Darkode Is Back Online

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The world’s most dangerous dark web hacking forum has resurfaced, barely two weeks after the law enforcement agencies claimed to have seized those behind it.

The forum granted its users access to a secretive network where they could purchase or trade illegal goods.

The dark web site also had discussion forums where its members could share information about hacking.

On 14 July, a combined raid by the FBI, the US Department of Justice, Europol, the UK’s National Crime Agency and dozens of national police officers lead to the arrest of 28 people. The arrest brought the total number of arrests to 70 across the globe.

The UK National Crime Agency announced that 5 men had been apprehended in connection with Darkode between 2013 and 2015, stating that the members seized at first were used to track other suspects. Despite these arrests, the forum’s most recent administrator escaped the arrest, prompting speculation that he is still on the run from the authorities.

In a message posted to its new dark web site on 26 July, the administrators announced their plans to restore the forum.

The announcement was made via the Jabber instant messaging account that one of the admin has used for years, so it is unlikely to be fake, according to a UK cybercrime researcher who uses an online identity MalwareTech.

Your TOR usage is being watched

A post on the site’s homepage not only shows that the kingpins are still operational, but offers instructions to ensure members don’t get itchy feet.

The message goes on to confirm the forum has added a new onion routing Tor that generates distinctive addresses for its members.

The unique addresses make it difficult for authorities to track or monitor the website.

Knowing the law enforcement agencies are after it, the new Darkode site claims it will only accept known users it can confirm and verification will be made using Blockchain API.

All this is designed to persuade original users back and reassure them that their details are safe.

The new site goes on to warn members to avoid people publicly claiming to be members as well as people who joined Darkode in the last 6-8 months.

This dark web site had been under the police watch list in recent years and the new security measures are no surprise.

Researchers and journalists have been using hacked accounts to monitor what was taking place on the forum and leaking information to law enforcement agencies about illegal activities on the site.

These new security measures will seek to assure Darkode users that it is still secure for them to use anonymously.

According to authorities, the original Darkode site had close to 300 active members before it was dismantled and housed some of the world’s most infamous hackers.

No one knows how many of the original Darkode members will sign up with the new website.

Dark0de (aka Darkode) is a cybercrime forum and black marketplace described by Europol as "the most prolific English-speaking cybercriminal forum to date".

Darkode isn’t the first dark web hacker forum to resurface following a raid operation. Key forums such as Silk Road and GameOver Zeus returned to action after suffering the same fate.

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