Last week in a operation by the FBI, they seized 400 Tor domain names. The sites offered stolen passports that you can use, fake currency, fake identity’s, drugs, credit card data, and weapons.
For the average person, most of those are impossible to get without a lot of effort and risk taking. Who wants to meet someone in real life when they can do this all online? Sites within the Tor network are ‘anonymous’, and the users are claimed to be to. For payments, Bitcoins work perfect. All these factors together make the network great for anyone wanting to sell something illegally.
There is a hidden dilemma with Tor. On one hand the US Government wants it secure and running to help with anonymous communication. On the other hand, because it is secure and easy to set up, anyone can use it for any purpose. There are exploits hidden in the Tor network that can be used to find the real server address for the Tor website. Another way to find the real address is when the server makes a small mistake and leaks information that can be used to trace the owner.
From the FBI
The operation against the Dark Market Sites involved the seizure of over 400 Tor website addresses—known as “.onion” addresses—as well as the servers hosting them. Examples of some of the sites seized in the operation include:
• “Pandora” (pandora3uym4z42b.onion), “Blue Sky” (blueskyplzv4fsti.onion), “Hydra” (hydrampvvnunildl.onion), and “Cloud Nine” (xvqrvtnn4pbcnxwt.onion), all of which were dark markets similar to Silk Road 2.0, offering an extensive range of illegal goods and services for sale, including drugs, stolen credit card data, counterfeit currency, and fake identity documents.
• “Executive Outcomes” (http://iczyaan7hzkyjown.onion), which specialized in firearms trafficking, with offerings including assault rifles, automatic weapons, and sound suppressors. The site stated that it used “secure drop ship locations” throughout the world so that “anonymity [was] ensured” throughout the shipping process, and that all serial numbers from the weapons it sold were “remove[d] . . . and refill[ed] with metal.”
• “Fake Real Plastic” (http://igvmwp3544wpnd6u.onion), which offered to sell counterfeit credit cards, encoded with “stolen credit card data” and “printed to look just like real VISA and Mastercards.” The cards were “[g]uaranteed to have at least $2500 left on [the] credit card limit” and could be embossed with “any name you want on the card.”
• “Fake ID” (http://23swqgocas65z7xz.onion), which offered fake passports from a number of countries, advertised as “high quality” and having “all security features” of genuine documents.
• “Fast Cash!” (http://5oulvdsnka55buw6.onion) and “Super Notes Counter” (http://67yjqewxrd2ewbtp.onion), which offered to sell counterfeit Euros and U.S. dollars in exchange for Bitcoin.