AlphaBay Bug Exposing Users’ Private Messages, Fixed

AlphaBay has disclosed a bug that allowed a hacker to gain access to private emails, and has closed the loophole in their system.

AlphaBay has discovered a bug that’s responsible for breaching into people’s private messages.

Following this development, the administrator has released a statement giving users updates on what occurred.

The attacker apparently had access to AlphaBay emails not more than 30 days old, and with ID numbers ranging up to 2609452.

The IDs are often likely not sequential, though, since around 218,000 messages were retrieved.

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To prevent such events from happening again in the future, AlphaBay paid the culprit to reveal his findings so that a solution can be found.

The person agreed to disclose the methods used to get this sensitive information, and AlphaBay developers immediately sealed all loopholes in order to safeguard the security of users.

The hacker contacted moderators through private mail and provided proof that he was indeed able to read user messages.

The administrator verified the claim by opening two separate accounts, sending a mail between them, then providing the person with their message ID.

After checking these details, the hacker revealed to them the content of their exchange.

As an AlphaBay user, you can verify the bug yourself by creating “Throwaway” accounts then sending messages between them.

Despite assuring account holders that everything is now under control, not everybody is pleased, with some saying that AlphaBay could have encrypted sensitive data in the first place.

Additionally, there are complaints that AlphaBay is taking too long to block vendors who’ve been using the platform irresponsibly, leaving other users exposed to unscrupulous individuals on the site.

Some vendors even threaten to doxx customers they get, and this has been continuing for months unabated.

AlphaBay’s job to care about security.

The inaction by AlphaBay to restrict such dealers has left many wondering whether the admin is active in resolving any disputes raised by users.

However, the moderator assured people that this isn’t the case. They say the bug has been fixed, and the mods are currently discussing the aftermath of this data breach with an aim of preventing it from occurring again in the future.

Another user posted that it’s AlphaBay’s job to care about security, as it’s “90% of the service” they provide to its users – presumably a private and secure platform to link dealers with buyers.

Therefore, if the site can’t assure users of privacy, people should cease their activities and involvements.

Others have said that they manually encrypt everything that’s done on AlphaBay market, despite the security checks promised by admin.

They are afraid of unauthorized parties, including the admin, gaining access to their personal info – which could be used in a dishonest way.

Though AlphaBay is one of the few markets with a global presence in countries such as Canada, some foreign users can’t justify endangering their security due to breaches on the site.

If this anomaly was discovered on the platform, chances are high that other security holes exist which haven’t yet been found, but may still be risky to users.

Moreover, the fact that one can omit the anti-DDoS captcha when signing in shows that a lot more needs to be done in terms of security.

Are Prescription Meds Cheaper on AlphaBay Market

Some people are realizing that it’s cheaper to purchase prescription drugs on Alpha Bay Market than from physical stores.

It’s now cheaper to buy prescription drugs on Alpha Bay Market than from over the counter.

According to some users on the darknet platform, most general practitioners and hospital medics reduce the quantity of items prescribed in order to make their own profits.

For instance, if a patient requires pills to last for about 10 days they instead get treatment for 2-3 days. This is so that the patient can continue buying items from them continuously.

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Additionally, hospital consultants are claiming that they can’t afford to give a prescription for certain medicines such as codeine, saying it’s a stretch on their resources, and people should, therefore, get medicine pills from general practitioners.

Something that can be very expensive compared to buying the same items on Alpha Bay Market.

Another example is practitioners reducing down on diazepam dosage; medics may recommend 2 mg.

tablets after every 3 days to a week then again pay another £8.50 the following week, hiking prices of small quantities of diazepam to rates of up to £34 a month for products like 80 mg. of diazepam.

However, on Alpha Bay Market 160 mg. of the same drug can be obtained for only £14.

The situation gets even grimmer for those with rare conditions like certain types of cancer.

NHS has openly refused to subsidize the price of drugs used to manage these conditions. Buying them privately from clinics is way more costly than most people can afford.

People are warning industry regulators that this kind of manipulation on the price of prescriptions will only make them seek these products on darknet markets such as Alpha Bay Market.

There are many honest vendors on these platforms who understand the importance of providing affordable medication at decent rates, they don’t scam people and are very reliable as well.

For some medicines like Ibuprofen, Zantac and paracetamol doctors don’t even bother prescribing them to patients since these are cheap and not profitable to them.

For some medicines like Ibuprofen, Zantac and paracetamol doctors don’t even bother prescribing them to patients since these are cheap and not profitable to them.

One of these drugs can cost only 25 pence a pack. Moreover, they know that if they make Omeprazole available for sale without prescription, then that could save people lots of money.

But the medics won’t do that since they’re cashing in big by charging patients up to 8 quid for x28 tablets.

Some people believe that NHS is manipulating the prices so as to trick patients into spending more money on them than they usually ought to.

In some cases, drug prices have been pushed up by even 2000% more than what’s found on Alpha Bay Market.

The NHS failure to regulate drug rates and lack of proper funding affects the most vulnerable members of society, some of who have been making contributions to state medical plans their entire lives.

While in most countries you can buy Prilosec from over-the-counter, in others a medical prescription would be needed first before getting this drug.

Through NHS you can receive only X28 tablets of this drug at £8.50, whereas buying it online, you can get x350 pills for just £10.00.

AlphaBay Market on Bitcoin Scaling, Monero, and Zcash

The AlphaBay Market’s observations in regards to Bitcoin congestion, Monero, and Zcash.

AlphaBay Market is currently the most widely used dark web marketplace in existence at the moment.

And even though it is hard to gauge its usage statistics accurately – thanks to Tor’s anonymity notoriety – the site’s administrator confirmed previously that a majority of the vendors from the no-longer-functional Evolution platform had made their way to AlphaBay Market.

This makes AlphaBay one of the most promising successors of Silk Road which was shut down by law enforcers in October 2013.

And as expected, the popularity of AlphaBay Market has also ushered a myriad of problems, especially with the unprecedented membership boom. And here is a quick primer on that.

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On Bitcoin Scaling

Although recently there has been a lot of chatter on scaling Bitcoin technology.

Just as many Bitcoin-related platforms have had to deal with an increase in support tickets as a result of increased congestion on the blockchain network, AlphaBay Market has also had its fair share of problems.

One of the AlpbaBay’s support representative confirmed that there has been a sharp rise in complaints from newbie users whenever there is a backlog in the blockchain which leads to deposits taking too long to be confirmed.

And although recently there has been a lot of chatter on scaling Bitcoin technology, AlphaBay Market has not formally announced any plans to integrate a Lightning Network node or a Tumblebit bub on its platform.

The support representative claimed that the dark web marketplace has its own unique proprietary coin tumbling mechanism.

On Monero Payments

Around late August, Oasis and AlphaBay Market introduced the use of Monero payments to their sites. This saw the market cap of Monero grow to an impressive $170 million up from just about $25 million in just a few weeks.

Currently, the market cap has stabilized to just above $110 million. Even though Oasis pulled an exit scam later, AlphaBay’s Monero network is still very functional and alive.

But even then, an AlphaBay support insider confirmed that Monero payments account for a mere 2% of AlphaBay transactions.

As far as the exact numbers go, this accounts for just less than 500 transactions on average per day. The numbers might look dismal, but in reality, it represents more than a 300% growth since last August.

Yet, it is not exactly clear how much of that recorded grown has been as a result of real usage and that from speculative buyers who are moving their cryptocurrencies through the exchanges.

Zcash Usage

Zcash was launched almost at the same time that the Monero network was introduced on AlphaBay Market. And given its promising growth so far, many have been left wondering whether it could be the next altcoin set to compete against Monero on darknet markets.

If anything, AlphaBay has already expressed interest in adopting Zcash as a future alternative cryptocurrency in addition to Bitcoin and Monero.

Nonetheless, it is worth noting that Zcash market capitalization is just less than 10% of that of Monero’s.

Floki Bot Malware Up for Grabs on AlphaBay

Floki Bot Up for grabs on Alpha Bay

A malware called Floki Bot is available for sale on darknet market, AlphaBay.
A malware called Floki Bot is available for sale on darknet market, AlphaBay.

Zeus – a malware first identified in 2007, made numerous headlines for consistent hacks and data breaches it created. However, a recent press release from two reputable security firms, Flashpoint and Talos, is making many people worried – the Zeus malware may have evolved into something conceivably more dangerous.

Called Floki Bot, this Zeus variant has been trending from as early as September 2016, and this Trojan horse malware can be sourced from darknet markets such as Alpha Bay for about $1,000.

According to Andrew Jaquith, a security researcher with Yankee Group – the malware has capabilities that enable it to avoid detections by antivirus software and can slip through enterprises’ defenses unnoticed.

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Though Floki Bot source code has many similarities to Zeus, it has several modifications that make it more potent for many computer networks.

This malware listed on Alpha Bay uses a unique dropper method to execute payloads and also has a different network protocol from Zeus to enable it to avoid internet traffic detection method through Deep Packet Inspection.

The most worrisome feature according to many security analysts is that this malware that is being sold on Alpha Bay comprises a unique method that can be used to execute credit card thefts.

Further worries are that the malware creators made it have a perfect PoS targeting market and advertised it accordingly – meaning that it can be easily accessed by hackers to carry out and spread the harms the malware is intended for.

Floki Bot can scrape through the screen for useful data such as bank accounts and other important credentials.

Floki Bot, which is available on Alpha Bay, works on Windows Vista, Windows XP, and UAC-based Windows.

Additionally, it is supported in servers such as 2008/2008R2 and 2003/2003R2. The bots code runs on every process a user executes, and the ones that need almost no privileges to access – meaning that the malware can run in Guest account, which for safety reasons should not always be left running.

Besides, it has several processes that enable to bypass computer and network firewalls, and this feature means the victim’s configuration can be sent to the server so that an operator can create commands to hack or breach the victim.

Though the malware communicates through the HTTP protocol, its communication path is encrypted with keys that are unique to instances created by the bot.

HTTP injection enables modification of loaded pages on the victim’s side, and through the approach, Floki Bot can scrape through the screen for useful data such as bank accounts and other important credentials.

There are also several blocking functions that apply to the bot, and these include a sniffer and a keyboard grabber.

The bot can import Windows certificates installed on a victim’s network. Anytime the targeted payload is dropped, it undergoes encryption and stays encrypted until the dropper process creates a function in svchost or explorer.

At this moment, the entire payload gets to be totally unencrypted, decompressed and injected to execute on all the running 32-bit processes.

After all these processes, the payload can then be unpacked and decompressed to execute. The malware also renames itself and makes a copy of its code in a subdirectory under the Application Data.

Any of the stolen data gets new encryption, and are stored in a different directory that falls under the Application Data.

There are also several changes that are made to the victim’s computer and network registry, and these are intended to alter the victim’s security and make it more vulnerable.

The most amusing reason why this malware has been trending high on the darknet markets such as Alpha Bay is its perceived execution rate.

Zeus only had 30%, and Floki Bot is twice as much potent with a high execution rate of 70%, and a rare ability to decrypt track 2 part of a credit card.

The presence of this malware on Alpha Bay means its security breach intentions can be felt right from individuals, financial institutions, and the overall transactions done on the web.

AlphaBay Vendor Known as Blime-Sub and BTH-Overdose, Arrested

A dark web vendor known as Blime-Sub” and “BTH-Overdose,” was arrested for selling illicit drugs on the darknet market, AlphaBay.

Emil Babadjov – the AlphaBay vendor behind the usernames BTH-Overdose and c was arrested, and subjected to a court appearance in San Francisco on 14th December 2016.

According to indictment report, Babadjov sold illicit drugs which included heroin, methamphetamine, and fentanyl on the AlphaBay darknet market.

Further reports say that “Blime-Sub” and “BTH-Overdose” AlphaBay accounts were linked to over 2,000 dark web drug sales.

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The lead DEA agent investigating the case is John Rabaut, who belongs to the Central California Darknet Strike Force, a body that is tasked with the roles of combating illicit activities on the dark web and the use of digital currency with the intentions of distributing narcotics and committing crimes on money laundering.

Reports have it that John Rabaut began his anti darknet narcotics investigation in January 2016, and AlphaBay vendor BTH-Overdose has been one on the watch list. In September 2016, a full-fledged investigation was launched to look into the activities of the AlphaBay vendor.

a vendor Blime-Sub through the AlphaBay darknet market.

It was mentioned on darknet market forums that both Blime-Sub and BTH-Overdose clients received parcels from California, specifically pointing to West Coast.

The lead investigation agent, John Rabaut, linked the PGP key belonging to BTH-Overdose and tied it an email [email protected]

The subsequent online search gave a Facebook profile that had the AlphaBay vendor’s actual name, Babadjov Emil, except it was written backward.

On 14th November 2016, the agent sent an official request to Coinbase for the intentions of getting any information the platform may have had about the email address.

The platform, that is, Coinbase, gave prompt reply to the agent’s request. According to the information, the mentioned email was linked to an account belonging to an individual by the name Emil Babadjov.

Somewhere in March 2016, there was an attempt to coin another Coinbase account, again from Emil Babadjov; however, the email address was [email protected]

Through the similarities in the name for the two different accounts, the agent came to a conclusion that the AlphaBay vendors Blime-Sub and BTH-Overdose were likely to be operated by a single person.

Further investigations confirmed Babadjov’s address through his driving license. It was revealed that Babadjov was a subject in an arrest made in 2013 for being found in possession of prohibited substances, though this was later dismissed.

On 19th October 2016, agent John Rabaut used bitcoins worth $800 to purchase 3 grams of an illicit drug, heroin, from a vendor Blime-Sub through the AlphaBay darknet market.

After he had received the parcel, the content was taken to the DEA Western Regional Laboratory for drug and fingerprint analysis.

Two weeks after the analysis, it was stated that the parcel contained mixed fentanyl and heroin. Further analysis of the parcel’s PVI gave a confirmation the postage used to send the parcel was purchased on 18th September 2016 through a kiosk that was found not to be away from Emil Babadjov’s known address.

The turn of events gathered enough evidence to link Babadjov to the illicit drug trade. If convicted, he is likely to face 20 years of jail time and fines that can be as much as $1 million.

AlphaBay Upgrading Their Server, Downtime Expected


AlphaBay has been encountering temporary downtime that has affected many users; most of them are experiencing 504 timeout errors upon trying to log in.

Furthermore, during peak hours the server is usually slow and backend also seems to be struggling.

As this problem persists, AlphaBay is optimizing its scripts with the hope of improving performance and downtime is expected for a few hours.

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Server Upgrade

AlphaBay Market is experiencing downtime due to server upgrade.
AlphaBay Market is experiencing downtime due to server upgrade.

Nevertheless, the community forum will remain open as they conduct server upgrade given that it uses a different backend.

The site admin is requesting for patience from members of the public as they continue looking for solutions and performing upgrades.

Some users claim that AlphaBay is probably trying to migrate servers without notifying them beforehand.

But there are those who are adamant that this isn’t the case as AlphaBay would require a huge amount of data to back up the existing files, which include seller profiles, feedback, user messages, wallets, vendor feedback, images and so on.

It’s also possible that they will try imaging the bitcoin server but this is unsafe since all transactions made may be lost in an instant.

Shutting down the site is necessary to image it, as the image might be corrupted during the downloading process.

New features added by Alphabay
New features added by Alphabay

Moreover, even after uploading all necessary images, AlphaBay site admins will still need to reconfigure source codes for new servers, as well as upgrade database, security and “load balancing” of servers.

The entire procedure can take several hours to complete and activate, which is probably why AB is currently experiencing some moments of downtime.

Over the years, AlphaBay has been adding new features that other markets have not yet adopted.

These include FE Vendor’s remediary wallet for preventing fraud, tumbling withdrawals, Vendor stats and so on.

Considering that they’ve been in business for the longest period of time, AlphaBay has a very clear intention of keeping the market running for many years to come.

They are not about to take it down for good partly because the site is being hosted from a “comfortable point where they aren’t worried about the authorities.”

For those who’ve been trading on darknet markets like AlphaBay, such downtimes are quite normal and it has happened even on other sites for an entire week.

But when the site finally comes back, it loads faster and functions much better than before.

As for marketplace users, they should be appreciative that admins usually take lots of time to create a convenient place for trading, and practice even more patience while waiting for people to actually use it.

It takes hard work, good timing, persistence and innovation.

Nevertheless, some people still think it would have been more appropriate if AlphaBay told them of the downtime ahead of time, so that they could prepare for the inconveniences caused.

Update: AlphaBay is back online.

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

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

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

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

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.