Neat little interview I did with a fellow blogger

Secrets of the Dark

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I must say, it’s always interesting (and enlightening) to meet people who actually know their stuff when it comes to the dark web. Not long ago, on Twitter, I had that opportunity.

Eileen Ormsby, the Melbourne-based author of Silk Road and All Things VICE, was the perfect person to talk to regarding the ins and outs of the dark web in all its shady glory. According to her, her interest in the dark web emerged as a result of doing research for the Silk Road book, and eventually led to the creation of the blog.

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Given that I, too, am aiming to find the truth about the dark web amongst all the disinformation, it seems that Ormsby and I have something in common.  We even touched on my “favorite” dark web myth, red rooms!

Secrets of the Dark: What were your initial experiences…

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Lovely book review. Thanks to Digital Dilettante

Digital Dilettante

My partner has recently been holding a curious fascination with what is known as the dark web. In turn, I delved into the available information in the ‘safe’ internet we all are familiar with, also known as the clear web. The more I had read, the more I wanted to know about it. The internet we know comprises of only 4% of all web pages – 96% resides in the dark web. Think of that unsettling iceberg metaphor – most of it you can’t even see. And the services provided on the dark web range from the subjectively illegal such as drug trafficking, to the downright morally abhorrent such as human experimentation, child pornography, and torture.

Silk Road by Eileen Ormsby details the rise and fall of one of the more tame sections of the dark web; encrypted online drug vending. It explains how another critical invention – the purely…

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There’s nothing like an inaccurate, poorly-written, unresearched defamatory piece of garbage journalism to bring people out of the woodwork. So I have to thank one Ms Margi Murphy for this laughably bad piece of trash

Dark Webz downloading heroin into your children's veins & filming them necked!

Dark Webz downloading heroin into your children’s veins & filming them nekkid before killing them!

I often lament the loss of Silk Road (v.1.0). I was so entrenched in that  place, spending hours a day in the forums as I wrote my book, blogging about the shenanigans as they happened and shooting shit with other members. Losing it felt like losing friends. Whilst more people than ever before are buying drugs online from the darknet markets, none of those markets have the sense of community, purpose and camaraderie as the original.

Although they no longer all gather in one place, I’ve kept in touch with several of the old guard. Some I now know by real name (high-profile arrests and all ) and others I still know only by their handles.

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Another story from the dark web “murder-for-hire” site hack. Read The Curious Case of Besa Mafia first.

There are stories of people paying real money, verifiable through the blockchain, that have come out of the hack. Both targets and their would-be killers can be identified, so it’s only fair to leave those to the authorities for now.

Meanwhile, in an epic troll, someone contacted Besa Mafia asking whether they can buy children (its okay if they’re ugly, but not if they’re from the Midwest).

Even hitmen get trolled

Even hitmen get trolled

And it’s hard to imagine BesaAdmin is not playing along.

BesaAdmin steps up to respond to all questions, complete with scenarios lifted straight from films about how to get them to cooperate (pretend you’re the nice guy getting them from the bad guys) and no, they are not kept in basements until they’re sold. You can refuse the first two kids they come up with, but there will be no a trial rental of a child.

Anon is interested in trialling out becoming a hitperson, because he doesn’t think there are many in Kansas. Besa would have to supply the sniper rifle though, because Anon can’t afford that and the hoodies.

It’s all kind of darkly amusing, if you have a particularly warped sense of humour.

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The hack of dark web “murder-for-hire” outfit Besa Mafia, which I wrote about a couple of days ago. has provided a treasure trove of stories of people who are prepared to go to extreme measures to be rid of someone in their lives. Most never got further than the initial enquiries. A few parted with tens of thousands of dollars. Nobody got much satisfaction.

One of the first customers that Besa Mafia engaged with was a Texan fellow who wanted to put out a hit on his ex-wife. It didn’t go quite to plan. Especially once Guido came into the conversation.

revolver_bang

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Before the recent hack confirmed definitively what rational people already knew – i.e. that the dark web “murder-for-hire” site was a scam – it was a little disconcerting that Besa Mafia’s No.1 FAQ was Do you have people in Australia?

Eeek! Look at what the No.1 most Frequently Asked Question is!

Aussies have always been big users of the DNMs

Now a thorough search of the leaked mails and orders has found no evidence that any of the people who made Australian-based enquiries parted with any money. However, at least one sent full details of the intended victim.

Compared to the US orders (where payments were made), interest seems to peter out fairly quickly from most of the Aussie enquirers. (If you haven’t heard about the site or the hack, catch up here).

I’ve compiled a list of the Australian interactions with the site, presented in an easy-read format, without commentary but accompanied by whimsical illustrations for you:

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Disturbing revelations have come out of a dark web hire-a-hitman site

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Drugs, hacking services, stolen financial and personal information and fraud-related services are the staple products of the darknet markets. But there has always been websites offering far more sinister wares – poisons, human beings and hitmen. Such sites are overwhelmingly amateurish, poorly worded fakes, designed to separate the gullible from their Bitcoin.

Earlier this year, Besa Mafia burst on to the dark web with a slick and user-friendly site. They claimed to be Albanian organised crime figures, with employees all over the world. Despite laughable “testimonials” and a ridiculous writing style, the owner of the site managed to convince many that they were real.

Besa embarked on a marketing spree on the clearweb, with apparently satisfied customers providing ‘personal stories’ of successful hits. Little by little, belief that they were genuine began to gain traction. Redditors would claim the others were fake, but Besa was the real deal. Believers would stubbornly insist they knew someone who knew someone who hired a contract killer and paid them in Bitcoin.

Dark web mythbuster and Moderator of /r/deepweb, Deku-Shrub was tiring of the misinformation and rumour spreading by Besa shills. He responded to every post that claimed the services offered by the website were real with a rebuttal and even interviewed the site owners, then ridiculed them on his blog, Pirate London.

Rational people knew this site was a scam, just like all the others. Probably some geeky kid with too much time on his hands and too many hours spent on Playstation having a laugh.

Then something happened.

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