Silk Road Rising: The eBay of Illegal Goods Gets a Second Life

November 7, 2013 | By Kevin Judge
Adobe Flash and Cold Fusion FixYou know the web, but do you know the “deep web”?
The term “deep web” refers to web pages that are dynamically created and, therefore, not indexed by search engines. That could be for legitimate reasons, but it is also used by sites engaged in illegal activity to avoid be identified by the authorities.Silk Road was such a site. You could obtain all things illegal, available for the right price in bitcoins. Everything from illegal drugs to weapons to fake passports was up for sale. The website was accessible only through a routing service named Tor , which aims to promote anonymity and help users safeguard their browsing details from the prying eyes of surveillance agencies. There are certainly legitimate uses for Tor and, in fact, the system has its roots in DARPA, the US government agency that developed what has become the Internet.In this case, Silk Road used its anonymity to become the eBay of illegal sales. During one 19 month period, the US Government claims it handled $1.5 billion dollars in transactions and earned $79 million in commission.

That’s what the US Government said last month when it shut down the site arrested the alleged owner of the site for crimes related to the illegal activities conducted on the site.

Like recent take down of illegal botnet networks, the target seems to have achieved a life after death with Silk Road 2.0. It is being widely reported that the site has reemerged again within Tor and is being run by Administrator using the same name famously used by the found, Dead Pirate Roberts. The efforts of the authorities are slowing them a bit; they are only accepting new user accounts with a recommendation from an existing user.

As with fighting botnets, this is a game of “whack a mole”. Slap one down, and another pops up again. The problem is that there is just too much money to be made doing bad things. While it has always been thus, today’s technologies will make it difficult for the good guys to ever rest.

Be Sociable, Share!

    Add new comment

    Your name
    Comment

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>