Another dark net marketplace has disappeared as Agora, the largest dark net marketplace, has gone offline. The marketplace for drugs seems to have learned a lesson from the downfall of the Silk Road which faced severe legal action from the government of the US and its operators are now serving jail terms. To avoid any unfortunate event that may lead to arrest, it shut down.
According to the reports, the site’s administrators announced earlier that researchers studying the software used to access Agora may have unveiled sensitive information about Agora’s server locations. This seems to have scared the operators of Agora who decided to take it offline so that any government department is unable to reach to them.
Though Agora is the largest of several dozen websites that make up what’s known as the dark net, it is only accessible with Tor browsing software, a free service invented by the U.S. military that encrypts a user’s Web activity and guarantees their anonymity. However, later on several researchers came up with a solution that could locate the website’s server.
This has spooked the operators of Agora which has been enjoying anonymity. People at Agora admit that previously unknown methods of infiltration could put the site’s prized anonymity at risk. The site’s administrator was quoted saying that they have a solution in the works which will require big changes into their software stack which they believe will mitigate such problems; however, it will take time to implement.
The administrator also said:
We have recently been discovering suspicious activity around our servers which led us to believe that some of the attacks described in the research could be going on and we decided to move servers once again, however this is only a temporary solution.
Users asked to Withdraw Their Bitcoins
Though administrators didn’t say how long Agora would be offline, they encouraged users to withdraw any Bitcoin they have stored on the site as soon as possible. However, interestingly, a number of users have complained on dark net forums that they have tried to extract Bitcoin from their Agora account only to wait indefinitely for the request to process.
Though it is too early to say Agora will be shut permanently particularly when the administrators claim they have a solution to remain anonymity, it’s disappearance, even if it is temporary, represents a major blow to the Dark Web’s drug world. Agora became the online underground drug trade’s largest site with more than 17,000 listings of drugs for sale and over 20,000 total listings of counterfeits, drug paraphernalia, etc.
To contact the reporter of this story: Deepak Tiwari at firstname.lastname@example.org