Dark web marketplace goes offline igniting foul play fears
There is evidence of massive bitcoin withdrawal from the site of up to $3.7m
A Dark Web marketplace, dubbed AlphaBay, has been shut down without any explanation and its users are suspecting foul play.
When users accessed AlphaBay, the webpage shows ‘The connection has timed out'.
The marketplace, which is notoriously known for selling drugs, guns and other illegal paraphernalia and is often called the new ‘Silk Road', often goes offline for maintenance. However users have seen a Bitcoin transaction worth over $3.7m and are speculating if this transaction came from within AlphaBay itself.
As such transactions are anonymous, it is difficult to trace the origin and destination of the transaction, however users took to Reddit and Twitter to express that either the transaction is part of an exit-scam or the two are not connected.
Exit-scams are when Dark Web marketplace admins shut down websites without any warning and which often result in stolen Bitcoins from user accounts.
Rick Holland, VP Strategy at Digital Shadows, commented: "We confirmed that the site remained inaccessible at the time of writing. We detected only speculation as to why the marketplace was not accessible at the time of writing, with multiple users on Reddit suggesting an exit scam had taken place.
"One user on Reddit claimed that law enforcement had raided the houses of two AlphaBay vendors, but provided no evidence to prove this had occurred. Furthermore, some users have posted Bitcoin addresses to which large transactions had been made or withdrawn on 05 Jul 2017.
"These addresses were claimed as evidence the owners of AlphaBay had stolen the money deposited to the site. We detected no evidence to suggest a link between these Bitcoin addresses and the marketplace."