The last week brought confirmation that the Agora online marketplace’s recent downtime has been due to a DDoS attack.
It joins the long list of darknet services that have been hit by these recent attacks, which now appear to have mostly been based on the darknet markets being held for ransom by attackers.
A string of articles on Deep Dot Web recently revealed the source of the issues.
The truth was discovered when a market admin’s account was hacked by TheRealDeal, another marketplace, and the admin’s communication were revealed.
It was back at the beginning of May when Mr Nice Guy was hit with DDoS attacks.
The offenders demanded 8 bitcoins to be paid within an hour to end the assault; however, the admin had another plan in mind.
He wanted to negotiate, and he was willing to pay. He offered the attackers $200 a day or $6000 a month to launch DDoS attacks against rival markets including Agora, Nucleus, BlackBank and AlphaBay.
The entire communications transcript
The reputation of Mr Nice Guy has surely been greatly damaged by these events.
While there is a great deal of competition between darknet markets for the multitude of customers that seek to buy and sell on the Deep Web, in the past similar attacks have been met with collaboration.
The darknet markets, though they compete with each other for business recognize the necessity for cooperation, as it only takes a few markets to go down for the integrity of all markets to be questioned.
Nowhere was this more evident than when the Evolution marketplace exit scammed, leaving with over $12 million dollars in bitcoin.
The aftermath revealed a dark spell of the darknet markets as they all suffered a reduction in customers.
In an interview with Deep Dot Web, the man behind Mr Nice Guy spoke about his remorse for what he had done.
He said that it would be up to the Deep Web community whether they wished to trust him again.
However, he did say that he had learned that the way to attract customers was increasing security as well as providing extra services; he stated that his is the only major marketplace offered in more than one language.
While the DDoS attacks are still occurring to an extent, the loss of their contractor has reduced the efforts of the offenders somewhat, and most of the darknet markets have come back online.
Yet this saga has definitely shown the weaknesses that exist in the system, and how one stray admin can do an awful lot of damage to the entire network.
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