AlphaBay Market Downtime For Temporary Upgrade

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.

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

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 Market Recommends Users To Use Two-Factor Authentication

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.

AlphaBay Market: New Improvements To Its Withdrawal & Wallets System

digital walletAlphaBay Market, currently the largest dark web marketplace, has just introduced a new set of security measures to improve users’ anonymity. Withdrawal & wallets systems have been enhanced so that they are now less susceptible to hacking. Withdrawals will be made in separate transactions for better privacy, all thanks to a new bitcoin tumbling system. Nevertheless, AlphaBay Market users still have the option of requesting for a single transaction at a minimal fee.

Additional security measures have also been imposed to obfuscate wallets, meaning that it’s now impossible to profile their hot wallets. Moreover, deposits addresses have been changed so users are advised to check the “Balance” page before making any deposits to an AlphaBay Market account.

In a recent post, administrators stated that their key role as the biggest online market is protecting buyers and sellers in the event they get arrested and make sure nothing can be proven against them. AlphaBay Market has implemented added security measures on its wallets to avoid profiling.

Some sites such as Coinbase and Circle are known for shutting down suspicious accounts fast, especially those that send bitcoins to online marketplaces on the dark web. This is done via a special technique known as “address input clustering.” It works this way. For instance, users make deposits on addresses 1, 2, 3 and another three individuals on 4, 5, 6. If a withdrawal is made on 1 and 2, blockchain analysis can show that they are being part of the same “cluster.” The typical default reaction of bitcoin is combining all inputs into one single transaction. So it is presumed that double inputs made in one transaction are part of the same wallet. If a withdrawal is made again from 4, 5 and 6, then that’s considered a new cluster.

This simply means that two distinct clusters have been made; 1, 2 and 4, 5, 6. If another transaction is made using 2 and 4, then linked together these two clusters, it will form one large cluster of 1, 2, 4, 5, 6. The process continues until a predictable pattern of the online market’s holdings is discovered. Other sites such as those mentioned above have their own analysis techniques and hold lists of addresses which are updated daily, that are believed to be part of a darknet market, they close all accounts directly involved with these address “clusters.”

According to AlphaBay Market, most high end bitcoin exchanges also actively analyze blockchain this way. Filing suspicious transaction reports if any user is suspected of conducting darknet market activities. Even though blockchain analysis doesn’t pass as court-admissible evidence in the US, it still gives investigators a decent clue on where to begin their search.

blockchain

As most AlphaBay Market users might have noticed, in the past few days withdrawals were being done in many small transactions. Admin explained that they were still using the old bitcoin wallet while testing new features, hence the delays. But now a new wallet system has been introduced which will address the previous challenges. Transactions will be sent in small increments, with a randomized fee and time frame structures, as well as using single inputs to prevent all forms of blockchain analysis tracking.

Currently, AlphaBay Market has fully anonymous wallets. Apart from this new security measure, there are others that have been implemented as well to further improve safety and security. For instance, all addresses and individual transaction IDs will be deleted after 7 days. Order notes are also deleted after every 30 days period.

Phishing Site Mimics The AlphaBay Market Login Page

downloadAlphaBay Market begun its operation towards the end of 2014 and came it to fill in the gap that was left after Silk Road and Silk Road 2.0 went down. The site has gained popularity in the recent past as one of the largest darknet markets after it was used to sell compromised Uber accounts together with data that was stolen from the 2015 TalkTalk breach. The site was attacked by criminals who used phishing attacks to gain access of other criminals’ credentials.

The Attack

AlphaBay Market was launched by members of Russian carding forums and has been facilitating illegal goods that are commonly sold in anonymous marketplaces. Goods sold on the site include weapons and drugs and has become a very reliable source of these goods for those in need of them. The site utilizes an .onion address that allows it to run on the Tor network as a hidden service. Paul Mutton, security experts at Netcraft, discovered the attack.

In this attack, a phishing site was created in a way that it mimics the address of one of the darknet markets, AlphaBay Market. The address that was used by the phishing site was created to look very familiar to what regular customers on AlphaBay Market are used to ensure that they will not suspect anything. The address then points to a phishing site by AttractSoft GmbH host from Germany. The phishing site mimics AlphaBay Market login page hence unsuspecting users are prompted to enter their usernames and passwords. The user is further forced by a client-side check to complete a security code CAPTCHA field that does not have to be correct because any code entered is accepted, whether right or wrong.

For one to be able to replicate the original website, replication of .onion address associated with hidden services has to be reproduced. To make the connection authentic, one must use this address. This address can be derived from public key making it difficult to impersonate a site without raising curiosity without the owner’s key pair access. These fraudsters have created similar addresses by computing a partial match by utilizing tools such as scallion. A partial match that can be created this way is pwoah7f5ivq74fmp.onion. In this case, however, the fraudsters just created a domain using pwoah7foa6au2pul.me.pn as their address. The HTML source utilized by the phishing site looks like it had been stolen from a lookalike site and used the onion-market.co domain name. This domain name has been repossessed by GoDaddy who is its registrar. This domain name is very typical of those whose funding have been attributed to fraudulent deals or those that have been subjected to chargebacks.

AlphaBay-Market

This particular attack utilized me.pn domain that was most probably preferred since it is free to register addresses using it and that is also has a string that is similar to the .onion TLD address based on their length. The two cannot be distinguished easily by a person not keen to check. The fraudsters must have used the understanding that most site users do not stop to check the address hence will log in without verifying if they are on the right face or not.

Possible transactions that can be carried out on AlphaBay Market include buying and selling of spam sending services, the receiving and sending of fraudulent bank transfer service details of user accounts together with other services that are important to those engages in the phishing business.

Mutton indicates the AlphaBay Market phishing attack is a perfect example of criminals stealing from other criminals, he further urges that the veteran users of AlphaBay Market are not likely to fall into this trap as they are normally very keen and will never fall for replicas. According to him, it is only new users on the site that may fall victim to this fraud. It is a clear indication that thieves do not honor each other and will go ahead and steal from themselves. The attack raises the question about how safe our online activities are with all the fraudsters out there.

AlphaBay Market Mitigating Another DDoS Attack

There has been yet another reported attack on the AlphaBay Market on December 30, 2015. Just one day before New Year’s Eve, the online Dark Web market that operates on the Tor network has once again encountered difficulties and received numerous complaints from users. However, it did not take the host of the site too long to mitigate the tense situation. Within a short amount of time the admin purportedly came up with a solution, which consisted of the implementation of an alternate link. The following is the publicly released statement from an official support account of the AlphaBay Market.

“Alphabay Under Attack, alternate links are working fine – We are mitigating another DDoS attack. Will be resolved as usual. Please use the alternate links if the main link has issues.”

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

 

download (2)
This was not AlphaBay Market’s first insurmountable attack to overcome. They have dealt with similar situations many times before. The site was founded by alpha02. Its pre-launch took place on November 2014 but it was not officially available till December 22, 2014.

AlphaBay Market allows the sale of weapons and drugs, as well as stolen credit card numbers and many others. Users are drawn to this site for many reasons; one of the most alluring however is the option to make Bitcoin payments, which serves to protect anonymity. The AlphaBay Market is purportedly based in Russia, and is seen as one of the favorite marketplaces available to vendors worldwide, who can sell and buy different goods.

The attacks happen for various reasons and can be initiated by numerous (jealous possibly?!) parties, who have the ability to incorporate DDoS. It seems to boil down to the fact that AlphaBay Market has various competitors, who do not hesitate to implement DDoS to impede or, in worst case scenario, destroy certain functions on the site to lure users of the Dark Web to their own site. Furthermore, a number of various speculations can be considered when trying to find other reasonable answers as to why these attacks in fact take place… However, one thing is certain – no matter how many times AlphaBay Market has been attacked, it seems to always find a way to rise from the ashes and not let its users down.

attackd
The AlphaBay Market has a history of overcoming distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Thus, even though the website may encounter temporary unavailability on occasion, it does not necessarily mean that the interference of the “enemy” can permanently suspend services of the host – the AlphaBay Market in this case.

Overall, the Dark Web users i.e. the AlphaBay shoppers reported a great satisfaction after being offered an alternative solution in the form of a link that led them to pursue their further endeavors.

The alternative links available on the Dark Web are an expedient and satisfying solution – one that proved, yet again to keep the AlphaBay users happy. It has also been ascertained that no data has been compromised.

Random Darknet Shopper Has Moved To AlphaBay Market

AlphaBay Market is now on top after Agora marketplace closed its services to the world in September 2015 for security reasons. Not surprisingly, like the Agora marketplace, AlphaBay Market is also being trawled by Random Darknet Shopper.

Darknet ShopperThe Random Darknet Shopper is a bot that randomly purchases items on the darknet. The bot is the work of a Swiss art collective, !Mediengruppe Bitnik. Two artists, Carmen Weisskopf and Domagoj Smoljo, developed the shopping robot, which has been active since 2014, to make the world debate the impact of online black market sites on the society.

The items the bot purchases are displayed in its art gallery. In fact, the bot just purchased a $35 (0.1101 bitcoins) knockoff polo shirt from Thailand through the AlphaBay Market on 25th November. More recently, on December 2nd, the Random Darknet Shopper purchased 2 Antminer Bitcoin miners from AlphaBay Market for 0.0706 bitcoins.

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

Before moving to the AlphaBay Market, the bot did its shopping on Agora before the site closed down. On Agora, the bot purchased a number of things including a platinum Visa card for $35, Chesterfield cigarettes from Moldova, jeans, books, designer bags, and a very curious purchase, a set of skeleton keys from the UK among other items.

Fortunately for its users, unlike other large darknet marketplaces, Agora did not swindle its customers and suppliers through the now regular “exit scams” when it closed down. Instead, it quietly allowed the site members to get their bitcoins back before going offline. The darknet site was also dealing with the increasingly problematic security threats that may have ultimately compromised its existence.

From October 2014 to January of 2015, the bot was buying items from the Agora marketplace. The items were then displayed in an exhibition labeled “The Darknet – From Memes to Onionland. An Exploration” at the Kunst Halle St. Gallen gallery in Switzerland. The laptop that runs this program is also on display at the gallery.

However, this laptop was seized earlier on this year by the police after it purchased ecstasy online but was later returned to the artists. In fact, the robot was inactive for about six months before it made a comeback by starting to make purchases on the AlphaBay Market.
AlphaBay MarketThe program has a budget limit of $100 a week for making random purchases on the darknet, which will now order items from AlphaBay Market.

The Random Darknet Shopper has raised lots of controversial issues regarding technology and the existence of the Internet underworld. For instance, there were discussions as to whether or not a bot can be arrested after its illegal ecstasy purchase. The bot’s complete automation puts it in a legal gray area that raises several existential issues.

At the time, the bot had purchased $48 worth of ecstasy. Swiss police then seized the drugs, the laptop running the bot, as well as other things it had purchased but opted not to file charges against the artists who created it. Their argument was that robots can legally buy drugs over the Internet for the purpose of art.

The laptop was released after three months in police custody together with every purchase it had made so far apart from the ecstasy, which was destroyed. The prosecutor stated that the ecstasy possession was a justifiable means of getting a public debate about the art project’s motive.

It remains to be seen how authorities in other jurisdictions will react to the bot buying illegal things from the darknet, especially now that the artists have chosen to have it send its AlphaBay Market purchases to the UK. Over the Christmas season, Random Darknet Shopper is expected to buy a number of other things from AlphaBay.

But, as a perfunctory measure, the artists who made the robot have of late consulted with a lawyer to protect themselves from legal troubles in case the bot ends up purchasing items that might put them in trouble with the law. If it purchases drugs once more, which AlphaBay Market also lists, the Random Darknet Shopper might put its creators in legal problems.

Although the police let them off last time, they still had to take responsibility for the bot’s actions. Additionally, its purchase of illegal products online can result in legal liability for them by weakening their ability to argue that they never had the intent to purchase illicit items. Not all authorities might see the works of the Random Darknet Shopper on the AlphaBay Market for the public interest art project the Swiss authority considered it to be.

The items the bot will purchase random from the AlphaBay Market will be sent to a London gallery. The item will be on display at the city’s Horatio Junior gallery where they can be viewed from December 11 to February 15 of 2016. How London police will react is anyone’s guess, but it is highly unlikely they will make a big deal over a fake polo shirt.

The creators of the Random Darknet Shopper describe it as a live Mail Art piece that unveils the deepest recesses of the darknet by purchasing the goods offered there.

If the emerging trend by the Random Darknet Shopper is anything to go by, the bot will continue to make its purchases from the AlphaBay Market. The site currently lists tens of thousands of products, and experienced a spike in traffic after Agora went dark a few months ago.

The fact that Random Darknet Shopper has moved on to AlphaBay Market platform for its ongoing random darknet shopping adventures quietly endorses the site’s growing dominance of the online black markets.

New Feature And Upgrades On AlphaBay Market

AlphaBay, the world’s most prominent darknet market, has just undergone a series of updates designed to keep users safer and provide a more enjoyable shopping experience.

The changes are the latest in a succession of updates from the AlphaBay market team and bring the market in line with a more modern look and feel, while targeting phishers who have been trawling the darknet for opportunities to steal Bitcoin.

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

Onion Cloner Phishing Scams

Using readily available scripts, phishers can easily clone .onion sites, making the new sites indistinguishable from the official site. Here you will be asked user names and passwords in the same way as the official site would. The only difference between the two sites to the human eye is in the website address.

This has long been a problem for clearnet sites, too. Luckily, for most clearnet sites you can easily tell the difference in the website address from the official site and a cloned site (eg. facebook.net instead of facebook.com). Unfortunately for .onion sites, the website addresses are not easily remembered. This is due to a randomization of the address when setting up an .onion site.

Facebook Phising
To avoid visiting a cloned .onion website, always follow links only from trusted sources and keep a text file list of trusted addresses to compare against.

This phishing scam has been prevalent on the AlphaBay market website. Scammers often write a message to users pretending to be from the AlphaBay admin team and indicating that the current website is not safe, along with a link to a “safe” portal. When users follow a link to the next site they enter their details which the scammer then can use on the official AlphaBay market to steal Bitcoin from.

While the majority of changes to the AlphaBay market are designed to address these and other phishing scams, there have also been changes made to help with ease of use of the site.

UI Changes

The first up in the latest round of changes for the AlphaBay market is some UI changes to bring the site into line with a more modern feel. The UI is now more responsive and has a cleaner look to it. For some users with old browsers the skin may not work correctly. To fix this problem either update your browser or add the website suffix “/old” to the URL address.

Changes to Orders and Sales

For security reasons, orders and sales records are now removed securely from the AlphaBay market 30 days after finalization. This is due to accounts being compromised and then order details being recalled by the offenders. This 30 day rule was determined to be the best way to counter this problem.

User List Changes

Customers’ user pages are now no longer able to be accessed via a user number, only by the specific user name. It appears that scammers were iterating through user numbers and sending messages with phishing links to each user in turn. This will now no longer be possible.

The overall user count has also been removed due to speculation by various members of the darknet market community that AlphaBay were artificially inflating their user count.

Messages Section Changes

Each user’s title in the Messages page of your AlphaBay profile is now clearer. The changes make it easy to identify user ratings and feedback to ensure that no impersonation is happening. You can also easily tell whether the user is banned or not. Be very wary of following any links contained in messages from other users, as it is likely to be a scam.

PGP Proof for Deposit Address Change

Man Front at the Computer

Due to phishers adding in their own coin deposit pages instead of verified AlphaBay accounts, some users were being tricked into sending Bitcoins directly to scammers’ accounts. AlphaBay were seeing many missing deposit complaints where the deposit addresses weren’t listed AlphaBay addresses. The new PGP-signed proof of deposit address is an attempt to stamp out this type of theft.

To use the Proof of Ownership PGP verify the PGP signature marked on the deposit slip with the AlphaBay market PGP listed on the contact page. This will ensure the deposit address is indeed a verified AlphaBay market account.

These rolling changes are made to ensure the ongoing security of AlphaBay users and make the efforts of scammers frequenting the darknet markets less effective.

Always be aware of the risks when using darket markets. Ensure all dealings you do are with trusted sellers, and make sure to check their deposit PGP signature. Remember not to follow links from random messages and noticeboards like reddit.com and keep a list of all trusted websites handy for verification purposes.

AlphaBay Offering Bond Waivers To Darknet Vendors

It’s been happening for a while now. All the signs were here:

First, Agora shut down their market, allegedly to try and fix certain loopholes they’ve found in the Tor network.

After that, AlphaBay Market announced that it has become the marketplace with the largest community counting more than 200,000 AlphaBay users; only Abraxas was bigger and Nucleus was trying to rival them, yet not even remotely close to their numbers.

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

After this, Abraxas market went missing, as well as the Middle Earth market. The reason for their sudden disappearance is not yet been confirmed. At first it was assumed it could have been a DDoS attack but now it looks positive that they were exit scams carried out by the admins to steal all of the members bitcoins.

Alphabay Market

With Abraxas and Middle Earth markets missing in action, and Agora out of the picture too, it seems reasonable to believe the claims of AlphaBay that they have indeed taken over and have become the top Darknet Market.

Still, some new (and interesting, if not symptomatic) developments have been unfolding on the Darknet these days. It’s been announced that AlphaBay is offering bond waivers to a select group of “qualified” vendors that built their business on Abraxas and Middle Earth markets. How about that?!

On November 7th, AlphaBay support posted a statement on Reddit assuring vendors and users that AlphaBay Market is very much alive and here to stay.

According to the official invitation, AlphaBay is working to convince qualified, big-name vendors (some say vendors with 200+ sales; others  on the contrary say vendors with 1000+ sales) to get over Abraxas and Middle Earth markets and the money trapped in escrows, and transfer their business to AlphaBay. The Market also offered free accounts to vendors willing to give them a chance.

What’s more, they are aware of concerns the users have for leaving their money in Escrows. That’s why they offered additional protection from exit scam – the true 2-on- 3 multisig protection and even FE option to large-scale vendors. They’ve given the detailed instructions on how to apply for waivers and the procedure is quite simple. However, all applications are individually evaluated.

3 Keys Graphic Multi Sig 1

The idea of AlphaBay to waive vendor bonds in a time when other markets are having troubles for whatever reasons was considered indistinct. It sounds very much like a tactic to hook vendors from other darknet markets to them and lure the big-time sellers by advertising and waiving the bond.

Some unsatisfied users are starting to believe that this market is just a short-term strategist and so-called “carders” who are looking to step out of the game before the heat and run off with people’s escrow holdings. They expect an exit scam to happen sometime in the future. I find this hard to believe actually as this market is not targeting the USA therefore minimizing the focus of USA law enforcement and the fact that they are not based in the USA either will give this market a much longer life expectancy that others.

A number of users are reluctant to give their trust to a market that is so heavily advertising. For, indeed AlphaBay is well-known for their PR campaign, unlike any other market on the Darknet. Users’ main fear is that this marketing campaign makes them an obvious and easy target for LE, which is also a huge risk for the users as well.

Another group of users believe that these “carders” are behind the DDoS on Abraxas, if in fact there was an attack at all.

Whichever the case, the majority of users is still quite happy to do business via the AlphaBay Market and more and more each day are willing to give this market a chance. Especially since they hardly have any rivals left.

AlphaBay Market New Site Feature – Timed Messaging

During the last week of September, the administrators of the AlphaBay Market made an announcement through their homepage that a new feature “Timed Messaging” has been introduced as per the request of the Agora Market refugees who have come to their site. As users logged into their accounts, the AlphaBay Market website greeted them with an announcement in their news feed that a new feature, the new messaging system, has been released. The Timed Messaging feature enables users to incorporate a random delay at the time of sending a message to the website. Therefore, when a user starts a new conversation with another user on Agora, he/she can set the time, or even the date, at which the message has to be sent.

The gist of the admin’s message on AlphaBay Market website is that they now allow randomized delays for sending messages. Users are required to choose one of the options – whether to send messages now or later – when they are starting a new conversation with another member. All users of AlphaBay Market may not consider this as an important feature, but for some it may be of great help. However, the key aspect of this new feature is that AlphaBay Market has taken the trouble to enhance user experience on their website. In fact, AlphaBay’s eagerness to listen to what the visitors to their website have to say and implement solid features like this differentiates them from their competitors and also helps them to always stay one step ahead.

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

MessageThe new feature follows the announcement of the introduction of a feature to help reduce the number of scams on the marketplace by AlphaBay Market admins based on the input received through the discussions in their forums. The feature, referred to as the AlphaBay Scam Watch Team, allows the top community members AlphaBay to work with their staff to quickly clear out scammers so that genuine users can have a better and positive experience on their website. The anti-scam team, a paid position, consists of @vaas, @penissmith and @onionhood. Each member of the team, recognized and proven, focuses not only on fraud, but also on drugs, hacking and malware, among others. Scam Watch Team members patrol the AlphaBay Marketplace as well as the forums all the time to detect and prevent scams or potential scam signals. They also have the authority to freeze vendor accounts for up to 24 hours, if they suspect that scamming is involved.

Agora, the bitcoin-based darknet marketplace that was reigning supreme, has already gone offline, may be temporarily, to shore up its defenses against potential attacks as it believes that they might be used to identify the servers and operators of the site. The Agora admin posted a message, both on the website and Reddit forum, that suspicious activity forced them to move their servers. As a result of these developments, a large number of Agora website users have moved over to AlphaBay Market.

AlphaBay Market, an online darknet market that operates on the Tor network, was pre-launched in November 2014. The website was subsequently officially launched on 22 December 2014. This darknet marketplace has witnessed steady growth after 14,000 new users registered during the first ninety days of its operation. In the recent past, AlphaBay announced that they have hit the 200,000 users mark.

Gwern.net, the darknet informer website, classified AlphaBay Market as a top-tier operator on the basis of 6-month survival probability. AlphaBay Market has been successful thus far and according to Dan Palumbo, research director, Digital Citizens Alliance, it is the largest online darknet marketplace as of now.

Alphabay Market
AlphaBay Market allows sale of drugs, stolen credit card numbers, weapons and other illegal items in exchange for payments in bitcoins to ensure anonymity. Though AlphaBay Market is based out of Russia, it uses the English language for communications as international users are involved. AlphaBay Market was founded by alpha02 who is a reputable member of most of the carding forums and is popular among experienced carders. He decided to have a marketplace of his own and allow vendors from the world over to sell goods to those who were looking for products. Vendors from all over the world can buy and sell all types of products on the marketplace. However, the rules of AlphaBay Market prohibit the sale of customer data related to Russian victims.

AlphaBay ensures protection to buyers all the time by processing transactions by means of a centralized Escrow system. As and when a transaction is initiated by a user, the funds are held for some time in an Escrow system till the buyer acknowledges the receipt of goods sent to him/her. The marketplace also makes available a decentralized multi-signature system. It involves the release of private keys to sellers upon finalization of contracts.

In May this year, AlphaBay Market introduced what is referred to as an integrated digital contracts and escrow system, which allows users not only to make engagements, but also to agree to offer services in the future as per agreed contractual terms.

AlphaBay Shoots To The Top With 200,000 Users

A few days ago, the AlphaBay admin team announced that they’ve reached 200,000 users. They are now believed to be the largest of the darknet markets. The official announcement at the AlphaBay forum states:

“We reached 200,000 users on the Marketplace just now. On behalf of the entire AlphaBay Staff, we thank you for your ongoing support, faith & effort to shape AlphaBay as it is today – a top-grade black market!

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

With the help of our community, we will continue to do our best to run AlphaBay for many milestones ahead in a transparent way, accompanied by strong security practices & blazing-fast marketplace speed.

Sincerely Thank You,

AlphaBay Staff”

According to some accounts, this rapid growth of AlphaBay began after Agora marketplace shut down. Just as a reminder, Agora was the leading market on the darknet for a long time, which led to a great number of attacks and their frequent downtimes. It was for that reason, and because they needed some time to fix a few major security issues that the Agora admins decided to take a break.  It is still considered by many users the most reliable, efficient and customer-oriented marketplace. Many other users, especially those that are still having trouble to withdraw their bitcoins, consider this the exit scam by the Agora admins.

 

Alphabay Staff Message

 

So, it is reasonable to believe that this sudden rise in popularity of the AlphaBay Market was a direct consequence of the Agora’s downtime.

Head to head with AlphaBay is the Abraxas Market, but there are no records on the number of users they have. However, according to the number of comments and posts on the popular darknet forums, the general assumption is that AlphaBay and Abraxas count pretty much the same number of users. As for Abraxas Market, even though it’s considered a “decent alternative to Agora” by many users; some have reported of difficulties logging into their accounts and withdrawing their bitcoins.

The other, non-official announcement that was published as part of correspondence with AlphaBay admins:

“We are happy to see new users who take advantage of the range of functionality we offer. One of the most successful initiatives, ScamWatch, has stopped several vendor exit scams, banned many scammers and continues to offer help to scam victims by processing refund requests from banned vendor balance (by providing the appropriate evidence of course) etc. We are currently working to introduce new exciting features and improvements both in marketplace & forum to increase trust, security and functionality – coming soon.

Thank you.”

A lot of different opinions ensued regarding AlphaBay and their recent announcement.

While lots of users are skeptical about the AlphaBay Market, its reliability and security; others expressed their frustration due to the alleged scams that are taking place on AlphaBay by its own admins. None of them, however, have provided any trustworthy evidence, so it all remains in the realm of speculations.

This is the first time that the number of market’s users has been disclosed to the public while the market is still operational; this is perhaps one of the strongest arguments users have against AlphaBay. One of them even went so far as to post a grim prediction on Reddit about how he expects the exit scam from the AlphaBay admins at their peak. He also said that he “prefers markets that just shut up, get things done and stay quiet. Like Agora was.”

 

Alphabay Market Site

 

Other users found their PR campaign a bit annoying especially because, according to them, the admins of AlphaBay Market instead of addressing issues prefer to hide them. Speaking of the issues, many commenters talked about the lack of support from the AlphaBay staff; they complained about being ignored and even banned/blocked from the market, so they had to open new accounts. Another sarcastic comment was made by one user: “120k accounts + 80k dummy accounts created to contact admins when locked out of regular accounts = 200k.”

The other darknet users pointed out that “AlphaBay has been very good” to them, and even more of them expressed their “congrats to admins of AlphaBay.” Quite a number of Reddit users praised the goods and the rates on the AlphaBay Market, and a certain number of vendors as well.

It remains unknown whether these allegations are true or false; whether they were made by trolls, actual dissatisfied customers or they were started by the AlphaBay’s competition in hope to tarnish their reputation on the darknet.

The only thing that’s clear is that AlphaBay Market counts 200,000 customers. For now at least; we’ll see who’s going to take the lead if or when Agora marketplace recuperates.

Anonymity Newsletter

By signing up to the Anonymity Newsletter you will receive invaluable information about how to remain anonymous online to hide your Deep Web activities. You will also receive the latest news on what is happening on the Darknet Marketplaces and Deep web as well as great resources to use on your journey through the Darknet.

You have Successfully Subscribed!