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.

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

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.

PilotFish Source Codes Available for Sale on AlphaBay Market

PilotFish Technology develops legacy standards, systems and technology software.

It includes middleware to integrate disparate systems and offers healthcare solutions with HL7 features. It gathers patient data and manages operations with smart medical devices.

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

HL7
Hacker puts source code of HL7 software vendor PilotFish up for sale on alphabaymarket.

On August 9th, security firm InfoArmor identified a hacker known as “batwhatman” who claimed to have PilotFish Technology source codes.

The hacker has claimed to have PilotFish Technology products’ source codes and being offered for sale on the Alpha Bay Market.

Alpha Bay Market

Alpha Bay Market is an online black market on the Tor network which cybercriminals used for transacting illicit products and services such as stolen data.

The darknet site was launched in 2014 and saw a steady growth in the first few weeks of operation. Alpha Bay Market is currently one of the largest darknet markets.

Risks of the Attack

The hacker is believed to have compromised an SVN server and stolen various application codes in JAVA language. Some of the source codes filenames and listings point to business applications designed by PilotFish Technology.

These include strings such as “pieadmin,” “EIPExecutor,” and “eip-server.”

The hack causes more threat to the organization as hackers also got PilotFish employees’ usernames which were associated with various compilation instructions besides the source codes.

According to Andrew Komarov, chief intelligence officer for InfoArmor, based on the hackers comments it seems the source codes are all from PilotFish’s products including more than 10,000 files.

hacker
A hacker named ‘batwhatman’ is selling the source codes for all PilotFish Technology.

Batwhatman also claimed to have accessed the database and licensing system of customers with the aim of stealing clients’ information and records.

The customers’ database contains information which includes customer’s credentials which may be at risk of targeted phishing attacks in future.

The database contains information from more than 1700 companies in the US, China, Australia, Canada, and EU.

In July, the cybercriminal “TheDarkOverLoad” claimed to have compromised a software vendor’s data.

However, the victim was not named, speculating that the stolen source codes were related to EMR/HER systems.

TheDarkOverLoad, is known as a previous member of Hell Community and The Real Deal Marketplace which allows cybercriminals to transact commercially and sell various compromised data.

The hacker had attempted to extort PilotFish through a Twitter account that has consequently been deleted.

In 2013, the size of the global healthcare IT markets was valued at $41.2 billion. As the need for modern systems and technology increases, the growth will increase the risk of cyber-attacks by cybercriminals who will keep finding ways to exploit the growth for their gain.

The purpose of InfoArmor is to notify all healthcare organizations to raise vital security concerns regarding the potential attacks associated with third party providers being targeted by cybercriminals.

Whether the result is stolen PII/PHI, ransomware, targeted spear phishing attacks or any other kind of exploitation, the consequences can have a drastic impact to any organization.

Florida Man Selling Fentanyl on AlphaBay Market, Arrested

Chrissano Leslie, who is known by his username ”owlcity” among the users of the dark web marketplaces, was arrested in Fort Lauderdale on charges of trafficking MDMA, Fentanyl, cocaine, and a-PVP, according to reports.

Drug trafficking charges were leveled against him following a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigation into one of the most popular darknet marketplaces, AlphaBay Market, a darknet site that sells a host of illicit goods and services.

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

On 26th July 2016, the DEA agents raided Leslie’s home and arrested the 26-year-old Florida man.

Initially, the operation was initiated for the purpose of nabbing Leslie for dealing in heroin and fentanyl, but the agents got hold of cocaine, MDMA, and a-PVP when they raided his home.

As it stands, he will have to face all of these charges in a federal court.

The DEA initiated an investigation of Leslie after he carried out a series of drug transactions over the past year on AlphaBay Market.

In March this year, undercover agents who posed as buyers sought some amount of “China white heroin” on AlphaBay Market.

Leslie, who was operating as a vendor on the AlphaBay Market site, quickly accepted payment in bitcoins from the agents, like any other vendor operating on the site, and then duly filled in their order.

The undercover agents, who had agreed to pay $510 in Bitcoin for the shipment, wanted it to be sent to an unspecified mail drop.

According to Francisco Maderal, a federal prosecutor, Leslie reportedly told the DEA agents, for some unknown reason, that their package would be delivered from a particular U.S. Post Office in Hollywood.

The undercover DEA agents kept a watch on the said Hollywood Post Office and saw Leslie drop the package.

fentanylThe agents then intercepted the package and tested the drugs to confirm that it was fentanyl.

Subsequently, the DEA agents raided the suspect’s home.

During the raid, they found out Leslie’s computer and gleaned evidence as regards to importation of fentanyl from China.

Though the federal government is known to allow importation of some amount of drugs, Leslie’s fentanyl trafficking is not likely to fall under what is termed as the importation of personal prescriptions.

Typically, individuals in the U.S. are not allowed to import prescription drugs into the country.

However, the FDA does provide guidance for the importation of unapproved new drugs under “Coverage of Personal Importations.”

According to a DEA affidavit, criminals are taking advantage of the anonymity offered by the dark web for creating online black markets like AlphaBay Market and use them for trafficking controlled substances as well as a great deal of other illicit goods.

If the charges are proved in court, Leslie would have to serve more than ten years in jail. Of course, it all depends on how the hearing proceeds.

AlphaBay Vendor Known as IcyEagle Accused of Bank Fraud

Aaron James Glende, a 35-year-old from Winona, was arrested by the feds in Atlanta for selling fraud-related products on AlphaBay, a dark web marketplace.

He was also known by the name Icyeagle.

He was charged with different counts including aggravated identity theft, access device fraud, and bank fraud.

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

Icyeagle – AlphaBay Vendor

stolen bank account details being sold

Aaron allegedly started to advertise on the AlphaBay since the month of November 2015.

AlphaBay is a darknet site that can be accessed only by using Tor.

Using the online pseudonym Icyeagle, Glende allegedly advertised to sell stolen bank account details on 4th May 2016.

This was listed under the “Fraud” category on AlphaBay.

Icyeagle offered to sell hacked SunTrust Bank account details. These accounts were known to have weak security.

The sale price was about $66.99 for an account.

There were also indications that Icyeagle had sold 11 account logins on AlphaBay since November 2015.

It was alleged that these accounts contained substantial balance amounts.

Though the first listing by Icyeagle in AlphaBay was for accounts with high balance amounts (30K – 150K), he placed yet another listing on 19th March 2016 in which he offered SunTrust Bank hacked logins for $9.99.

These accounts had balances of U$100 to $500. It is indicated that he had sold 32 such login details since November 2015.

It was during the months of March and April 2016 that an FBI agent logged into AlphaBay as a customer on more than one occasion in a covert operation.

The agent purchased SunTrust Bank login details from Glende using bitcoins.

The information that was bought from Glende had the following details: usernames, addresses, email addresses, passwords, bank account numbers, and telephone numbers.

These details were purportedly that of five different SunTrust Bank clients.

After that, Glende was arraigned on different charges, including aggravated identity theft, before the Magistrate Judge Janet F. King and was indicted on 28th June 2016.

However, the charges are yet to be proved and till such time Glende is presumed to be innocent.

It is the responsibility of the government to prove the charges against Glende during the trial.

The FBI is now investigating the case with the assistance from the Minnesota Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, and the US Postal Investigation Service.

The AlphaBay Darknet Market

Alphabay Fraud Vendor IcyEagleAttorney John Horn said in a court statement that Aaron Glende allegedly sold stolen bank account details on AlphaBay, a darknet marketplace designed to sell illicit goods and services.

In the light of this arrest, he also warned citizens to be careful with their bank account information.

Most financial information is traded for cash on such sites.

AlphaBay has several features that are specifically designed for those wishing to buy or sell illicit services.

The categories are named as follows: Drugs and Chemicals, Fraud, Carded Items, Weapons, Counterfeit Items, etc.

The search function of the website allows the visitor to search for items by name. Purchases are to be made using bitcoins.

Much like popular ecommerce sites eBay and Amazon, users can search for vendors by name and could also rate vendors and their services.

AlphaBay Market Is Back Open As Normal

4Zt9DpdDk7W8DEj94_Dark-Net-Word-Cloud-v4-ForWinAfter a short absence from the darknet owing to security updates, AlphaBay Market is now up again for business on the darknet albeit with some new rules. Those registering have been cautioned that no password resets would be done, plus lost security codes will be unrecoverable, so it’s wise for users to jot down their passwords somewhere to avoid misplacement. Selling/sharing account information with others is also forbidden unless one is using the “Shared Access” command.

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

-1x-1Additionally, after an order has been placed on AlphaBay Market, it cannot be canceled unless the buyer comes to a mutual agreement with their dealer. Despite the comeback, some users are still complaining that their orders are not going through despite sending bitcoins to the right addresses. Submitting ticket inquiries to admin also didn’t help as they received a reply “not an alphabay address.” Other AlphaBay Market users, however, advised such people always to double-check their address before sending bitcoins.

AlphaBay Market: Users’ Accounts Temporarily Locked

shutdownAlphaBay Market recently suffered a temporary shutdown due to security reasons; users who tried logging in during this period were immediately disconnected. This issue affected everybody doing business on AlphaBay Market, with some expressing total dismay that it had prevented them from purchasing certain items they required urgently.

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

Following this technical glitch, some people were quick to suspect that it was another exit scam since they have been quite rampant on the darknet. With one Reddit user, in particular, saying that he had $130 in his AlphaBay Market account for making purchases, but all that was put into limbo after the shutdown has been announced. He was further disappointed that BTC value had increased by 27% by the time this was happening.

However, others urged for more patience saying it was too early to jump to conclusions since downtimes happen on almost every darknet site. People should not say it’s an exit scam at the first sign of a technicality since such claims are usually unfounded. After the disconnection has been announced, AlphaBay Market thanked users for their continued understanding as servers were being upgraded. They said logins would be enabled again within 24-hrs. duration after the downtime, but until then any attempts to sign in will be reversed by admin.

Nevertheless, users were also cautioned about a concentrated phishing attempt on online forums where hackers were giving out fake links to unsuspecting victims. Admin requested genuine account holders to report those who are sending out such referral pages so that they can be banned from AlphaBay Market completely. They also pointed that the hackers were saying members who fail to protect their accounts won’t be able to access the marketplace once it reopens again, so they would be better off sharing their login details with others online. This statement is not true and was only used by fraudsters to entice unsuspecting individuals. At first glance, the hackers seemed concerned about AlphaBay Market users’ welfare, but in truth, they were only interested in taking advantage of the situation. They could be identified by their broken English messages which were done intentionally rather than by error, for instance, one posted “Imshareing this” then went ahead to give fake promises to readers.

The AlphaBay Market moderator didn’t take this downtime lightly and went beyond his way to guarantee concerned users that it was just a temporary thing, he responded to queries genuinely giving people assurance that their money was safe. Furthermore, the updates were done at around midnight which is usually the time that most normal websites do their upgrades. But Nucleus refugees trading on this platform were still skeptical, saying that nothing is impossible considering what they recently went through at the hands of Nucleus. It’s not the first time that AlphaBay Market has experienced such downtimes; this also happened a few months ago, but the site came back to normal several hours later. Such interruptions affect both buyers and vendors alike, though the site usually comes out better than before after the upgrades are done.

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.

China’s State Hackers Operate On The Darknet

keyboard_chinese_flag-100525260-primary.idgeThe Chief Information Security Officer for a Californian-based firm, DBI, which specializes in gathering intelligent information about criminal activities on the Darknet, has announced the existence of secretive marketplaces run by Chinese online spies. Ed Alexander said in a phone interview that these Darknet portals are where most of China’s state hackers do their part-time job, and then sell stolen information to the highest bidders. He stated that their primary allegiance is to China, apart from themselves.

DBI trains and administers Darknet investigators-for-hire who perform human intelligence operations (HUMINT) on the Darknet, with Alexander overseeing some of the world’s largest CyberHUMINT groups. Despite reports saying that China’s state hackers are sluggish and not well skilled, Ed begs to differ with this opinion. Instead maintaining they are the most technical people he has ever come across in his 10 years since running CyberHUMINT operations. Even hackers from other nations, such as Syrian Electronic Army, do not match their level of expertise.

There are two parts of the Internet that people use today, the most popular one which can be accessed by anybody is called Surface Net or Clearnet. It includes all sections of the web that are available on search engines. However, a more concealed side is also in existence known as Deep Web. It makes up 94% of all Internet activity including data which standard search engines cannot search.

Further within the Deep Web, there are hidden sites that can only be reached through specialized tools like the Tor browser; this part of the Internet is the Darknet. While there are few legit websites operating here, there are also online black market sites such as the now defunct Silk Road marketplace. However, DBI deals with an even deeper portion of the Darknet where it gathers intelligence information from private forums where real underground Darknet criminals conduct their business here.

 

DBI’s approach to investigating cybercrime is different from other intelligence gathering startups, most of which only retrieve data off from open Darknet forums. Moreover, DBI is currently the only company providing Cyber-HUMINT services for hire. With operatives already employed by Fortune 500 companies, military, law enforcement and intelligence networks worldwide.

Alexander compared the Darknet setting to that of a gang operating within the prison ecosystem. New entrants are not considered part of these gangs, but rather just outsiders peeking around. They remain oblivious to discussions taking place amongst organizations running the act. He further stated that DBI has the technology to see discussions targeting state and business networks, including data that has already been breached by hackers and sold to online bidders.

In China’s Darknet environment, public discussion forums are mostly used by less experienced hackers. The state hackers work on difficult to access marketplaces. Alexander said that these data thieves are state sponsored since some of them have divulged this information to his operatives.

10-most-notorious-hackers-of-all-time-400x282The state hackers use a 3-step, invites-only Darknet marketplace where users follow a laid down procedure before accessing the site. Interested prospective members must first be recommended by a known member, and then approved by site admin. Next, he should be backed by at least 5 trusted Darknet citizens of high status. Finally, every individual must prove that they own at least $100,000 worth of bitcoins in a virtual wallet and also demonstrate control over this particular account. It’s only after completing these steps that a new member can be allowed to shop and interact freely with other Darknet members.

Most data hacking clients are representatives from various countries around the world, with buyers sourced from international markets such as Russia and Iran. These Chinese Darknet hackers will sell their wares to any nation that has enough financial resources to purchase them, though they won’t conduct business with those working for terrorist organizations.

Stolen data can cost anywhere up to $75,000 depending on its significance, while access to a state or business network might reach even prices of $100,000. Additionally, if a client wants to hire hackers for a specific target they charge in excesses of $1 million. The CISO head further confirmed that most Chinese hackers run their Darknet activities as side projects.

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.

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.

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