Of Course Shutting Down Silk Road Will Not Deter the Black Market in the Slightest

The infamous online black market Silk Road was shut down by authorities at the beginning of the month and its alleged mastermind, Ross William Ulbricht, arrested.

While the feds actions have disrupted trade momentarily, the black market is already rebounding. Mashable tracked down one of their major vendors and found they’ve already figured out new ways to sell their THC lollipops:

Angelina was a vendor on Silk Road, which the FBI described as the Internet's largest "sprawling black market bazaar" after the agency seized the website and arrested its alleged owner earlier this month. Though we refer to Angelina as a female, in reality she's a highly secretive team of people who use sophisticated anonymizing technology to maintain a booming online drug business.

We communicated with Angelina through a series of encrypted messages before the fall of Silk Road, and she said her business runs "like a small Internet retailer/packing and shipping company." A couple weeks after the site closed, we reconnected with Angelina on Silk Road's forums, which are still up and running.

"The shutdown of Silk Road and the instantaneous rise of several new sites has taught us that the market is an idea, not a particular web address," Angelina wrote. "It doesn't matter who, or where or how exactly — as long as there are buyers there will be sellers."

“Angelina” has moved on to two other sites to sell her THC-infused suckers. Mashable notes the volume of customers is much lower than Silk Road, but no doubt they will certainly grow now.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    This tells me that authorities haven't expended enough resources on this yet. They must redouble their efforts.

  • Paul.||

    And redouble they will.

  • Paul.||

    A handful of recent and upcoming research papers have shown that the Tor network is no longer a safe place to run hidden services.

    "In general, Tor architecture is not suited for protecting anonymity of long-term, popular web services," says Alex Biryukov of the University of Luxembourg. The Tor Project acknowledged as much earlier this year, and even laid out a roadmap to fix the issues, if and when it can find the resources. Its current insecurity isn't stopping other black markets from filling the void left by Silk Road's demise. Sheep Marketplace and Black Market Reloaded both offer drugs and weapons and are both still accessible via Tor – for now.

    Bez Carefulz BlackMarket Reloaded...

  • Paul.||

    Sorry, links for the curious:


  • Plopper||

    Some of these people interviewed have no clue what they are talking about.

    The Baneki researcher says the FBI managed to get administrative access to the Silk Road servers and make a copy of the hard drives, then sit in the background watching all the traffic."We don't know how that was done, are aware of no routine techniques that would enable that kind of intrusion. If there's technology to do that, it's very advanced."

    Hilariously ignorant. The fact that he needed help in development of the site showed he wasn't a top tier programmer, and it's highly possible he used insecure code.

    They also could have found the location of the server once they made a subpoena for his gmail address, by simply reading his email. Derp.

  • Plopper||

    I should have added, doing any of the things the ignoramus "security researcher" mentions in the paragraph I quoted could have easily been done from a remote intrusion.

  • JidaKida||

    lol, one shuts down, nine more open lol.



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