Darknet markets are used to buy and sell recreational drugs online.

Drug trafficking

Darknet markets are used to buy and sell recreational drugs online. Some drug traffickers use encrypted messaging tools to communicate with drug mules. The dark web site Silk Road was a major online marketplace for drugs before it was shut down by law enforcement (then reopened under new management, and then shut down by law enforcement again). After Silk Road 2.0 went down, Silk Road 3 Reloaded emerged. However, it was just an older marketplace named Diabolus Market, that used the name for more exposure from the brand’s previous success.

Federal agents have had a huge crackdown on these markets.

Darknet markets have had an up-rise in traffic in recent years for many reasons. One of the biggest contributors being the anonymity and safety that goes along when using the markets. There are numerous ways you can lose all your money invested and be caught when using Darknet markets. Vendors and customers alike go to great lengths to keep their identities a secret while online. Commonly used tools are virtual private networks, Tails, and Tor to help hide their trail left behind for investigators. Darknet markets make the user feel safe as they can get what they want from the comfort of their home. People can easily gain access to a Tor browser with DuckDuckGo browser that allows a user to explore much deeper than other browsers such as Google Chrome. However actually gaining access to an illicit market isn’t as simple as typing it in on the search engine like you would with google. Darknet markets have special links that are changing everyday ending in .onion opposed to the typical .com, .net. and .org domain extensions. To add to privacy the biggest currency on these markets is Bitcoin. Bitcoin allows transactions to be committed between people by exchanging wallet addresses and never having to know anything about the person you’re sending money to.

One of the biggest issues the users face who use marketplaces are the vendors or market itself exit scamming. This is when usually a vendor with a high rating will act as if they’re still selling on the market and have users send them money.[52] The vendor will then close off his account after receiving money from multiple buyers and never send what they purchased. The vendors all being involved in illegal activities have a low chance at not exit scamming when they no longer want to be a vendor. In 2019, an entire market called Wall Street Market had allegedly exit scammed, stealing 30 million dollars from the vendors and buyers wallets in bitcoin.

Federal agents have had a huge crackdown on these markets. In July 2017, federal agents seized one of the biggest markets commonly called Alphabay. Commonly investigators will pose as a buyer and order packages from darknet vendors in the hopes they left a trail they can follow. One investigation had an investigator pose as a firearms seller and for six months people purchased from them and provided home addresses. They were able to make over a dozen arrests during this six-month investigation. Another one of law enforcement’s biggest crackdowns are on vendors selling fentanyl and opiates. With thousands of dying each year due to drug over dose it was long overdue for law enforcement to crack down on these markets. Many vendors don’t realize the extra charges that go along with selling drugs online. Commonly they get charged with money laundering and charges for when the drugs are shipped in the mail on top of being a drug distributor. Each state has its laws and regulations on drugs therefore vendors have the face multiple charges from different states. In 2019, a vendor was sentenced to 10 years in prison after selling cocaine and methamphetamine under the name JetSetLife. Although many investigators spend a lot of time tracking down people in the course of a year only 65 suspects were identified who bought and sold illegal goods on some of the biggest markets. This is compared to the thousands of transactions taking place daily on these markets.

One of the highest profiled banking computer crime occurred during a course of three years beginning in 1970. The chief teller at the Park Avenue branch of New York’s Union Dime Savings Bank embezzled over $1.5 million from hundreds of accounts.
A hacking group called MOD (Masters of Deception), allegedly stole passwords and technical data from Pacific Bell, Nynex, and other telephone companies as well as several big credit agencies and two major universities. The damage caused was extensive, one company, Southwestern Bell suffered losses of $370,000 alone.
In 1983, a 19-year-old UCLA student used his PC to break into a Defense Department International Communications system.
Between 1995 and 1998 the Newscorp satellite pay to view encrypted SKY-TV service was hacked several times during an ongoing technological arms race between a pan-European hacking group and Newscorp. The original motivation of the hackers was to watch Star Trek reruns in Germany; which was something which Newscorp did not have the copyright to allow.[60] On 26 March 1999, the Melissa worm infected a document on a victim’s computer, then automatically sent that document and a copy of the virus spread via e-mail to other people.
In February 2000, an individual going by the alias of MafiaBoy began a series denial-of-service attacks against high-profile websites, including Yahoo!, Dell, Inc., E*TRADE, eBay, and CNN. About 50 computers at Stanford University, and also computers at the University of California at Santa Barbara, were amongst the zombie computers sending pings in DDoS attacks. On 3 August 2000, Canadian federal prosecutors charged MafiaBoy with 54 counts of illegal access to computers, plus a total of ten counts of mischief to data for his attacks.
The Stuxnet worm corrupted SCADA microprocessors, particularly of the types used in Siemens centrifuge controllers.
The Flame (malware) that mainly targeted Iranian officials in an attempt to obtain sensitive information.
The Russian Business Network (RBN) was registered as an internet site in 2006. Initially, much of its activity was legitimate. But apparently, the founders soon discovered that it was more profitable to host illegitimate activities and started hiring its services to criminals. The RBN has been described by VeriSign as « the baddest of the bad ». It offers web hosting services and internet access to all kinds of criminal and objectionable activities, with individual activities earning up to $150 million in one year. It specialized in and in some cases monopolized personal identity theft for resale. It is the originator of MPack and an alleged operator of the now-defunct Storm botnet.
On 2 March 2010, Spanish investigators arrested 3 men who were suspected of infecting of over 13 million computers around the world. The « botnet » of infected computers included PCs inside more than half of the Fortune 1000 companies and more than 40 major banks, according to investigators.
In August 2010 the international investigation Operation Delego, operating under the aegis of the Department of Homeland Security, shut down the international pedophile ring Dreamboard. The website had approximately 600 members and may have distributed up to 123 terabytes of child pornography (roughly equivalent to 16,000 DVDs). To date this is the single largest U.S. prosecution of an international child pornography ring; 52 arrests were made worldwide.
In January 2012 Zappos.com experienced a security breach after as many as 24 million customers’ credit card numbers, personal information, billing and shipping addresses had been compromised.
In June 2012 LinkedIn and eHarmony were attacked, compromising 65 million password hashes. 30,000 passwords were cracked and 1.5 million EHarmony passwords were posted online.[66] December 2012 Wells Fargo website experienced a denial of service attack. Potentially compromising 70 million customers and 8.5 million active viewers. Other banks thought to be compromised: Bank of America, J. P. Morgan U.S. Bank, and PNC Financial Services.
23 April 2013 saw the Associated Press’ Twitter account’s hacked – the hacker posted a hoax tweet about fictitious attacks in the White House that they claimed left President Obama injured.[68] This hoax tweet resulted in a brief plunge of 130 points from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, removal of $136 billion from S&P 500 index,[69] and the temporary suspension of AP’s Twitter account. The Dow Jones later restored its session gains.
In May 2017, 74 countries logged a ransomware cybercrime, called « WannaCry »
Illicit access to camera sensors, microphone sensors, phonebook contacts, all internet-enabled apps, and metadata of mobile telephones running Android and IOS were reportedly made accessible by Israeli spyware, found to be being in operation in at least 46 nation-states around the world. Journalists, Royalty and government officials were amongst the targets. Previous accusations of cases of Israeli-weapons companies meddling in international telephony and smartphones have been eclipsed in the 2018 reported case.
In December 2019, the United States intelligence and an investigation by The New York Times revealed that messaging application of the United Arab Emirates, ToTok is a spying tool. The research revealed that the Emirati government attempted to track every conversation, movement, relationship, appointment, sound and image of those who install the app on their phones.

Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cybercrime.

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Alain STEVENS - Pacta

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