Archive for January, 2013

Ever since the suspected DDoS attack in November, the admins at Silk Road have been combating a number of different scams and attacks on the site.

The Quickbuy Scam (see below) - this vendor's image has been hacked with a fake bitcoin address

The Quickbuy Scam (see below) – this vendor’s image has been hacked with a fake bitcoin address

It’s hard to tell whether this is a concerted attack by one group determined to piss the website off or each one is separate. The most pervasive ones have been:

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Unless you’ve been under a rock, you would be aware that there are thriving underground black markets on the darkweb, offering everything from drugs to shrunken heads for sale.  Many of these markets offer the purchaser a new identity.

Image

I figured if I was going to be anyone it might as well be the Mother of Dragons

The difference between buying drugs online and buying a fake ID is that the purchaser of the latter is forced to lose some anonymity.  Drug purchasers can use a fake name and a ‘drop’ address, such as a vacant house where they can access the letterbox.  When purchasing a licence or passport the purchaser can take the same precautions but must, of course, provide a photograph.  So it’s no surprise that potential buyers are wary of anonymous sellers on black market websites.  Most people assume the sellers to be scammers, whilst the more paranoid are concerned that law enforcement is creating a honeypot.

One such seller on a marketplace on the darkweb, frustrated at being stonewalled by suspicious potential purchasers, made me a startling offer – he would provide me a NSW driver licence for free to use in an article I’ve been researching on identity theft.  An offer too good not to take up.

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When researching my story The New Underbelly, I wound up, as you do, with reams of information, the vast majority of which didn’t make it to the article due to space constraints or because it wasn’t what my editor asked for.

I briefly quoted Dr Bill Glaser (and I hope I did not misrepresent him in any way) but our exchange was significantly longer and I’d like to share some things I learned about child porn and contact child sex offenders.

Whilst I did visit many of the sites mentioned in my article – including some of the gateways to the child porn sites – I did not download any child abuse material, i.e. I did not view any pictures or videos.  I have no interest in seeing such stuff for journalism purposes or otherwise.

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