Dark web marketplaces are online marketplaces where people can buy and sell illicit goods and services under the protection of the anonymity of the dark web. The goods and services on offer range from leaked credit card details, exploit kits and hackers for hire, to advertisements for hitmen services.
Because of the range of goods and services found for sale, as well as the conversations that occur around these sales, dark web marketplaces can be immensely valuable sources of data on criminal activity. As such, they are normally under intense scrutiny from law enforcement and security professionals alike.
5 Dark Web Marketplaces
People have been organizing illicit trades via the internet since the 1970s. Those early examples though were through closed networks and the actual exchanges of money and goods generally had to take place in person. With the advent of crypto-currencies, it became not only possible to complete trades online without leaving a money trail, but easy. As such, the trading of illegal goods online has become more commonplace and vast dark web marketplaces have been created.
The very first of these marketplaces to pair the darknet with Bitcoin was the Silk Road. Silk Road was created by Ross Ulbricht in February 2011. Over the next two years, the Silk Road set the standard for darknet marketplaces. By the time it was shut down in October 2013, and Ross Ulbricht arrested, the site had traded an estimated $183 million worth of goods and services.
ToRReZ Market is a wallet-less market; which means you only send funds when making an order. The market currently supports four cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Monero, Litecoin, and Zcash. Both physical goods such as drugs, and digital goods such as software and credit cards, are sold on ToRReZ Market.
Tor2door is a darknet marketplace that launched in June 2020. The market is built from scratch and has a unique design. Tor2door claims that security and usability are its main priorities. This market is one of the easiest to use and is very simple for inexperienced dark-net users.
Hydra is the largest marketplace in the darknet and most popular darknet marketplace in the Russian-speaking sphere. According to the Project news outlet, it is responsible for 64.7 billion rubles ($1 billion) in sales through its 5,000 shops between 2016 and 2019. Although a wide range of illicit goods and services are sold, the site also has a few rules, which are perhaps one of the reasons for its longevity and success. These rules include no fentanyl, no weapons, no sale of hitmen services, viruses, or hydraclubbioknikokex7njhwuahc2l67lfiz7z36md2jvopda7nchid.onion porn.
Established in 2019, Versus quickly gained a reputation for a user-friendly UI and intuitive search options. It has gained a lot of users and become a popular marketplace due to its focus on security. Buyers can purchase a range of digital goods and services which include illicit drugs, software and malware, and services related to fraud. The marketplace has over 8,400 listings and 500 vendors who communicate in English and accept Bitcoin for transactions.
WHITE HOUSE MARKETPLACE (WHM)
White House Market is a dark web marketplace that enforces the use of PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) encryption to just browse the site. The site goes into detail about its security on the About page and explains that it does not store Monero private keys on their servers, which can ease the mind of its users. Although White House Market is a smaller marketplace than the others on this list, it is possible that its ultra-security features and simple, easy-to-use UI will quickly attract more vendors.
Other markets include Icarus market, Dark0de Reborn, Canada HQ, Monopoly Market, https://hydraurzxpne4af.com, hydrauzxpnew4af.onion and more.
How to Keep Track of Evolving Darknet Marketplaces
There are various active dark web marketplaces. According to Webhose, one of our data providers, there are approximately 20 active leading dark web marketplaces and there are dozens of smaller additional marketplaces.
Gaining access and monitoring these darknet marketplaces comes with a unique set of challenges. Firstly, they generally have short lifespans. This could be for a variety of reasons, for example, law enforcement might close them down, or perhaps to help avoid this fate they frequently change their domain address. It could even be because the admin implemented an exit scam, which is what happened with Empire Market, where the admin team is estimated to have made off with some $30 million worth of Bitcoin in August 2020.
Because of this short lifespan, security professionals need to constantly be on the lookout for the next big marketplace. However, because of the illicit nature of the dark web, many websites don’t want to be found, as such there is no easy way to navigate the dark web. Each website can be thought of as an independent silo. Darknet websites rarely, if ever, link to one another. To find the forums and marketplaces where the important and relevant is you will need to know what you’re looking for and how to look for it.
Finally, once the relevant sites have been located and access gained, there is still the serious challenge of monitoring the dark website to effectively gather usable intelligence. Doing this manually requires vast amounts of resources, however, you also can’t simply scrape the website as such activity can quickly get you banned from a site.
This is where Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) tools like Signal come in.
The Role of OSINT tools when Monitoring the Dark Web
OSINT tools allow security professionals to effectively and efficiently monitor the surface deep, and dark web. Using Signal you can create targeted searches with Boolean logic, and then run the results through intelligent filters powered by our advanced AI. This process can be automated with real-time SMS and email alerting.
This reduces the need for skilled professionals to spend all their time manually monitoring the entirety of the web and assessing the associated risks. Additionally, it reduces the inherent risk of accessing criminal forums and marketplaces. Instead, security professionals get hyper-relevant alerts that can quickly be assessed and acted on without ever actually having to go onto the dark web or painstakingly gaining access to marketplaces.
This approach is vastly more time-efficient and allows you to put your web monitoring on auto-pilot, reducing costs while simultaneously increasing efficacy. As cyber-criminals embrace new technologies it’s becoming increasingly necessary for security professionals to do the same in order to stay ahead.
Increase the scope of your monitoring ability and the overall amount of hyper-relevant intelligence at your fingertips. Gather actionable intel in realtime.