It’s been almost four years since the arrest of Ross William Ulbricht, the mastermind behind the dark web’s biggest black market, The Silk Road.
Calling himself Dread Pirate Roberts (a grab from the movie Princess Bride), Ulbricht orchestrated a marketplace that traded illegal items such as drugs, weapons, stolen electronics, counterfeit money, and criminal services. For over two years, anonymous users simply used private payment methods such as Bitcoin to stay “secure”.
Despite the immediate investigation of The Silk Road and the couple hundred arrests made after, it wasn’t long until other illegal marketplaces started popping up. Over the last year, one black market specifically has been swimming through the news.
AlphaBay Hits the Virtual Streets
AlphaBay is whispered to be a new, more secure version of The Silk Road. Despite this, other articles are popping up and proving otherwise.
Earlier this year, AlphaBay yielded to a karma-like bug. Despite several open tickets on a reported virus, AlphaBay allegedly ignored the issue. This caused over 200,000 messages to be leaked to unknown sources. Seeing as the website is a black marketplace, one can only imagine the contents of those messages. Hackers obtained names, addresses, tracking numbers, and even a few rare cases of credit card numbers.
A reddit user by the name of Cipher0007 openly stated on a “darknetmarkets” subreddit,
“Thanks, anyway the big problem is the silence of the mods and admins of alphabay I have sent 3 ticket without response, this is the incompetence to handle things is ridiculous.”
Despite the temporary fall of AlphaBay, the illegal marketplace has since recouped. Authorities have not yet been able to locate the origination of the black market. It doesn’t seem they’ll have a lead anytime soon. Call it AlphaBay, The Silk Road, or Docklands – it doesn’t matter. Somewhere, somehow a new and improved black market will appear.