Former Australian Cop Accused of Selling Fake Police IDs on AlphaBay

Former Australian Cop Accused of Selling Fake Police IDs on AlphaBay

The Australian Federal Police arrested one Mr. James Gorris, 44, at his residence in Castlemaine on 22nd November, 2016.

The former Australian police officer was charged with manufacturing and selling fake police ID cards. He allegedly used an online platform on dark web, Alpha Bay, to conduct his trade.

Gorris sold fake Victorian IDs and Federal Police IDs. Other than that, the suspect was also accused of selling Borderforce, Aviation and Maritime Security passes.

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Former Australian Cop Accused of Selling Fake Police IDs on AlphaBay
Former Australian Cop Accused of Selling Fake Police IDs on AlphaBay

On Alpha Bay darknet market, Gorris used the alias “piratedeadpool” to sell police agency ID in exchange for bitcoins.

During his arraignment in Bendigo Magistrates Court, Detective Senior Constable Pye from the E-crime squad (an investigative unit that deals with online crimes), says that they set a trap for this “piratedeadpool” user who fell for it.

Undercover investigators pretended to be clients and transacted with the accused. This evidence was presented before Magistrate Murphy at the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court.

During the first transaction which happened last July 6, the undercover police agents confirmed to have bought Victorian Police identification cards and Federal Police IDs worth $4,800 and they paid online for the merchandise in bitcoin currency.

The second transaction between the undercover agents and the Alpha Bay dealer saw them acquire aviation and maritime security IDs; these will allow user access to Australia’s airports and ports.

Then, on the next transaction on the darknet market, the agents bought an Australian Federal Police wallet, a badge, and ID. Purchases were delivered through the Australian Post Express parcel.

On Alpha Bay, “piratedeadpool” even bluffed and told the clients, who in this case were the undercover agents, that using the fake IDs he could steal items at will from police stations including drugs, guns and ammunition, and evidence.

The former Australian police accused of selling fake police IDs on AlphaBay in exchange for bitcoins, awaits his fate in court.
The former Australian police accused of selling fake police IDs on AlphaBay in exchange for bitcoins, awaits his fate in court.

During the raid at Gorris’ place in Castlemaine, Constable Pye said they did not find any guns or drugs. This he said meant that the darknet vendor was only bluffing to lure more clients.

However, he said they found other merchandise, like badges, wallets, blank ID cards, card printers which confirmed that he did the manufacturing of the fake IDs.

The defense lawyer, Mr. Peter Baker, said his client really had no other criminal intentions or motives. He only used Alpha Bay for financial gains.

This was in response to the prosecution which said that Gorris’ dealings were illegal and dangerous as the fake IDs could be used to enter police stations and obtain firearms, bypass airport security or even make potential terrorist plots possible.

This would endanger the lives of thousands of people.

According to Detective Senior Constable Pye, they commenced an investigation on the Alpha Bay vendor five months prior to his arrest.

He said that attention was drawn to the dark web market website during their routine check of the site.

Alpha Bay, they discovered was an online site made anonymous with encryption and routing.

The Bendigo Magistrates’ Court charged him with four counts of manufacturing, supplying and distribution of assorted government badges.

The magistrate denied him bail as they feared that Gorris might try to abscond trial and flee the country, considering his expertise in forging identification documents.

The defense counsel quickly dismissed this claim as speculative.

However, during the trial, Magistrate Murphy commented and said that the possibility of the fake police identification cards could fall into the wrong hands was “frightening.”

He further noted that Gorris, being an ex-police officer, should have known better and the consequences of such actions he termed as dubious and reckless. The magistrate said that it posed a real threat to the public at large.

Gorris was remanded in custody until his next trial scheduled for the 15th of February, 2017. He would make an appearance once again before the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court.

Black Friday Sales On AlphaBay Market

alphabay-market-darknet-market-study

Black Friday is the one time of the year when massive price drops lead millions of shoppers to flock various online and physical outlets to take advantage of the annual discounts on a wide range of products.

Websites crash and shops are often destroyed in the resulting melee as shoppers struggle to buy as many things as possible before the one-day period is over.

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The AlphaBay Market and a host of other DNMs participated in the recently concluded Black Friday sales event where drugs were listed at discounted prices.
The AlphaBay Market and a host of other DNMs participated in the recently concluded Black Friday sales event where drugs were listed at discounted prices.

Traditionally reserved to mainstream online and physical shops, it is a rarity to see dark web marketplaces such as AlphaBay partaking in the tradition.

However, this year’s event was marked by significant discounts from various dark web markets, including AlphaBay as DNM customers were treated to huge discounts on drugs and other illicit items.

AlphaBay Vendors Offered Deals on Narcotics

Vocativ reported several discounts on various hard drugs, most popular of all being the $2 LSD tablets offered by drug vendors on AlphaBay Market and other DNMs, with the top priority being given to customers who purchased in bulks of ten or more pills.

The offer stated that these customers would receive refunds and quick delivery times on their orders.

To sweeten the deal, the LSD vendor was offering to provide ten free testing strips to the buyer who would want to send their order for testing at the Energy Control facility in Barcelona.

The philanthropic discounts went on AlphaBay Market where an AlphaBay drug vendor was offering massive discounts on the synthetic opiate fentanyl.

For users who were interested, $750 could get them around 2,500mg of the drug with no limit on how many purchases could be made.

The AlphaBay vendor was, however, attention-shy, owing his hesitance to the fact that fentanyl is highly illicit and very dangerous.

He was also quick to post a disclaimer, saying that he was not planning on selling his product to people who were not well versed with the use of the drug and the potential risks involved in consuming it.

He planned on setting the distinction by asking his potential buyers the potency of fentanyl when compared to heroin.

Fentanyl is a controversial drug, and its presence among the Black Friday deals will do little to prevent the abuse of the lethal drug.

Despite the AlphaBay vendor’s seemingly cautious measures, there is no guarantee that the drug will not just as easily fall into the wrong hands.

Marijuana Makes an Appearance in Black Friday Discounts

green-friday
Marijuana Businesses Embrace Black Friday and the Holidays

Marijuana, one of the most popular drugs purchased on the darknet markets, was not absent in the latest spate of discounted products this year.

In the spirit of Black Friday, one drug vendor was reportedly offering an ounce of medical-grade marijuana popularly known as Gorilla Glue #4 for $100.

Being one of the most potent strains of marijuana, this particular drug is known to have the strongest euphoric effects and is a commonly sought after treatment for people suffering from intense pain, insomnia and stress.

The award-winning strain of marijuana won first place in the hybrid category at the 2015 World Cannabis Cup.

Cuban Cigars Also on Offer on AlphaBay Market

On the less illicit products that were on sale in AlphaBay Market on Black Friday, a brand of Cuban cigars referred to as the Churchill cigars were also put on sale at discounted prices by an AlphaBay Market drug vendor.

Considered the largest Cuban cigars, the Romeo y Julieta brand is a really sought after brand of cigars, especially since the lack of a steady relationship between the USA and Cuba has effectively led to the banning of such products.

The AlphaBay Market vendor sought to cash in on the Black Friday rush by offering packs of the popular cigar at really good prices, giving cigar enthusiasts something else to be thankful for this year.

Black Friday Tradition Carries On

Bargain hunters will certainly keep a keener eye on AlphaBay Market and other darknet markets next year to capitalize on the massive sale discounts, which will definitely be turned up a notch given the success of this year’s event.

As far as the illicit drug trade goes, events such as these normalize it to a point where markets like AlphaBay Market seem more commercial than the underground criminal hubs they are often portrayed to be.

Whether this will peak the attention of the law enforcement agencies, even more, we are yet to find out.

AlphaBay Users Are Getting 502 Error

502-bad-gateway-error

AlphaBay darknet market users are complaining that the site has developed loading issues; each time they try to access it a 502 error comes up.

The AlphaBay is returning a message that processing gateway met an internal error during access and thus cannot serve any request.

Further requesting visitors to refresh the page or try their luck much later.
AlphaBay could be upgrading their system, meaning that this is just a temporary error that might soon go away.

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AlphaBay users have raised concern about a 502 error message that’s affecting the site’s ability to load.
AlphaBay users have raised concern about a 502 error message that’s affecting the site’s ability to load.

The user of AlphaBay have been trying to enter the site all through the previous weekend, but only getting a 502 error every time they try to do so.

To make matters even more complicated, connection plug has not working for certain people. However, not all AlphaBay users are taking it in a bad way since some are optimistic that it could be something to do with the Thanksgiving holiday and its related promos.

They are urging those who are dissatisfied to practice a little bit more patience since such technical hitches happen, but it doesn’t mean AlphaBay is about to close all operations.

Moreover, there are users who say that they’ve logged on just fine, and maybe others can try using one of the available mirrors to see if they will get similar results.

502 bad gateway error
502 bad gateway error

For those encountering problems on the darknet market, it would be wise to withdraw coins as soon as possible for safety reasons.

Anything can happen and it is good to be prepared. Some AlphaBay users are raising concerns that the site was working just fine moments earlier, but as soon as they placed some coins in it the darknet portal started giving errors.

Such are the reasons why it is important to withdraw any remaining balance before it gets too late.

Nevertheless, for those who keep getting the error message, there seems to be no immediate solution.

Hackers Selling Access To a Huge IoT Botnet

hacker

Although it seems like it is a relatively new aspect of information technology, The Internet of Things (IoT) has been around in for many years now, albeit it’s under different names.

As the ability to connect and remotely manage a number of networked automated devices through the internet becomes more pervasive, key security issues about IoT are becoming more apparent.

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Hackers are advertising access to hacked IoT devices that could be used to take down websites.
Hackers are advertising access to hacked IoT devices that could be used to take down websites.

Recent events in the span of one week have once again put the security concerns of IoT devices on the spotlight.

According to a report documented by Forbes, black hat underground hackers are currently selling a large number of hacked IoT devices through the Alpha Bay Market.

These IoT devices are similar to the ones used for the Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS), this is the attack carried out on Friday 21st October that brought down sizeable parts of the internet.

Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of IoT devices were compromised by a malware called Mirai which was subsequently recruited into the botnet.

This malware scans the internet for IoT devices such as security cameras, routers, and DVRs with factory-default security measures then it will be use to unleash junk traffic on a targeted online service.

Its source code was released by its creators near the end of September.

This means that it is currently possible for nearly anyone with coding skills to orchestrate a similar attack.

Black hat underground hackers are currently selling a large number of hacked IoT devices through the Alpha Bay Market. || Screenshot from the forum where hackers are selling the botnet

This botnet being sold on Alpha Bay Market was effectively employed to target the Dyn domain name service (DNS).

The hacked devices sent requests to the Dyn DNS service that would essentially cause key websites including Amazon, Twitter, Netflix, Reddit, GitHub, and PayPal to be unavailable to a large majority of internet users in the US.

Many of the IoT devices that were part of Friday’s attack were DVRs and cameras that;s being manufactured by Hangzhou Xiongmai Technology, a Chinese electronics company.

The fact that the hackers are openly selling this IoT botnet through the Alpha Bay Market, this should definitely be a cause of worry.

Security firm RSA first got wind of the sale of the IoT botnet in early October.

F-Secure would later confirm that the underground platform being used to advertise the botnet was the dark web Alpha Bay Market on the Tor network.

While DDoS attacks have been the pain point for the internet since its inception, the direction that recent attacks are taking is concerning.

The IoT botnet being advertised on Alpha Bay Market is said to be capable of generating 1tbps of traffic.

For comparison purposes, the recently record worst DDoS attack generated a little over 1 tbps of traffic.

That attack was carried out earlier this month on OVH, a French hosting service provider.

According to the aforementioned Forbes report, 50,000 bots are going for $4,600 while 100,000 bots are $ 7,500.

The seller’s post was located in the Alpha Bay Market and it revealed that the botnet was created using the Mirai Malware.

Since IoT devices are available in bulk.

There remains the possibility of more botnets being created in the near future.

Whatever the case maybe, this is bound to revamp the debate on the proper implementation of internet security.

As it has currently been pointed out that security regarding IoT devices can be improved by both the IoT device manufacturers and the end users.

Security Firm, Flashpoint stated that one of the problems with many IoT devices is vulnerability via the Telnet and SSH communication services.

These are command line interface is based on text that enable remote connection to the device.

On the other hand it can be accessed through command prompt that enables attackers to determine usernames and passwords.

According to Hangzhou Xiongmai Technology, this feature was turned off in September 2015.

The IoT devices breach was still possible in part due to end users still running the firmware developed before the company released the patches to prevent such attacks.

This is something that black hat hackers who operates on dark net platforms including Alpha Bay Market are well aware of.

An internet scan was conducted on October 6th which reveals that a large number of IoT devices were still running under the vulnerable firmware.

The websites that were affected by last Friday’s DDoS attack could have been avoided had they implemented more internet security measures.

Although they can be difficult to mitigate, enlisting the services of secondary back DNS providers could have made it difficult for the Alpha Bay Market hackers.

Until an industry security association is formulated and the proper standards on the security of IoT devices are widely adopted, they still remain dangerous considering that it’s still on sale, and it could be sold to anyone in the Alpha Bay Market.

Temporary Downtime on AlphaBay Market

Alert

Alpha Bay Market had been offline for the last few days sending some people into panic mode. After having problems logging in, one trader got a message from the Darknet Market saying that the problem would last only for just 5 minutes. Despite this assurance, the downtime exceeded its allotted duration making some individuals question whether AB was actually planning an exit scam.

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Alert
AlphaBay Market recently experienced a temporary downtime

Nevertheless, some traders were more optimistic, they were asking the complainants to be more patient because Alpha Bay market was probably doing a simple maintenance job. But then again, the timing was really inconvenient for most people. In addition to that, it emerged that some parts of the Dark Web site are occasionally experiencing issues with connectivity. In such cases, it was necessary to switch to another approved Darknet Market link in order to resolve the problem.

For other users, it seems that the PGP code is not working, that is why it’s difficult for vendors to open new accounts on Alpha Bay. Similarly, other users complained of not being able to process their orders, despite meeting all the necessary pre-requisites. This made it difficult for vendors to process orders and keep track on their orders that had already been shipped out. Sending direct messages to traders via Dark Web is not working as well.

Alpha Bay market users are complaining that the site is experiencing temporary downtimes; some have even mentioned that they may be planning an exit scam.

The PGP code was becoming a headache for most users because they are encountering failure. This includes those who tried using it in opening new accounts. The issue was far worse for those seeking to join Alpha Bay for the first time. Nevertheless, there were those who proposed using TAILS software as the preferred built-in version for Alpha Bay. But still, others warned that it was impossible for this to work, especially for those who were opening accounts for the first time. In short, they advised that users should do more online research about the temporary downtime in order to get a better understanding of what’s happening.

Oasis Gone Offline – AlphaBay Conducted Software Upgrade for Monero

alphabay-feature

Owing to the recent disappearance of Oasis in what is speculated to be an exit scam, Monero’s journey to the top has been abruptly cut short, and the cryptocurrency just might have to go back to the drawing board.

The Oasis Market was the first darknet market to accept Monero as a method of payment before AlphaBay Market eventually integrated the cryptocurrency, leading to a steady rise in its value.

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Temporary Downtime of MyMonero Wallet

monero-e-wallet
monero e-wallet is temporary down

MyMonero, the web wallet for Monero, became unresponsive for a few days, and users reportedly were unable to withdraw funds.

The wallet which is run by XMR developer FluffyPony remained unresponsive as theories concerning the alleged exit scam became the topic of discussion on Reddit forums.

Premeditated Exit Scam

A Reddit user HolladsHerbs speculated that Oasis’s move to integrate Monero as a method of payment was self-serving seeing as they only wanted to pump up the value of the cryptocurrency in order to make a bigger profit when they made off with everyone’s money.

Oasis was allegedly running a Pump&Dump™ game where they bought large amounts of Monero shortly before they went offline.

Compared to the 150 bitcoins that were on the website at the time it went offline, the value of the Monero currency that went missing with the site’s disappearance possibly was much more.

AlphaBay Market Downtime Due to Software Upgrade

AlphaBay Market users were subjected to a scare shortly after the exit of Oasis when Monero services on the marketplace became unresponsive.

According to threads posted on Reddit, several users could not withdraw funds and efforts to get in touch with support proved futile.

AlphaBay later responded saying that they had solved the issue and that the unresponsiveness in the Monero transactions was due to an ongoing software upgrade.

Monero’s rise to recognition has been directly attributed to the AlphaBay Market integration of the cryptocurrency.

Monero’s Vulnerabilities Have Cost it Half Its Market Price

monero is attacked
monero is attacked

MyMonero has been the victim of repeated attacks which have resulted in the theft of millions of dollars worth of digital currency this year alone.

As it stands, it is still not clear whether the security vulnerabilities stem from the wallet itself or compromised user machines.

MyMonero.co, a fake site, pointed out that the vulnerabilities were present in the wallet itself although the XMR developer, FluffyPony, had nothing to do with it.

To the AlphaBay Market users, Monero provided financial anonymity over all other aspects, and this was a major reason why the digital currency took root so fast in the marketplace.

The privacy-oriented currency’s focus on providing anonymity over all other aspects was, however, the beginning of its decline. This and the fact that Monero only had one operational web wallet gradually led to a bubble which eventually popped, leaving XMR’s initial price down by about 50%.

The fall of Oasis has had a heavy negative impact on Monero’s progress as it has effectively cut off half of its ties to the dark web and wiped off most of progress the cryptocurrency had made towards achieving the same recognition as Bitcoin.

Nevertheless, it is touted that individuals with intricate knowledge on currency speculation will retain more or less the same standing towards the XMR despite the recent turn of events which have led to a significant drop in the price of Monero.

AlphaBay under Suspicion

Bloggers warned users to keep away from AlphaBay for a while especially after the short radio silence. Users are finding the “technical issues” pretext hard to bite and believe that AlphaBay Market may have been up to something.

alphabaylogo

Some of the speculations suggest that AlphaBay Market may have been compromised by law enforcement and is now in the process of trying to take down unsuspecting users before they catch on.

Personally, I wouldn’t pay much attention to these “bloggers.” They are just looking for headlines and click bait. Just make sure you take precautions to hide your identity.

Monero Deemed Untrustworthy

On the topic of Monero, the consensus is that AlphaBay Market users should stick to the tried and tested Bitcoin and leave the highly vulnerable Monero to sort out its issues first.

The repeated failure of the MyMonero wallet has led to its portrayal as nothing but an elaborate scam whose main selling point takes advantage of Bitcoin’s biggest weakness.

The fact that users do not generate the private keys to their transactions or even have access to the blockchains for verification has been used to paint Monero as a risky venture that dark web market users should generally avoid.

Hacked AlphaBay User’s Account Led to the Discovery of Philadelphia Ransomware

philadelphia-the-ransomware-is-more-dangerous-than-the-city

A security researcher from Emsisoft, Fabian Wosar, recently revealed that he had discovered a new decrypter that could unlock files closed by the Philadelphia ransomware. This malware is relatively new and was developed by the same person who created the Stampado ransomware.

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How the Philadelphia Ransomware Encrypts a Victim's Files.
How the Philadelphia Ransomware Encrypts a Victim’s Files.

Like many other ransomware software currently in circulation on the dark web, Philadelphia targets encrypted files and removable drives based on a list of sanctioned files extensions, before finally uploading its ransom message.

Wosar had earlier released another free decryption tool for Stampado, but since the two programs are related with both being coded in AutoIT scripting language, he was able to unravel Philadelphia’s method of operation and create a fully functional decrypter before it could cause any damage.

Hacked Alpha Bay Market account – discovery of Philadelphia

A hacked Alpha Bay Market account had earlier led to the discovery of Philadelphia; news about its existence first came to light on September 7th, when an online user called Arslan0708 posted a chat message between a possible hacker, SkrillGuide2015, and Philadelphia’s developer known as The Rainmaker.

Arslan0708 says that he cracked a machine owned by an Alpha Bay Market user, and was able to remotely access a Jabber/XMPP chat between the two parties.

Online Darknet Market AlphaBay Beefs Up Online Security Protocols
Online Darknet Market AlphaBay Beefs Up Online Security Protocols

Since this activity was illegal, the individual refused to reveal any further details, but his hacking of the Alpha Bay Market account unraveled the upcoming ransomware threat which later turned out to be Philadelphia.

During the conversation on the Alpha Bay Market, The Rainmaker was discussing a new ransomware file he had just finished creating and was now selling it for $400.

Previously, he had sold the first ransomware, Stampado, at a much lower rate of $39.

The ransomware makes use of a new C&C communications system; it works through bridges or proxies that report back to the main server.

Nevertheless, founder of Bleeping Computer and malware analyst, Lawrence Abrams, identified certain problems with Philadelphia’s implementation of the Bridges system.

He says that unless the bridges are stored on anonymous networks such as Tor, they are likely to be discovered and brought down pretty quick.

However, since these bridges are hardwired inside the Philadelphia system code and cannot be retrieved automatically, if these servers are disabled then it leaves victims in a bad situation of inability to pay the ransom and decrypt their files.

Another feature that’s worth highlighting about this ransomware is the existence of a “Mercy” button; hackers can use it to decrypt the victim’s files without first requiring a ransom.

Recently, security researchers discovered an email spam that was delivering an overdue payment message from Brazil’s Finance Ministry; it was infected with Philadelphia.

You can identify a Philadelphia ransomware by the long random names found on their encrypted files and .locked extensions.

The ransomware requests for only 0.3 BTC from the victims, which is around $210.

Beware that Philadelphia can delete a certain number of files from infected computers, particularly if the victim delays on paying the ransom.

Once a machine has been infected, the victim should decide quickly whether they want to pay the ransom or download Fabian Wosar’s decrypter.

If they take too much time before decrypting, a huge portion of their files will go missing.

Philadelphia operates differently from other ransomware; however, its operations rely mostly on bridges which have the capacity to infiltrated shared networks.

It’s a PHP script that makes use of its own database, no MySQL. They can store the user’s keys, verify payments and even show the victim’s data on the headquarters server safely.

They can also be hosted on all types of servers, including those that have been hacked, shared hosting networks, dedicated and VPS servers amongst others.

To infect an unsuspecting victim, the hacker who buys a Philadelphia license for $400 must first install PHP scripts for the bridges found on their attack sites.

Additionally, they need to put up Philadelphia Headquarters program onto their machine. This control panel allows them to access every bridge on their network, which ultimately gathers random information about the victims and also records encryption key.

Nevertheless, the ransomware claims that it innovates over other crypto-malware samples already in existence, by auto-detecting when victims are making bitcoin payments.

AlphaBay Also Offers Attraction Tickets and Luxury Goods

tickets

Developments in Information Technology (IT) have definitely led to unprecedented changes in the way business is conducted over the last two decades.

While the internet has resulted in great improvements in commerce, it has also brought with it some negative aspects.

One key area is the ever growing influence being exerted by online black marketplaces on the so-called dark web.

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luxury-goods
AlphaBay also has a huge selection of physical luxury goods.

Darknet sites are well-known to be complacent in real-world crime including vending drugs, weapons, pornography, and counterfeit items.

These and other reasons have forced academics, policy makers, and law enforcement agencies to reassess the effects of IT on societal issues today.

However, it is important to note that darknet vendors do not exclusively deal in explicitly illegal items as most people think. A considerable number of them including AlphaBay also market supposedly legal goods and services.

The typical items on sale on any reputable dark web marketplace include drugs, weapons, stolen personal data such as credit card information, and other non-legit wares sold under the cover of anonymity provided by the numerous online cloaking methods.

A dinner reservation is the last thing you would expect when browsing through AlphaBay.

The elaborately listed reservation included screenshot and a fluent description that gave the prospective buyer a peek into the luxurious experience offered at a 5-star establishment in London known as The Shard.

The reservations which were originally priced at 110 Euros were going for only $50.

In another separate but similarly peculiar listing, another vendor was advertising the sale of Disneyland and Hollywood’s Universal Studios tickets.

Despite the lightly detailed listing, over 20 people have apparently made purchases from the vendor since October 2015.

The string of luxury packages was seemingly endless as another listing advertised a flight and hotel package for the meager price of $500, of which 17 buyers were all too willing to cash in on.

Not many had been aware of this seemingly softer side of the darknet markets, although AlphaBay is a prime example of how the practice has been going on longer than most of us know.

ALPHABAY OPERATIONS

alphabay-operation
AlphaBay is what one would consider a classic marketplace-type website.

AlphaBay was launched officially on the 22nd of December 2014.

Since then, it has grown steadily to become one of the most popular and largest darknet markets today.

AlphaBay operates on the Tor network and employs Bitcoin as the major currency.

Commenters say that the site’s popularity may be a result of AlphaBay’s up-to-date new features category. AlphaBay is constantly upgrading and diversifying their listings.

Recent online reviews and user data suggests that people are actually taking advantage of these listings.

Going by the publicly posted sales records, it looks like the voucher for the London hotel already found a buyer.

Also included on listings on AlphaBay are a collection of luxury goods including Burberry and other designer handbags, Fitbits and, Seiko watches.

NOT ALWAYS LEGIT

Although some of these items offered on darknet sites like AlphaBay are not often associated with underground markets, internet users should not assume that they were obtained lawfully or are authentic products.

AlphaBay has been known to list stolen credit card information.

As such, it is definitely possible that some of the luxury items featured on the listing were obtained through carding.

Carding is purchasing goods and services through stolen credit cards.

Several vendors on AlphaBay have explicitly indicated that the attraction tickets on the listings were carded.

Therefore, depending on the source of specific vendors, there is no conclusive guarantee that the buyers actually get original luxury items.

Even in the cases where they do, there is still a chance that the items delivered to them are stolen or invalid goods.

For instance, Disneyland got wind of the E-tickets being listed on AlphaBay and implemented extra security measures effectively canceling unauthentic ones.

The exact means by which vendors acquire such items is obviously difficult to ascertain.

The current evidence from forum conversations and anecdotes suggests that they either source from offline dealers or use other darknet markets to buy these goods in bulk.

The vendors then resell it in small more profitable quantities.

The dark web has always been a hot-button issue, and these recent reports of diversification of goods and services will definitely not sit well with those strongly against these corners of the internet.

AlphaBay Customer Arrested After Buying Explosives

alphabay-customer-arrested

Texas-based Cary Lee Ogborn was arrested for allegedly purchasing explosives from Alpha Bay with the intent to use them maliciously.

The 50-year old was the target of an FBI trap set in Alpha Bay after he unknowingly set up a buy with an OCE (Online Covert Employee) of the FBI.

The undercover agent posed as an Alpha Bay explosives dealer from a different country – a front that was used to perfection to lure in the unsuspecting Ogborn.

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Sheer Luck

Ogborn’s luck had seemingly run out as the first seller he had contacted on Alpha Bay turned out to be an FBI agent.

An incriminating conversation ensued between the two where Ogborn revealed that his reasons for buying the explosives were not malicious – he was only looking to send a message.

The undercover FBI agent had then tactfully probed Ogborn to reveal more information about the nature of his operation and Ogborn had been all too willing to go into the details with the purported Alpha Bay vendor.

He was seeking to buy a grenade and a stick of dynamite – the former to create a diversion and the latter to cause the damage. He intended to lure out his target by blowing up his truck before proceeding to blow up his house.

Sealed the Deal

Over the span of a fortnight, the two Alpha Bay users managed to strike a deal which involved a package that included a grenade, a stick of dynamite and a detonator.

Once the bitcoins had been transferred to the OCE posing as an Alpha Bay explosives seller, a dummy package was assembled and sent to Ogborn.

The package consisted of toy components fashioned to look like the real deal. A US postal service tracking number was slapped on the package.

The FBI then proceeded to unmask Ogborn (who went by the pseudonym “boatmanstv” on Alpha Bay) and soon discovered that he drove what had been described as a “dark-colored” Chevrolet Corvette. Ogborn also had a business registered under his name.

Ogborn was arrested on September 16, moments after retrieving and opening the package inside his boat garage.

Dark Web Still Thrives

behind-bars
It wasn’t long before the FBI obtained enough information to know exactly what Ogborn was driving

This was a clear indication that despite the crippling demise of Silk Road, dark web sites such as Alpha Bay still thrive in the sale of illegal items. Ogbon’s capture, however, was the result of shoddy opsec.

Ogborn was apparently too content with the anonymity offered by Tor. He made his biggest blunder when he submitted an Outlook email to the undercover FBI agent to facilitate communication outside of Alpha Bay.

Outlook is a Microsoft service and as such, is under policy required to comply with the authorities.

It wasn’t long before the FBI obtained enough information to know exactly what Ogborn was driving when he personally retrieved the package from the post office.

Ogborn’s sloppy antics went as far as May 2014 when he posted a clear picture of his then passport which he acquired in preparation for a trip to Belize.

handcuffs
Ogborn could face up to 10 years in prison

Following his imprisonment for the illegal possession of an AR-15 assault, the 50-year-old went on Facebook to express his joy at finally being free and being able to go back to what he did.

Ogborn could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 if convicted for the possession of explosive material.

 

AlphaBay Market Is Having Server Issues, Users Complain

AlphaBay

AlphaBay Market has been witnessing major server interruptions that have led some people to question whether it’s actually shutting down, one user said that he placed $60 into the marketplace before it developed problems and is hoping they aren’t trying an exit scam.

He was not alone in expressing this concern; others too reiterated the same message.

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AlphaBay
Alpha Bay does basic maintenance for not loading properly, and the buy button was faulty

A user commented that he hoped AlphaBay Market was just doing basic maintenance, in order to rectify a problem where pages were not loading properly, and the buy button was faulty.

Others disclosed that they were caught by surprise, with the downtime causing major inconveniences for them. The site was working fine for these people just a few minutes before it went down.

Another user had purchased items from AlphaBay Market for the first time after a full month absence but is now worried that his order may not reach him considering what’s happening with the server.

He even wonders whether or not the package was dispatched to him by the seller in the first place.

Those who tried to log in after AlphaBay Market went down were unsuccessful, no matter how many times they attempted to do so.

Even after typing in password and captcha information correctly, it still kept reading “authentication failed” and there was nothing anyone could do.

A couple of users also raised concern that their accounts might have been phished, as the signs were similar to those of phishing attacks.

Further saying, unless a fake alternate URL had been used during login then there was no other reason why this issue persists.

This group of disgruntled persons is adamant that the downtime isn’t caused by server issues, taking into account that there are those who were able to create new accounts and log in successfully during this period. Such individuals complain that they can only hope for the worst since nothing else seems to make sense now.

Despite all these developments, there’s still no reliable way of communicating with the moderators, who largely remain uncommitted to giving solid reasons on what is really happening.

AlphaBay-Drugs
AlphaBay only loading parts of listings, not showing buy button or the postage drop down menu.

For the lucky few still able to log in, AlphaBay Market is slow and only loads certain parts of listings, not showing any postage drop down menu like it used to in the past.

Transferring coins to the site is also becoming a risky business, no one is guaranteed of next day delivery. Probably, the previous website code was altered, and they are now working on fixing this issue.

It could also be that AB is targeting certain individuals for their own ulterior motives, considering that some accounts can log in without any hindrances while others are refused access no matter how many times they attempt logging in.

Though most users remain skeptical as to AB’s real intention on going offline, still there are those who are optimistic that things would soon be fine.

The proponents are urging people to be patient since AlphaBay Market has proven to be reliable in the past, and it is in business for the long run.

anonymous

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