Major Markets Under DDoS Attacks
Following the shutdown of major markets like Wall Street Market and AlphaBay, others such as Empire Market, Agartha, and Canada Headquarters have emerged as the frontrunners in the darknet market world.
Following the shutdown of major markets like Wall Street Market and AlphaBay, others such as Empire Market, Agartha, and Canada Headquarters have emerged as the frontrunners in the darknet market world. Even so, many of the prominent markets are having consistent issues with DDoS attacks (as well as phishing links) in recent months. While this is probably not new to anyone that's spent a reasonable amount of time on Tor, it is proving to be frustrating for both the admins and users of marketplaces.
As in the past, some of these markets have taken measures to combat DDoS attacks, such as requiring CAPTCHAs for each login, and using mirror sites in instances where the main site goes offline.
Darknet Live made an announcement to this effect on June 28, stating:
Empire Market temporarily dropped offline on June 28. People spreading phishing links on Reddit and other forums made a lot of money. The unexpected downtime had some of the most reliable sources questioning the status of the market. This is simply a public service announcement that Empire Market is back online and that dark.fail has working mirrors.
In essence, this is a similar situation to what has happened in the past when large markets have emerged as leaders in the field. For this reason, most markets are now trying to take action against these problems in any way they can. It's interesting to note that many of the phishing links of these markets show up on popular link lists, such as Fresh Onions; these may be some of the places in which users are encountering the links and getting their bitcoin and personal information stolen.
Even on some of the main Tor search engines (such as not Evil), phishing market links have a tendency to show up on the first page of search results. As a consequence, darknet-related resources, such as the abovementioned Darknet Live and dark.fail, have been making an effort to act as anti-phishing measures. Dark.fail only lists PGP verified links for its markets (and other onion sites such as Torum and Deutschland im Deep Web). The subreddit r/DreadAlert is also attempting to combat DDoS attacks and to keep users informed of other issues related to their forum.
In the meantime, the best strategy that members of these sites can use is to take the time to verify that links are accurate. They can also keep abreast of which sites have reliable information, and won't share phishing links or other false advice. Ultimately, it is up to the individual users to make smart choices regarding these sites, so they will not fall victim to data thievery.