Online Black Market & Tor

by Stephen Kellner

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Intro Silk Road by Skellner7

How Dangerous is the Online Black Market?

The Silk road is one of the most popular and commonly used online marketplace for outsourcing illicit substances such as weapons and drugs. In some instances, users were able to contact hired mercenaries for murder.

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By the Numbers by Skellner7

By the Numbers

  • 2013: $22 million in sales.
  • Some elite operators were making $6,000 a day.
  • 97.8% of users on the Silk Road were satisfied with their purchases.
  • Feb 6th, 2011 - July 23rd, 2013 = approximately 1,229,465 transactions completed on the site.

Complete Anonymity

Tor Network

The Tor Network uses encryption to make it impossible for anyone to trace IP addresses. All of the transactions completed on the Silk Road were made while using the Tor Network, making it very difficult and next to impossible for the FBI to track down buyers and sellers.

Bitcoins

A buyer can remain completely anonymous online by completing his/her transactions with bitcoins. Bitcoins uses person to person technology to operate with a currency that is not tied to a bank. This online payment system was created in 2009 and was key to the success of the Silk Road.

Mastermind Behind the Silk Road

Ross Ulbricht was one of the creators of this pioneering bazaar in 2011. Using the pseudonym Dread Pirate Roberts, a fictional character from the movie The Princess Bride, Ross Ulbricht was able to change the way the online black market works. In 2013 the FBI arrested Ulbricht and shut down the Silk Road marketplace. Since the downfall of the Silk Road many online black market bazaars have been opened up with better defense against the FBI (using the Tor Network).

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Closing Audio by Skellner7