Deep Web Confusion: AlphaBay Admins Knows English Well
It's just fit to be referred to as deep web confusion. Now, AlphaBay, the largest darknet marketplace, went dark in July 2017. Maybe it was just an exit scam. After the site went dark, law enforcement issued their statement. They said that an organized police task force infiltrated AlphaBay.
Further, Thailand police arrested Alexandre Cazes. The reason being, he was the alleged admin for the AlphaBay marketplace. Now about four years later, AlphaBay has again become operational. More so, the original admin “Desnake” proved control over AlphaBay administrators’ PGP key.
Desnake’s Questionable PGP Key
Over the past few weeks, people have been discussing the return of AlphaBay. The concerned people are users, researchers, and observers. In 2017, AlphaBay was the largest dark market. In fact, it had a 96% approval rating. So, when the site went dark, users migrated to Hansa and Dream marketplaces.
Little did Hansa users know international authorities seized the market. In June, Netherland Police and the Public Prosecutors Office dismantled Hansa. In addition, they operated the marketplace. While running Hansa, authorities gathered data concerning vendors and patrons. The latter leveraged the marketplace and seized thousands of bitcoins.
More and more deep Web confusion
It got assumed that Cazes was AlphaBay’s admin dubbed Desnake. However, he got found dead in his cell after his arrest.
Today, Hansa is no more, and Dream’s administrators closed down the shop. In August 2021, visitors utilizing the Dread platform noticed something peculiar. They noted the appearance of Desnake resurfacing. Following that, Desnake proved his identity by leveraging the account’s PGP key.
Furthermore, Disc0, a former AlphaBay moderator, vouched for Desnake. Researchers at Darkowl published a report of findings tied to Desnake’s return. Along with that, how the user promoted services hosted on Tor and I2P. Also, Darkowl notes that since the return of AlphaBay, it has been unstable.
The reasons being, users experience the following:
User registration challenges
Frequent 503 errors
Darkowl Report Indicates Moderators Speak with Impeccable English
Darkowl researchers noted similarities between the new AlphaBay and Dread. For instance, the two have similar DDoS protection and clock-captcha services. Additionally, findings showed that the marketplace gets moderated by three individuals. They are dubbed wxmax, TheCypriot, and tempest.
One other thing, the moderators speak formally with impeccable English. They gush with unbridled passion about the need for decentralized marketplaces. In addition to Darkowl’s report, an anonymous journalist gave a warning.
”Desnake proved their control of an old PGP key, an original site admin. Many naïve people are trusting it. We’ll see how this plays out. Law enforcement can seize PGP private keys just like anything else.” The journalist said.
The return of AlphaBay followed the retirement of the White House marketplace. Still, many malicious entities like to create phony dark markets. Often, they have names of legendary markets to gain trust from the community. For example, the White House dark web black market only accepted Monero. Likewise, the new AlphaBay accepts Monero.
Moreover, what if authorities are using AlphaBay PGP keys to lure victims? Indeed, such tactics have gotten used many times.
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