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February 13 2014

Silk Road 2 Hacked, 88,000 Bitcoin Allegedly Stolen
Silk RoadSilk Road 2 moderator Defcon reported in a forum post that hackers have used a transaction malleability exploit to hack the marketplace. The hackers stole over 88,000 bitcoins worth $41,474,415, emptying the site's escrow account.

February 06 2014

Silk Road ‘Kingpin’ Ulbricht Could Get 20 Year Minimum Prison Sentence
ross.jpgRoss Ulbricht AKA the Dread Pirate Roberts of Silk Road fame is now facing a "kingpin" charge which carries with it a 20-year minimum sentence. By claiming that Ulbricht was part of a continuing criminal enterprise (the "kingpin statute"), the Feds have essentially handed Ulbricht a minimum 20 year sentence for his involvement in the marketplace.

January 07 2014

The Silk Road’s Libertas Is Free, To The Annoyance Of U.S. Authorities, While DoJ Mulls BTC Sell-Off
Silk RoadThe Silk Road moderator Gary Davis, aka Libertas, is officially free on bail and awaiting an extradition hearing on February 13. Irish and U.S. authorities arrested Davis on December 20 in an international operation that also nabbed Silk Road moderators Andrew Jones, aka Inigo, and Peter Phillip Nash, aka SameSameButDifferent.

December 23 2013

Silk Road 2 Still Running After Moderator Arrests
silkroad_domain_seizedThe Silk Road 2, a hidden website modeled on the original Silk Road contraband marketplace, is regrouping as the users and single remaining moderator prepare for a Christmas lockdown. The group faced a setback on Friday when US and Irish authorities arrested moderators Andrew Michael Jones, Gary Davis, and Peter Philip Nash. A final moderator, Cirrus, remains on the site. The arrests happened in conjunction with the shut-down of the first Silk Road and are probably unrelated to the new version.

December 20 2013

Alleged Top Moderators Of Silk Road 2 Forums Arrested In Ireland, U.S. In International Sweep
Screen Shot 2013-12-20 at 9.02.40 AMAt least two moderators of the Silk Road 2 user forums have been arrested by authorities in the U.S. and Ireland. A source claiming to have inside knowledge of the arrests said that Libertas, a moderator on the Silk Road 2 forums [TOR link], has been arrested by the Irish Police (Garda Siochana) in Wicklow during a raid carried out on Thursday at about 8PM local time. A source at the Wicklow Police has confirmed the arrest of the yet-unnamed moderator.

November 07 2013

Silk Road Rises Again
Like the legend of the phoenix Silk Road has risen from the ashes of a recent US crackdown and is now live and even more secure. The at 4:20 pm GMT on November 5 the so-called Silk Road 2.0 reappeared at silkroad6ownowfk.onion, an address on the TOR network.

October 07 2013

As Feds Fumble With Bitcoin The Internet Trolls The FBI's “Private” Wallet
Bitcoin is at once anonymous and completely public. You can follow transactions through the system in real time notice and see where large buys have taken place or, in this case, large transfers. See, after the fall of Silk Road the federal government transferred 26,000 BTC to a private wallet which, at this point has become a target for pranksters who have turned it into a sort of anti-government graffiti wall.

October 04 2013

Deep Web Users Are Ready To Launch Silk Road 2.0
In an interesting post-mortem release by the creators of the defunct anonymous marketplace Atlantis there is information that the former admins and users of the Silk Road are planning to resurrect the service. User RR writes: "We have SilkRoad v2.0 ready to launch and is now in its final testing stages. Our site has all the features of the original one and we have kept the same style of forum for your ease."
This Week On The Gadgets Podcast: Silk Road, Instagram Ads, BBM, And The Z30
An anonymous, underground drug trafficking web site Silk Road has been busted and the founder has been arrested, effectively shutting down a $1 billion+ revenue business after two years. And in softer tech news, Instagram has revealed plans to put ads in the stream over the next couple months. Meanwhile, BlackBerry continues to be in shambles, with BBM for Android and iOS delayed and the Z30 reportedly not going on sale in the company's home country of Canada on Rogers.

October 03 2013

After Silk Road
The Internet routes around damage. With the fall of the Silk Road there comes the inevitable expectation that the underbelly of the Internet is somehow cut and something important has been removed like a dark organ of indeterminate worth and function. This is not true. As we well know the Silk Road was not the first nor the last online market - even as the Feds celebrate their victory the Sheep Marketplace and Black Market Reloaded are angling for the crown - but the destruction of the Silk Road and, to a degree, the recent comments by the Lavabit founder, shows how deeply we trust the Internet with our secrets and how readily it gives them up.

October 02 2013

Court Docs Reveal Reputed Silk Road Founder's Alleged Murder-For-Hire Plot
For two and a half years, Silk Road was the Deep Web’s worst keep secret. The underground site was infamous for drug trafficking, gun running and murder for hire – a veritable rogues gallery for underground dealers. Since launching in 2011, the site generated over $1.2 billion in revenue and $79.8 million in commissions. It was one of the not-so-secret successes of the underground web. The site was taken offline today and the founder, Ross William Ulbricht, a/k/a “Dread Pirate Roberts”, charged with one count each of narcotics trafficking conspiracy, soliciting murder, computer hacking conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy, according to a court filing. It is the end of a strange era in computer security when one man and a team of salesmen, programmers, and cryptographers kept the government at bay for two solid years. The court filing reveals in explicit terms the lengths Ulbricht’s site went to ensure its users anonymity and details the violent means he allegedly used to protect himself and the site. The image of Ulbricht comes from his LinkedIn profile. What follows are excerpts from the court document compiling the notes of Special Agent Christopher Tarbell of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Incidentally, Silk Road users, take note: Ulbricht instituted a multi-layer system that protected your identity, but it wasn’t perfect as it seems Silk Road vendors were the weak link in the system. Read on for more details. Anon Transactions Tarbell explains in detail Silk Road’s transaction process. Silk Road uses a so–called “tumbler” to process Bitcoin transactions in a manner designed to frustrate the tracking of individual transactions through the Blockchain. According to the Silk Road wiki, Silk Road’s tumbler “sends all payments through a complex, semi–random series of dummy transactions, . . . making it nearly impossible to link your payment with any coins leaving the site.” In other words, if a buyer makes a payment on Silk Road, the tumbler obscures any link between the buyer’s Bitcoin address and the vendor’s Bitcoin address where the Bitcoins end up — making it fruitless to use the Blockchain to follow the money trail involved in the transaction, even if the buyer’s and vendor’s Bitcoin addresses are both known. Based on my training and experience, the only function served by such “tumblers” is to assist with the laundering of criminal proceeds. Special Agent Tarbell acknowledges that Bitcoins are an anonymous, decentralized form of electronic currency,
Bitcoin Falls 15% Following FBI's Silk Road Seizure
Bitcoin is taking it on the chin following the FBI seizure of Silk Road, a popular – and partially hidden – marketplace for drugs and other items generally outside the orbit of the law. As TechCrunch reported earlier today, about $1.2 billion in Bitcoin flowed through Silk Road, resulting in a nearly $80 million commission for the service. Bitcoin is responding as you would expect, as a core market that accepted it has been taken down, the federal government hemming in on its slice of the web: By rapidly shedding value. Bitcoin traded as high as $145 per coin at the end of September. Today, it’s trading around the $119 mark. RealTimeBitCoin is reporting a buy-sell spread of $118.10 to $119. This squares with another data source tracking the Mt. Gox Bitcoin-Dollar exchange rate, which places the current trading range at nearly precisely the $118 level. Here’s a chart as compiled by Clark Moody: That’s quite the drop. And it is not really that surprising: With Silk Road out of the picture for the foreseeable future, if not forever, quite a few folks now have Bitcoins burning a hole in their digital wallets. If they can’t use them, what to do? Sell, obviously. And an exodus of that scale pushes prices down. There is also a factor of fear at play. Bitcoin has accreted to itself a modicum of respectability in recent months, failing to collapse as some predicted, and instead showing off a level of price stability that has almost surprised. Until today, of course. Bitcoin started the day at around the $139 mark. At its current level of $118, Bitcoin has lost around 15% of its value. Keep watching the charts. [Update: Bitcoin is trading around the $113 mark, and continues to decline. To stay up to date, click here.] Top Image Credit: Hamed Al-Raisi

September 21 2013

Atlantis, The Flashy Silk Road Alternative, Shuts Down
Atlantis was supposed to be an "better" alternative to popular, but hidden, Silk Road market. In short, it allowed the average user to buy and sell drugs, contraband, and whatever else using an encrypted web session and Bitcoin. Now it's sunk.
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