AlphaBay,  one of the largest Dark Web marketplaces for drugs, guns, and other illegal goods — that mysteriously went dark earlier this month without any explanation from its admins has reportedly been shut down by the international authorities.

On July 4th, the dark web marketplace suddenly went down without any explanation from its admins, which left its customers who have paid large sums in panic.

Some customers even suspected that the site’s admins had pulled an exit scam to steal user funds.

However, according to the Wall Street Journal, the disappearance of the AlphaBay came after authorities in the United States, Canada, and Thailand collaborated to conduct a series of raids and arrest Alexandre Cazes, who allegedly was one of the AlphaBay’s operators.

Citing_ “people familiar with the matter,”_ the publication claims that Cazes, a resident of Canada, was arrested in Thailand and taken into custody in Bangkok on July 5th, the same day the police executed two raids on residences in Quebec, Canada.

The 26-year-old Canadian citizen was awaiting extradition to the United States when a guard found him hanged in his jail cell on Wednesday, the Chiang Rai Times confirms. Cazes is believed to have hanged himself using a towel.

AlphaBay Market — one of the largest Dark Web marketplaces for drugs, guns, and other illegal goods — that mysteriously went dark earlier this month without any explanation from its admins has reportedly been shut down by the international authorities.

On July 4th, the dark web marketplace suddenly went down without any explanation from its admins, which left its customers who have paid large sums in panic.

Some customers even suspected that the site’s admins had pulled an exit scam to steal user funds.

However, according to the Wall Street Journal, the disappearance of the AlphaBay came after authorities in the United States, Canada, and Thailand collaborated to conduct a series of raids and arrest Alexandre Cazes, who allegedly was one of the AlphaBay’s operators.

Citing_ “people familiar with the matter,”_ the publication claims that Cazes, a resident of Canada, was arrested in Thailand and taken into custody in Bangkok on July 5th, the same day the police executed two raids on residences in Quebec, Canada.

The 26-year-old Canadian citizen was awaiting extradition to the United States when a guard found him hanged in his jail cell on Wednesday, the Chiang Rai Times confirms. Cazes is believed to have hanged himself using a towel.

Cazes had been living in Thailand for nearly 8 years. During his arrest, authorities also seized “four Lamborghini cars and three houses worth about 400 million baht ($11.7 million) in total.”

AlphaBay, also known as “the new Silk Road,” also came in the news at the beginning of this year when a hacker successfully hacked the AlphaBay site and stole over 200,000 private unencrypted messages from several users.

After the disappearance of Silk Road, AlphaBay emerged in 2014 and became a leader among dark web marketplaces for selling illicit goods from drugs to stolen credit card numbers, exploits, and malware.

Unlike dark web market ‘Evolution’ that suddenly disappeared overnight from the Internet, stealing millions of dollars worth of Bitcoins from its customers, AlphaBay Market was shut down by the law enforcement, suffering the same fate as Silk Road.

Silk Road was shut down after the law enforcement raided its servers in 2013 and arrested its founder Ross William Ulbricht, who has been sentenced to life in prison.

The FBI also seized Bitcoins (worth about $33.6 million, at the time) from the site. Those Bitcoins were later sold in a series of auctions by the United States Marshals Service (USMS).

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The shocking truth of the Deep Web

Author: Martin Voelk
April 7, 2015

The Deep Web / Dark Web was originally invented to help individuals and regime critics to voice their opinion and overcome government surveillance of communication. It also helped journalists to report the truth in countries which are heavily censored. However over the years it become a playground for Cyber criminals from all over the world.

We conduct a lot of Cyber Intelligence work as part of our services to businesses where we look specifically for Intel concerning their business interests. We think we have seen it all, but even we get surprised what we sometimes find on the Dark Web.

  • Hacked online stores where criminals share the Admin credentials
  • Corrupt employees who work for retailers and sell customer details along with their credit cards
  • Auctions for access to email accounts of business owners and high ranking managers in business
  • The trade of 0day exploits (vulnerabilities and exploits) to issues unknown to the public yet
  • Training courses for Cyber Criminals

The list goes on and on.

The most shocking discoveries are, in our own opinion, corrupt and fraudulent employees selling customer data. This is very hard to tackle. The company they work for may be PCI compliant, may have the greatest perimeter defenses, may encrypt all stored data. Yet their customer data is exposed by a corrupt employee. People with legitimate access to customer or other confidential information who sell this information to Cyber Criminals on the dark web.

The industry needs a shift in mindset. All the big companies like Cisco, Juniper, Fortinet, Symantec etc. are concerned about is selling more of their hardware and software. Yes, of course IT Security / Logical Security is improved with their products, but what about the human aspect? The human is the easiest way into a company by employing social engineering techniques, but the fraudulent employee is also not stopped by Firewalls when doing screenshots of confidential information and uploading those to their USBs or putting those on dropbox. Screenshots are just JPGs and not detected as threats as such. This is what many Security Policies seem to fail to address these days.

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December 17, 2014

Surely most of our readers have heard and even regularly use Wikipedia. A fantastic library at your fingertips. Sometimes you may even find some semi-legal information on Wikipedia, but all in all it’s a great library.

Probably few people have heard of something called the “Hidden Wiki”. Well, it has nothing to do with the original Wikipedia and even though it very much looks alike the real Wikipedia from a design perspective, it’s very different.

The Hidden Wiki is not accessible through the “normal” Internet. It resides on various .onion domains which are only accessible through a special proxy chain VPN network called TOR. The Hidden Wiki is a repository of the criminal underworld. You will find anything from financial fraud to hacking, copyright infringement, drugs, illegal materials and so on. A Wikipedia for criminals. Often the leaks from the celebrity hacks etc. end up somewhere on the hidden Wiki.

Now the hidden Wiki is often changing it’s URL. As of December 16th 2014 the current URL is: http://zqktlwi4fecvo6ri.onion/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

A word of caution. If you ever go onto the deep web (TOR), run it from a sandbox only. i.e. install a Linux or Windows distribution in VMware and only use it to surf the deep web. There are a lot of dangers on the deep web incl. malware surf-by websites and the likes.

It’s an interesting world in there. The origins of the TOR network were not malicious at all. It was created to allow journalists in restricted countries to access resources which were filtered. These days a lot of people in Germany use it, because Youtube music is not readily available to the folks over there due to some laws. We in the US enjoy the freedom of entering an artist and song into Youtube and listen to the song. People in Germany get: “Sorry due to XYZ the title is not available in your country”. If you use TOR you will use an IP address from a different Geography and likely overcome those restrictions.

Unfortunately TOR is also being used by criminals to disguise their real identity (IP) rather effectively.

As with every aspect in life, there are always good and bad to anything.

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November 30, 2014

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