Feeds

Digital 'activists' scramble to build Silk Road 2.0, but drug kingpins are spooked

We can hardly find a dealer, moan Blighty drug users

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Former Silk Roaders say they are preparing to open new anonymous online drug bazaars after last week's collapse of the illicit Tor marketplace. Meanwhile, drug dealers appear to have taken fright after the takedown of the hidden website.

The shadowy online community that formed around the Silk Road has been thrown into disarray since the arrest of Ross Ulbricht, whom the FBI has accused of being the so-called "Dread Pirate Roberts", the username of the person who appeared to have run the hidden drug bazaar. El Reg notes that Ulbricht has denied all charges.

The Register has been told there are at least five people or organisations now making efforts to rebuild the Silk Road, although this figure is likely to be far higher.

Speaking on hidden forums, a user calling himself The Godfather has called for contributors to help build “Silk Road 2.0”. His credibility is high on the "dark net" (so-called because private internets can be set up and taken down outside the view of any authorities) and he has been linked to Silk Road for almost two years.

The underground "activist" wrote:

Know this when I say: 'This is not the end, this is just the beginning.' We will come out with a newer, sleeker, more secure version of Silk Road that will be 100% untraceable.

Why will this Silk Road be better? From the get-go, we have only made communications with each other through TOR so we all remain completely anonymous, even to each other. LONG LIVE SILK ROAD!!!!!!!!!

Some drug dealers have simply moved to other anonymous online services to beat the police, with an alternative market called Sheep now listing roughly three times as many drugs vendors as before the demise of Silk Road, according to the administrator of yet another anonymous drugs market, Atlantis.

He or she wrote: "I can’t help but get the feeling DPR [Dread Pirate Roberts] would be relatively happy... as his legion of vendors and customers scramble to re-establish contact on other marketplaces."

Dark Webbers have expressed significant support for Ulbricht, the suspect accused by the Feds of being the mastermind behind the site. The "activists" have pledged financial support (in the form of Bitcoins) to help pay his legal bills.

US-based drug users on the messageboards claimed to be able to get drugs fairly easily, while users who said they were British have claimed there is a shortage of dealers following the collapse of the Silk Road.

Anyone who used to sell drugs on the website is likely to have been spooked by the shutdown of Silk Road and may be less likely to put their trust in the anonymity dark web users once took for granted. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.