Death Pill Disguised As Other Drugs

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dangerous-diet-pillsReports indicate that fentanyl is being sold disguised as other drugs and this has resulted in a string of overdose cases in the U.S. Authorities have also observed that prescription drugs as well as opiates provided by illegal sources are all laced with fentanyl, which is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

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Reports also point out that fentanyl nasal sprays, U-47700 (a research opiate) and geltabs are available on the darknet market, Alpha Bay Market, in Pez candies form. However, someone called Trappy_Pandora, who manages the public relations for the Alpha Bay Market, said that thedarknet market does not entertain vendors who want to sell Xanax cut with fentanyl.

In November last year, a man who sold selling Xanax with traces of fentanyl was arrested in California after a couple of his clients died due to overdose. Last month, a woman in Maryland passed out after she took what she believed was Xanax that she had purchased from illegal sources. In April, Florida authorities identified shipments of fake Xanax pills that contained fentanyl. In fact, authorities have seized shipments containing professional-grade fentanyl pills across America. Cases of overdosing were reported from California after users took fentanyl believing it to be Norco, which is a less powerful prescription pain medication.

Though fentanyl is often sold, disguising it as something else for facilitating distribution, it is not clear as to why drug suppliers tend to mix fentanyl with Xanax, especially when the ingredients required to make Xanax are cheaper compared to those required for making fentanyl. According to Melvin Patterson, a spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration, fentanyl is a marketing tactic employed by sellers to quickly get new customers.

comp-3045539-pillsTrappy_Pandora of Alpha Bay Market reportedly wrote on a thread on Reddit that people die because of vendors passing fentanyl as something else other than fentanyl. He believes that fentanyl got into Xanax supplies either because of poor management of drug stashes or by accident. He added that allowing all of the customers is not an economically viable proposition. According to him, Alpha Bay Market does not offer any services to those who are selling Xanax that has fentanyl.

The drug prevention supervisor, Linda Auerback, is doubtful if counterfeit Xanax is an accident. According to her, some people participating in her outreach programs refer to it as the “killer pill.” They seek out these pills on purpose. On the other hand, some others get to use the pills purely by mistake.

Frequently, doctors prescribe Xanax with opiates to patients who struggle with pain and experience difficulty in sleeping. It is a known fact that recreational users purposely mix these two substances in order to experience a twist to the high they usually experience. Experts say that the mixture accelerates respiratory depression and can be deadly. Therefore, they are advocating establishment of drug checking facilities for opioid and pill suppliers and users, similar to those set up in the 1990s for verifying MDMA’s composition.

According to epidemiologist Michael Gilbert who specializes in harm reduction, the “death pill” is not the only product available on the market that confuses people. Additionally, he noted that the way in which people take opiates is also quickly changing.

AlphaBay Has Updated Its Privacy Policy

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Alpha Bay ranks to be the most established and biggest darknet market operating on the Tor network today. While other darknet market admins were wreaking an exit scam, the booming dark web marketplace has exhibited a steady growth since late 2014. Since its launch, the Alpha Bay dark web marketplace has been one of the most reputable and well-maintained markets around, and doesn’t fall short either when it comes to updating its privacy policy.

==> Click here for the AlphaBay Guide and AlphaBay URL <==

Alpha Bay is the first market to ever publish one, which clarifies its policies on data retention to all users- sellers or buyers, for added security in safely accessing and purchasing goods and services offer on the site.

Updated Alpha Bay Privacy Policy

The darknet market puts a strong emphasis on users’ security and implements the best possible measures to effectively mitigate risks linked to data leaks, server seizures, and infiltration of account.

Various sections have been detailed on Alpha Bay’s privacy Policy page as to how user’s information is kept, only to be eventually hard deleted and unrecoverable.

Note that Alpha Bay does not keep any trace of information that’s been deleted; neither do they keep records of user movement whereby all access logs show IP 127.0.0.1.

User Accounts

User accounts are kept indefinitely and can’t be deleted. While deleting an account is not an option, it’s possible to edit your profile, including your password, and contact information. This would render previous versions unrecoverable since it would be overwritten in the Alpha Bay database, which holds no records of any profile or PIN edits.

Private Messages

Users’private messages sent by are kept indefinitely by default, but if both users leave their conversation or delete their copy, then the entire conversation will be hard deleted and impossible to recover, without any trace left and no analysis whatsoever that can prove it even existed.

API

Alpha Bay does not keep track of API calls, nor records or deleted keys, so there’s no way to find out if such request was made through the site or through API.

Notifications

Whether they are read or not, notifications are set to be deleted after 14 days, while those sent over Jabber are kept only for 3 days.

Support Tickets

Message content are kept for 15 days, though the support ticket title, username and date are permanently retained.

Staff protection

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To access order notes or take charge over a dispute, staff members must have the approval of administration. This keeps a rogue staff member fromscrapingsale data and use it for malicious purposes.A staff member can read the order notes or take over a dispute after an administrator allows access to a staff member to a particular sale number.

Updates were also published for the, Autoshop Data, Sale & Order Data, Deposit and Withdrawal Information, Favorites/Blacklists, Feedback, Listings, and OTPs. The enhanced privacy and increased security levels and admin’s constant updates makes Alpha Bay distinctive among its competitors.

Vendor is Scamming People On AlphaBay

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Alphabay-and-Nucleus-MarketWith increased focus on darknet markets following the closure of Nucleus Market, there’s been a lot of debate as to which darknet site is the most popular right now. While most people prefer using AlphaBay Market rather than the rest, their subreddit thread has recently been filled with complaints about illegal deals and sc ams targeting bitcoin users.

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The main culprit on AlphaBay Market has been an individual with the account name ManWithAXan. Approximately a week ago, he seemed legit having no negative comments on his page and all feedbacks being positive. But lately things have started to change and now he has several bad reviews, coming from people claiming to have been conned by him. Those who have placed orders with this AlphaBay Market vendor are still waiting for their shipment to arrive, though it’s unlikely to happen. Just a few days ago the same user reportedly offered somebody a free product sample, but on another different thread. He was probably just baiting them to place a much larger order.

ManWithAXan has been bragging about generating more than 30k in profits within 2 months only. However, it’s now clear that all his money is not legit. Some people have even claimed that he’s attempting an exit scam, which is characterized by no package being sent and no communication from the vendor as well. The trader is actively accepting orders but not fulfilling them. Sometimes he replies buyers through online text message when they request for more details about their orders, but still fails to fulfill them. Certain AlphaBay Market users are already placing blame on the site’s admin, wondering why this vendor is still operational despite having being exposed by disgruntled buyers.

There are several darknet markets currently available to users; however, not all of them are trustworthy. Therefore, any kind of live trade website must ensure that buyers and traders are well protected. Especially when dealing with bitcoins as the main source of payment. Since cryptocurrencies cannot be charged back after a transaction has been made, the risk of falling prey to scam artists is very real.

AlphaBay Market is currently the leading darknet market, though it might just be a matter of time until such platforms are completely shut down by cops. A short while ago, the Norwegian police force assembled a special unit to focus on Darknet Market Sites.

reddit-logoWhen searching through AlphaBay’s subreddit, it’s easy to identify what types of products they sell on the platform. Most of the feedback and comments revolve around drug deals, which are facilitated by the anonymity of the dark web. Given the open nature of these platforms and also lack of oversight, it’s easy to buy or sell anything to anybody across the world. This concept of trading attracts many bitcoin users from different walks of life, but that doesn’t mean they are totally safe from fraudsters. Several buyers have complained of getting scammed, with one Reddit user in particular pointing out that he spent close to 1,200 EUR in BTC and received nothing in return. The excessive amount of negative comments targeting AlphaBay Market sellers has taken a worrying trend, it’s now up to the admin to do something and save face for the site.

Unencrypted Messages on AlphaBay Exposed

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Recently, AlphaBay launched a new API feature allowing subscribers to retrieve certain information from their accounts without having to login. However, a bug was also released at about the same time giving random users the ability to obtain other people’s private messages. Some containing sensitive details like shipping address, and even internal communications between AlphaBay staff.

==> Click here for the AlphaBay Guide and AlphaBay URL <==

reddit_log-100011890-large (1)A Reddit user, aboutthednm, first raised the issue on Wednesday 27th Aprilafter he noticed peculiar happenings on his AlphaBay account. After activating the API program, he queried his own messages only to get texts from someone else instead. He then published several alleged screenshots of the private chats, some involving conversations between dealers and buyers. Aboutthednm also said he saw physical addresses in a few of the communications, since users hadn’t properly encrypted their online messages, as is highly advisable when ordering items on darkweb sites like AlphaBay. He also accessed confidential details of Netflix, PayPal and adult site accounts, which are usually sold on dark web sites and then delivered via private messages.

Another Reddit user by the name of dnmThief also claimed he had actively exploited the bug, he wrote that it’s easy to view messages of unsuspecting AlphaBay users by simply changing their message id. dnmThief claimed to have obtained personal details belonging to more than 15 different users.

encryption-on-paper-with-keyNevertheless, it’s still possible to safeguard your AlphaBay account by installing PGP encryption system. It makes use of special keys to lock and encode data so that only the owner has authorization. These codes are unique and it allows owners to operate only specific locks.

The PGP system is based on a public-key cryptography sequence where each AlphaBay account holder has a private key. Specific key names indicate their main purpose. While public keys can easily be shared with others, private ones must be kept secret for confidentiality purposes. In terms of functionality, a public key is designed to encrypt data (locking) while private keys decrypt them (unlocking).

AB’s new API function allows people to perform various tasks such as reading messages, sending new ones, withdrawal of funds, checking balance as well as status of their orders/sales. While the bug can be used to steal chat information, it still doesn’t allow for direct theft of bitcoins since withdrawals require a 6-digit PIN password. Currently, AlphaBay has more than 91,000 drug listings and 18,000 others for fraud related products.

The marketplace’s affiliated Reddit account, alphabaysupport, confirmed this malware’s existence in a post,but also said that they were willing to pay user “aboutthednm” a bounty for discovering the phishing bug. AlphaBay apologized for the security breach and reminded users that only 1.5% of the total messages had been affected, which translates to about 13,500. However, message screenshots sent by aboutthednm show that the number is much higher at 77,232.

AlphaBay server logs indicate that just a single API key was employed to steal the data; also, only 1or 2 people had direct access to the information. This bug was online for approximately 6hrs. but got fixed instantly upon its unmasking. Management confirmed that aboutthednm was awarded a 5-figure sum for discovering the malware; they also promised AlphaBay users such a thing will never happen again in the future as they have now tightened their security. Furthermore, admin said it was only old messages which had been affected and people need not to panic. Sale and item order details still remained private as far as they are concerned. Despite these explanations, some AlphaBay users are still skeptical, raising concerns that law enforcement agencies might have exploited this vulnerability to access several messages.

AlphaBay Market Downtime For Temporary Upgrade

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alpha-bay-market (2)AlphaBay Market recently experienced a temporary downtime after admin announced that they were doing upgrades. Following this announcement, some people were quick to applaud the site for their good communication but others were not happy.

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They complained that AlphaBay Market was still reading “Temporary Upgrade. Expected Downtime 30 Minutes,” well over 1hr. after the expected period had elapsed. Moreover, from emerging online trends it seemed like the site was experiencing difficulties even 24hrs. before the statement was made. While such comments usually come out as anything considering the number of sites that have already gone down.

Some users were more understanding, saying that even though they could not access their orders when AlphaBay Market went down,there was still hope that things were okay and AlphaBay Market was only doing a routine maintenance with the site expected to be back in just a short while. Apparently, the darknet site had embarked on upgrading their system so as to handle the high influx of customers coming from Nucleus after the latter went offline in a suspected exit scam.

Much earlier, a similar downtime had affected Agora, Black Bank and Abraxas which were shut down indefinitely following periods of absence. While it’s true that darkweb has a few unscrupulous players, it’s also unlikely that AlphaBay Market would visibly place a maintenance screen on their site when they don’t mean their words. If they wanted to quit business they would just switch off their server without giving any prior warnings.

While some people said that they lost certain amounts of bitcoins from previous phishing attempts, it later emerged they weren’t being honest since their accounts were not even 2FA enabled. Others tried depositing BTC to online accounts older than 7 days which is not advisable. There are those who also didn’t bookmark or save the actual links. During this time, keen users could make their withdrawals uninterruptedly and would generate a lot more bitcoins daily than those investing $100 or more. Hence, there was no need to think that this site was planning a phishing scam on users during the downtime; sometimes people only raise false alarms with no basis at all.

AlphaBay Market did the upgrades to help the site run smoother, and also keep account holders safe from hackers who are always trying to infiltrate people’s accounts. Nevertheless, some individuals were not happy with these developments, saying that they deposited BTC before maintenance was announced and it was still not showing in their accounts. Others put in colossal sums worth over $1000 only for this to happen, it occurred before they could even check if the amount had been debited. It was bad timing but the users were still hoping for the best.

Things got even bleaker for Nucleus refugees who were looking to start afresh at AlphaBay Market, nucleus has been out for close to 2 weeks and vendors still don’t know what the future holds for them. Though it seems less likely to come back with each passing day since there’s been no message posted by Nucleus admin.

On the other hand, when AB said they’ll go off for 30 minutes citing maintenance, it was posted all over their site as well as alternative links and forum pages. It’s quite normal for websites to undergo temporary downtime due to scheduled upgrades, including online stores, banking apps and so forth. Some even take longer than what AlphaBay Market announced on their site. In such cases, one user commented that he would not worry about a thing until after 4hrs. had elapsed, only then can he start to panic. But this explanation didn’t go well with a couple of users, who instead thought that the darknet site was only putting the message up to tumble/trade coins. Whilst in the meantime stopping website trackers from mentioning that the portal is down. All being said, such are the kind of risks investors should expect when doing illegal trade on the darkweb. Vendors must always be prepared for anything that may happen. The site came back on a few hours later and now everything is okay.

AlphaBay As A Coin Tumbler

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AlphaBay has announced that they are now offering coin tumbler services at conversion rates lower than what’s currently available in the market. Those who use transaction programs that charge up to 3% of the overall sum will find this new service very useful, it’s a whole lot cheaper at only 0.001BTC per withdrawal. This rate is fixed no matter what amount one is sending.

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-1x-1Through their unique obfuscation technology, the AlphaBay system ensures that blockchain analysis checkups can’t prove your bitcoins come directly from the site, for anonymity and security purposes. Since tumbling isn’t considered illegal by law and also no paper trails are left behind after a transaction has been done, AlphaBay customers are assured of total confidentiality when handling their bitcoins. Tumbling is an easy and more convenient way of enjoying financial privacy than other conventional methods that are there today.

Apart from charging a fixed minimal amount, AlphaBay also allows users to add 5 different addresses for each withdrawal made. Transactions are randomly split across these accounts along with an optional delay mode in sending, which lasts up to 24hrs. Making a bitcoin deposit and withdrawing afterwards is now a safe way to tumble coins and remove the link pointing towards your source of funds, all thanks to AlphaBay.

Tumbling, also known as mixing of coins, is a popular technique for erasing traces of your bitcoin income coming from different online activities. Using this technology, you can easily create new layers of security and privacy on your virtual operations while blocking all attempts to infiltrate them. Regardless of your activities on the deep web, it’s recommendable to use tumblers such as that of AlphaBay to hide bitcoin transactions and build flawless plausible deniability.

Unlike other darknet markets, AlphaBay has invested many hours of research, testing and configurations targeting site code and infrastructure, ultimately coming up with their own foolproof obfuscation technology developed from scratch. It allows for true mixing of virtual currency while also giving users multiple sending options to choose from. After paying the small withdrawal fee of 0.001BTC, there are no other additional charges for tumbling at AlphaBay.

bitcoin-codeAlphaBay is currently the largest marketplace dark web with a huge user-base that makes it a target for hackers, as well as financial institutions which often employ researchers to identify hot wallets,while also analyzing site information to disrupt the existing business networks. By combining everyone’s bitcoins and thoroughly shuffling them together using obfuscation technology, AlphaBay creates a decent layer of privacy in terms of deposits and withdrawals.

Nevertheless, the program only works at full potential when there are several users making deposits/withdrawals. This makes tracking of individual BTC transactions harder since there are many people involved. Hence, by using AlphaBay for making purchases/vending, you’ll generally contribute to the privacy and security of everyone else.

AlphaBay is a darknet site that deals in different items and services. Since it first opened market for darkweb users, the site has steadily grown in size and now boasts more than 20,000 listings on its sales page. You can only access it through a Tor browser which alters IP address via a unique series of “nodes.” The browser allows users to access darknet markets like AlphaBay.

AlphaBay “Shansa” Busted On Drug Sales

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cocaine1-300x200The Bundeskriminalamt apprehended a Viennese man (he has not been named by authorities till now) on October 13, 2015, according to reports. The reports also indicate that the authorities seized illegal substances including 1 kg. of ecstasy, 2.8 kg. of amphetamines, LSD blotters, cocaine and a number of research drugs from the house of the 31-year-old Alpha Bay Market vendor. Additionally, the police found illegal guides on his computer and a tableting machine, which, according to them, could be made use of in the production of speed pills and ecstasy. In the dark web, this vendor was widely known by the name Shansa.

The authorities found out that Shansa, the Alpha Bay vendor, carried out as many as 182 drug sales transactions internationally. He sold illegal substances not only in Europe and the United States, but also in Australia and even in India. According to authorities, he also executed 73 domestic illegal substance sale transactions with the buyers from Austria. In a period of just about five months, the darknet market vendor was able to make as much as 15,000 Euro through the sale of illegal substances, according to a report published by the law enforcement authorities.

Alpha Bay Market

Last year, Alpha Bay Market had reported that the number of users on their website had hit the 200,000 mark. The admin of the darknet marketplace had conveyed this news through a post published on the forums. The admin had also thanked the users, on behalf of all of the site’sstaff, the users for their continued support, faith and effort in shaping up their website up as a top-grade online black market.

The site experienced tremendous growth and became one of the biggest darknet black market operators after Agora was closed down in 2015. Alpha Bay introduced several updates to their website and added a range of functionalities in order to maintain their status in the dark web. And through ScamWatch, Alpha Bay was able to stop most of the vendor exit scams, ban many scammers and also offer help to victims by processing their refund requests using the balance funds available in the accounts of banned vendors.
alpha-bay-market-1Alpha Bay experienced a DDoS attack in December last year and as part of their mitigation effort they introduced additional changes, including UI upgrade and, most importantly, the PGP-signed deposit address upgrade, which is meant to handle the dreaded onion cloner phishing scams. They also advised users that they verify the PGP signatures of their deposit addresses against the market PGP key available on the website’s “Contact” page.

In February 2016, Alpha Bay introduced several improvements to their wallets and withdrawal systems with a view to enhance the anonymity of the users of their marketplace. This was followed with the introduction of two-factor authentication (2FA) in March 2016 in order to ensure more security to user accounts. 2FA requires login attempts to be cleared by a user by providing another piece of information, for example, a code sent to their mobile number. This enables Alpha Bay to segregate genuine and not-so-genuine logins attempts.

Alpha Bay Market, which came into existence after the closure of Silk Road 2.0, is an online black market that operates on the Tor network. Launched towards the end of 2014, the website experienced a great deal of patronage within a short span of time. In about a years’ time, Alpha Bay Market became the biggest online black market.

On Alpha Bay Market, the category that experiences maximum sales is drugs. The website has tens of thousands of drug listings, including cocaine, marijuana and MMDA, among others. Watches (counterfeit or stolen), guns, and stolen credit card information are also sold on the site.

All said and done, Alpha Bay Market is one among the few online black markets that offer multiple security measures like Multisig transactions (2/3), 2FA, Withdrawal PIN, Forced vendor PGP and vendor bond. In addition, the website rates vendors on the basis of customer reviews so as to prevent scamming vendors as much as possible.

Vendor Shops Not as Tech-Savvy As Dark Web Markets Like AlphaBay

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Darknet markets provide a myriad of privacy and safety advantages compared to buying illegal substances on the street. The system may be regarded as imperfect, but offers more reliable information to users than that which the street transactions currently exhibit. Cryptomarkets hold the potential to cut down harm that may be caused by traditional drug markets in contrast to the online trade. This is favorable in terms of lower violent crimes connected directly to the drug trade, such as the possibility of being robbed, attacked or murdered. Alpha Bay ranks to be the biggest darknet market today. Drug dealers are grasping the opportunity of closing deals without face-to-face contact, coming up with vendor shops, but not without risks brought about by overlooked digital footprints.

The Tech-Savvy Generation

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Last year 2015, Bengaluru police stated how the tech-savvy generation of today is more accustomed to using online services, whereby more people are choosing the online route which lets them buy drugs and distribute it anonymously. Though daunting, it’s actually simple for anybody to do with basic knowledge of the internet and means to hide their IP address. This kind of customer base of darknet shoppers could mean drug sales moving from mainly street-based to becoming an online staple.

This promising lucrativity has led drug dealers to start their own digital shops. A report released by the European drugs agency reveals how they are becoming tech-savvy in line with the rise of the online drug trade. However, it’s evidently not as tech-savvy as those behind the main sites such as Alpha Bay which remains functional as of today. The slightest fault could pave the way towards enforcement agents utilizing data to filter out and track the drug deals to individual computers.

With police keeping up with technology as well, sites on the dark web can be unpredictable and its life may be cut short anytime. It’s not only law enforcement operations that present a bumpy ride, but downtime and exit scams that present both buyers and sellers added worry about its owners and their hidden plans.

Dark Web Criminals Make Human Mistakes

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Staying anonymous on the dark web is a constant challenge to overcome, even with the help of anonimyzing networks such as Tor and regardless of stature and tenure as drug vendor or administrator.

Ross Ulbricht, creator of Silk Road apparently asked for help in a forum in relevance to the site, who then posted his personal email address in the process. Blake Benthall, alleged operator of Silk Road 2.0, made the life-changing act of registering a server under his own name. Another sloppiness or audacity, or anything you want to call it, tells of a suspected drug dealer who attempted to trademark his brand under his own name.

It’s been further unraveled how some illegal sites are leaking identifying information about the owners. A site run by Doctor Drugs is hosted on the same server as “The Polish Connect,” another hidden service that may lead to the vendor’s location. The Outlaw Market forum,mostly offering drugs, has its “server status” page exposed, by which anybody can see technical information about the site. The Real Deal offering computer exploits, and Charlie UK (a site own by a cocaine dealer) had the same issues; while Rechard Sport counterfeit goods vendor, The Intelligent Black Market and The French Connection had their own. These indiscretions put both dealers and buyers at risk, a common mistake by drug dealers switching from selling on marketplaces to starting their own digital shops, compared to more secure dark web marketplaces such as Alpha Bay.

Thanks to OnionScan, a custom tool that serves the purpose of making sites a better onion service provider, these issues such as image data, open directories, and exposed server status pages have been discovered. It was developed by independent security researcher Sarah Jamie Lewis.

With some common sense and proper research prior to utilizing marketplaces, like Alpha Bay who puts focus on security and protection, one can save themselves from the headaches and all the trouble.

The Biggest Darknet Market

One of the stories on the dark web that shook its community must be the exit scam of the Evolution marketplace. The site owners created a stable community and became a prime contender that’s capable of replacing Silk Road, right before they shut down and disappeared with $12 million worth of users’bitcoins. Despite the turmoil, other darknet sites like Alpha Bay stood strong.

Alpha Bay was founded by alpha02, reputable carder and carding forum member who has helped others through their concerns. He then decided to start his own marketplace, which has gained massive popularity and displayed a huge growth spurt in a relatively short time. The Alpha Bay site has its own categories and two streamlined and distinguished groups of users, buyers and vendors. What makes the Alpha Bay distinctive among the rest of its competitors is the increased security levels the admin has implemented on the site.

Just recently, Alpha Bay beefed up its online security protocols and has announced as well that they would start enforcing stronger security measures. The latest security tactics involves pin based logins and 2FA or Two-Factor authentication. They aim to give their users protection against phishing attacks and possible hacking of user accounts, which works to both purchasers and sellers’ advantage and the long life of the Alpha Bay marketplace.

Massive Selection of Goods On AlphaBay

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==>Click here for the AlphaBay Guide and AlphaBay URL<==

fighting-europes-capital-cyber-crime (1)The mechanics of operation of a free market is better understood by observing as to how an online black market works. In these times of cybercrime, the dark web can be considered as the best source for understanding the market dynamics. The dark web, which has evolved into a cybercrime economy over the years and increasingly specialized in the division of labor, is the place where fraudsters and identity thieves peddle their wares.

Today, the darknet markets offer a staggering menu of options as they quickly commoditize many widely available products and services, including stolen credit card details, social security numbers, full identity information, malware and other tools for just a few bucks. For launching a Distributed Denial of Service DDoS) attack or a stressor campaign against a target, a Botnet booter can be hired for a rental payment of less than $100 a day. Further, malware authors make available both malware-as-a-service and software for sale in the SaaS model for different ranges of prices.

Certain services and items such as 0-day vulnerability information fetch attackers more money as they are used for more targeted campaigns. As such, the illicit marketplaces on the dark web function as true businesses, offering several components bundled into special discount packages to customers who want to make a fast buck. In fact, the dark web economy is very sophisticated and complex.

AlphaBay
Alphabay Market, one such online darknet market that operates on the Tor network, came into existence after Silk Road 2.0 was shut down by the federal authorities. Following its pre-launch in November 2014, AlpahBay was officially launched on 22nd December 2014. As many as 14,000 new users joined the AlphaBay site in just about the first 90 days of its operation. Gwern.net, the website that provides information on darknet markets, even placed AlphaBay in the top tier based on the 6-month survival probability. Since then, AlphaBay has experienced steady growth.

In order to access AlphaBay, users are required to download Tor and use a special address. It takes only seconds to open an account on the website. The website is organized on the basis of categories of products and services offered, as in the case of other e-commerce websites, except that users cannot find listings for drugs, weapons or porn on Amazon or eBay.

The hottest selling item on AlphaBay is, without any doubt, drugs. There are more than 36,000 listings for cocaine, marijuana, MMDA and everything else in between them. Some vendors sell watches on the website. They may or may not be counterfeit or stolen. Some other vendors sell guns, while yet others sell guides costing less than one dollar that could help users make C4 explosives. Users can also purchase stolen credit card numbers on the website for less than $10. According to some review websites, there are more than 62,000 products listed on AlphaBay website.

AlphaBay is a darknet market that offers security measures such as Multisig transactions (2/3), 2FA (two-factor authentication), Withdrawal PIN, Vendor bond and Forced vendor PGP. For the multisig transaction to work, both the seller and buyer are required to set their public multisig key in their profile.

ScamAdditionally, AlphaBay uses the “Scam Watch” feature. It involves a team of the most trusted AlphaBay community members having a strong background in hacking, malware, fraud, etc., focusing on detecting as well as preventing different types of scams. They are paid to do this job and have been given the authority to freeze vendor accounts if they are suspected of scamming or if their account gets hacked. So far, the team has banned more than 200 vendors and successfully deflected a number of exit scams.

Finally, customers are required to leave reviews about the experience they had on the website as well as with the vendor as users do on Amazon and eBay sites. Positive feedback helps sellers to enjoy better trust levels on AlphaBay. This is an important metric that customers make use of to gauge whether a vendor or seller will scam them or not.

AlphaBay Market Recommends Users To Use Two-Factor Authentication

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Over the last few years, it has been understood that passwords are not enough to completely secure a user’s account. Some companies have chosen two-factor authentication (2FA) to make user accounts more secure. In this context, it is interesting to note that darknet marketplaces have more user security options than large online mail and social media service websites.

What is two-factor authentication?

2fa-image2FA necessitates that any suspicious login attempt into an online account needs to be cleared by the user by using another piece of information, say a new code sent to the mobile. This will enable to sift spurious logins from the genuine ones.

Recently AlphaBay Market, one of the biggest darknet marketplaces has revamped its vendor login accounts. AlphaBay Market, one among the largest sites that sell stolen identities, drugs, and hacking tools recently introduced 2FA for all of its vendors. Earlier in the month, a notice was posted on the AlphaBay Market website that mandatory two-factor identification has been set up for all vendors that log into the market site. Purportedly introduced to keep phishing at bay, the site admin recommended that all of the users use 2FA for increased security.

AlphaBay Market has taken care of all security aspects to create a stable and fast marketplace application, the website admin claims. In addition to making security staff available to answer all user queries related to safety and security, the software and infrastructure are constantly tested to provide the highest levels of security for both the buyers and vendors alike. Privacy and security of users occupy the highest place on the website’s priority list, the website admin added.

The AlphaBay Market’s 2FA uses the PGP encryption method. When using this method, the user is allowed to upload a public key along with their profile information. Whenever the user logs in, the system encrypts a specific message that is exclusive to the user. The visitor then enters a decrypted 16-digit code nested in the message. This ensures that only genuine users, or the ones with the knowledge of the PGP key, will be able to log in. This also keeps any bitcoin amounts within the accounts safe from the marauders.

Though AlphaBay Market has made 2FA mandatory for its vendor accounts, for the buyers it is optional. However, some recent test transactions made on the AlphaBay Market account required that the user go through the two-factor authentication login by using the PGP public key method.

In addition to AlphaBay Market, other darknet sites that require a 2FA to log in (through decryption of a PGP message) are Outlaw and Valhalla. However, neither of these two has made 2FA mandatory.

AlphaBay uses yet another method for vendor authentication, mnemonics. Seven words in a list have to be in used case a user needs to recover a password that is lost. If the user fails to store this list safely, the password is lost forever, AlphaBay Market warns. In many sites such as this one, users have to enter a PIN number to be able to withdraw bitcoins from their accounts.

1700-two-factor-authentication-everywhere_-whitsonMany large online services have also taken the cue and introduced 2FA procedures for user logins. Google uses 2FA for cloud storage access and email protection. Other services that have put 2FA in place recently are Dropbox and Instagram. However, for most of these companies, the use of 2FAs is optional. But, in the case of AlphaBay Market, 2FA is compulsory for every vendor accessing the site, whatever be the item they sell: hacking tools, stolen identities, rifles, or malware.

Though it may not be true that darknet sites offer much more security than many other larger online services such as Gmail or Instagram, these websites are definitely showing improvement in the levels of security they offer to the users. In this context, it is also true that many of the darknet sites have been plundered of data and bitcoins that are worth millions only because the sites were vulnerable in terms of security. Further, these sites have put the 2FA procedures in place much ahead of the large and popular online service companies.

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