwhile, have only a few thousand or just a few hundred listings. All of that suggests AlphaBay may already be the most popular market for dark web vendors to list their wares for sale.
If a dark net market’s operators decide to take off with the bitcoins that are being held in escrow, users have no recourse. AlphaBay was an extremely popular darknet market that launched in 2014 and operated until June 2017, when it was seized by law enforcement as part of Operation Bayonet. At the time of its downfall AlphaBay was ten times the size of its largest predecessor, Silk Road, facilitating $600,000 – $800,000 of transactions a day between over 400,000 users.
U.S. Department of Justice
Today’s version of AlphaBay experienced a relatively slow start, as vendors and buyers questioned the nature of this relaunch, wary of law enforcement involvement. DeSnake’s eagerness to launch AlphaBay with increased security measures, like AlphaGuard and a decentralization project—an effort to sidestep whatever operational security Cazes blundered, eventually leading to his detainment—was met with some skepticism. One year into its reemergence, AlphaBay has become one of the largest illicit marketplaces on the darknet—and has plans to innovate. Additionally, DeSnake said the new marketplace will have an “Automatic Dispute Resolver” feature, that would quickly handle disputes between buyers and sellers without the involvement of a third-party or moderator.
Cazes used a pseudonym, Alpha02, to run the site which he had previously used (e.g., in carding and tech forums) since at least 2008, and variously advertised this identity as the “designer”, “administrator” and “owner” of the site. In May 2015, the site announced an integrated digital contracts and escrow system. The contract system allows users to make engagements and agree to provide services in the future, according to the terms of the contract. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California filed a civil forfeiture complaint against Alexandre Cazes and his wife’s assets located throughout the world, including in Thailand, Cyprus, Lichtenstein, and Antigua & Barbuda. Cazes and his wife amassed numerous high value assets, including luxury vehicles, residences and a hotel in Thailand. Cazes also possessed millions of dollars in cryptocurrency, which has been seized by the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration .
The Dutch National Police took control of Hansa on 20 June, seizing servers in Lithuania, the Netherlands and Germany. The action permitted surveillance of criminal activities on the marketplace before it was shut down in July. AlphaBay’s servers were seized with the help of authorities in Thailand, Lithuania, Canada, Britain and France.
You personally may not be able to secure all your data because much of it may be stored outside of your control; however, there are many ways to reduce risk. For businesses, this includes maintaining proper procedures and security practices. Never share passwords and keep an eye on bank accounts for suspicious activity. As long as there is value in data, we must take steps to secure it. Tor2door claims that security and usability are its main priorities.
Dark Web Credit Cards
On Thursday, Reddit user HugBunter claimed to have discovered “a huge vulnerability … which exposed a lot of data,” including vendor messages and order details, and he reported the flaw to AlphaBay administrators on July 2. AlphaBay, an online marketplace that sold illegal products on the Dark Web, has been taken offline following raids in three countries, according to several reports. Bryan Connor Herrell, a 25-year-old from Fresno, California, pleaded guilty this week in the US to racketeering charges related to the now-defunct dark web marketplace Alphabay. The service on Tor appears to be hosted alongside Dread services and features both the Dread waiting queue and clock-captcha for DDoS protection. The marketplace was offline last week, when Dread and its sister services were under heavy DDoS and inaccessible.