There is something fishy going on around the dark web. Some of its most notorious drug marketplaces have unexpectedly gone offline – without any notification or clarification from the sites’ administrators.
The list so far includes websites like The Trade Route, Tochka, Wall Street Market and the number-one ranked, Dream Market, according to the status tracker provided by dark web insider DeepDotWeb.
The reason for this sudden disappearance remains unclear at present.
— Sh1ttyKids (@Sh1ttyKids) October 13, 2017
Confirmed that Dream Market, Trade Route, Tochka and Wall Street, the four biggest dark web markets, all unresponsive pic.twitter.com/o31IiSojCz
— Joseph Cox (@josephfcox) October 13, 2017
This development seems to have thrown the entire dark web marketplace community into a state of paranoia, with numerous Redditors reminding fellow users that, historically, large-scale busts have often began with unexpected DDoS attacks on targeted markets.
Still, this is all speculation at that point.
The news comes after earlier in July Europol revealed it had cooperated with the Dutch National Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), as well as the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in a massive trans-continental sting that saw two of the dark web’s biggest sites at the time, AlphaBay and Hansa, taken down.
Following the investigation, the law enforcement agencies claimed they were able to collect incriminating information on hundreds of buyers and vendors.
Dutch police went as far as threatening to prosecute both buyers and sellers, informing they had retrieved the addresses of at least 500 dark web drug customers.