AlphaBay Has Updated Its Privacy Policy

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

Security concept: Closed Padlock on computer keyboard background

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

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

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

generation-y2

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

computer-stock1

Staying anonymous on the dark web is a constant challenge to overcome, even with the help of anonymizing 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 a 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 involve 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

==>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 multi sig transaction to work, both the seller and buyer are required to set their public multi sig 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.

Over 57% Of Darknet Sites Offer Unlawful Items, Study Shows

Researchers have found out that a number of websites on the dark web like the AlphaBay do actually sell illicit material, but majority of such material they sell are not porn. The dark web is a conglomeration of hidden websites as well as services that can be accessed only by way of the Tor network. Recently published research on the dark web reveals that more than 57 percent of these hidden websites are hosting some kind of illegal content on their sites.

darknet

Researchers Thomas Rid and Daniel Moore, both from King’s College in London, created a customized script that was able to parse through as many as 5,025 numbers of live .onion-based websites. They found out that as many as 1,547 sites on the dark web hosted some material or other that can considered as criminal in nature. The leading activity on websites like AlphaBay appears to be centered on drugs. The financial criminal activities come in a close second.

The finding of the dark web researchers is definitely not a shocking revelation. This is because the very nature of the Tor network, which promises security and privacy, tends to attract clandestine type of operators and operations.

Researchers noted that the founders of the Tor network, who are exceedingly idealistic in many ways, appreciate the fact that a better reputation is essential for better security and that a bad reputation often leads to a compromise of security. They also point out that political leaders and law enforcement authorities would target activities that attract a great deal of clientele as Tor seems to do. According to them, it is a difficult and confusing problem. This is because a balance has to be struck in order to ensure that the Tor network continues to exist.

AlphaBay

Alphabay is a darknet market that operates on Tor. The darknet market was officially launched on 22nd December 2014. The marketplace was founded by alpha02, a reputable member on most of the carding forums. After helping many carders on carding forums, he started his own marketplace.

AlphaBay-Market

The site has seen a steady growth and within the first 90 days, they had as many as 14,000 new users. Gwern.net, the darknet informer website, even placed AlphaBay at the top based on a 6-month survival probability. Digital Citizens Alliance research director Dan Palumbo recognized AlphaBay as the largest among online darknet markets.

AlphaBay allows vendors to sell drugs, stolen credit card information, weapons and many other illegal items in exchange for payments in Bitcoin for the purpose of anonymity. The marketplace allows users to protect their accounts by using what is called Two-Factor Authentication.

AlphaBay processes transactions by means of an Escrow system which is centralized with a view to provide protection to all the buyers. As and when a transaction is initiated, the money is held in the Escrow till the buyers acknowledge the receipt of goods. Additionally, the marketplace offers a decentralized multi-signature system, wherein a private key is released to a seller only upon finalization.

In May 2015, AlphaBay announced the introduction of an integrated escrow system for digital contracts, which allows users to provide services in the future as per the agreed terms of the contract.

AlphaBay Sells both Legal and Illegal Goods and Services

In March 2015, it was reported that AlphaBay sold stolen Uber accounts. The marketplace put on sale data stolen from TalkTalk based in London after the telecommunications company witnessed a major hack in October 2015.

A podcast released by the website CodeBreaker talked about shopping experience on AlphaBay and purchase of legal goods such as pharmaceutical drugs.

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.