“Silk Road”, The Online Black Market Seized by FBIBy: Alex Williams - October 2, 2013
Are you familiar with the Deep Web and Silk Road?
Deep Web is not part of the surface web, which means you cannot access its content through search engines like Google or Yahoo. Therefore, obtaining a URL address from the dark corners of Deep Web is relatively hard to find. Sites are only accessible by using anonymizing software like the Tor web browser. This is because Deep Web uses a non-traditional domain name system (DNS) for IP to web address translation; no .coms, no .orgs, just .onions – something your Firefox or Chrome browser won’t recognize.
A lot of what goes on in Deep Web, stays in Deep Web – it’s unregulated, and exchanges are usually always anonymous and untraceable. On Deep Web, you can find everything from hiring an assassin, to child pornography, to selling you soul to Satan, it’s all there; the underbelly of underbellies.
One of the websites on Deep Web is The Armory, an arms dealing website where you can buy everything for C4 by the bulk, to British passports, to M40 machine guns. Unfortunately (or fortunately), it was shut down back in February 2012 due to the lack of demand.
What about drugs? Stop on by the anonymous market place known as the Silk Road – where every drug imaginable is bought and sold; 340 varieties including heroin, LSD, cannabis, cocaine, etc.
Approximately 957,079 registered accounts and 9 million bitcoin ($1.8 billion) transactions later, Silk Road is finished. On October 1st, 2013, at the Glenn Park Library in San Francisco, the FBI arrested Ross William Ulbricht, the owner of Silk Road.
Today, authorities seized the website, and Silk Road is no longer.
According to a court filing by New York State prosecutors, Ulbricht, has been charged with one count each of money laundering, computer hacking conspiracy, and narcotics trafficking conspiracy, all of which Ulbricht intentionally and knowingly violated.
FBI agents made 100 individual under cover purchases via the Silk Road, attaining Schedule I and II drugs like heroin, LSD, and cocaine.
Since its inception in February 2011 until July 23rd, 2013, Silk Road generated $1.2 billion in revenue and $79.8 million in commissions. A report by Nicolas Christin found that Silk Road generated $92,000 a month in revenue.
(Picture via Linkedin)