Deep Dot Web https://www.deepdotweb.com Surfacing The News From The DeepWeb Sun, 12 Nov 2017 12:54:45 -0200 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.3 Bitcoin News Roundup 12.11.17 https://www.deepdotweb.com/2017/11/12/bitcoin-news-roundup-12-11-17/ https://www.deepdotweb.com/2017/11/12/bitcoin-news-roundup-12-11-17/#respond Sun, 12 Nov 2017 12:54:45 +0000 https://www.deepdotweb.com/?p=23492 This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments: New developments: Bitcoin Gold will launch on November 12, following replay protection implementation The team behind the controversial Bitcoin Gold project recently announced that it will release a software client for the cryptocurrency on November 12, after being able to implement various new features to the ...

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This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments:

New developments:

Bitcoin Gold will launch on November 12, following replay protection implementation

The team behind the controversial Bitcoin Gold project recently announced that it will release a software client for the cryptocurrency on November 12, after being able to implement various new features to the cryptocurrency, in an attempt to make it go past being an ASIC mining resistant ecosystem. Bitcoin Gold is a controversial cryptocurrency, whose developers gave themselves a premining period of approximately 100,000 coins, that was born from a hard fork on the Bitcoin network on October 24.

Although the cryptocurrency is only now being launched, the team behind it claims to have added replay protection, and to have refined its per-block difficulty adjustment algorithm to better respond to dynamic hashing power changes. It also added unique “G” and “A” prefixes to its address format.

A bug in Party’s wallet froze nearly $280 million worth of Ether

Parity Technologies recently revealed in a security alert that, due to a security bug, about $280 million worth of Ether are now frozen. On Github, user devops199 revealed that he or she inadvertently exploited the bug In the Parity Wallet library contract, turning it into an ordinary multi-signature wallet, and becoming its owner. After noticing what he had done, the user tried to delete the code that gave him wallet ownership and, as all Parity multi-sig wallets rely on that code for internal logic, he permanently froze the funds stored in those wallets.

A solution is still being worked on, although most believe the only way to go is a hard fork that may cause a network split. Last year, Ethereum’s network split in two following a hard fork that recovered funds stolen from the DAO hack, resulting in the creation of Ethereum Classic.

The SegWit2x hard fork has been called off

In the SegWit2x mailing list, BitGO CEO and co-founder Mike Belshe recently announced that the hard fork wouldn’t be happening. SegWit2x, which was considered to be the solution to a three-year-long scaling debate, was called off due to the lack of community consensus. In the announcement, signed by various SegWit2x proponents, Belshe stated that although he found a block size increase important, the community and Bitcoin’s growth were seen as priorities. The statement reads:

  • “Our goal has always been a smooth upgrade for Bitcoin.  Although we strongly believe in the need for a larger blocksize, there is something we believe is even more important: keeping the community together. Unfortunately, it is clear that we have not built sufficient consensus for a clean blocksize upgrade at this time. Continuing on the current path could divide the community and be a setback to Bitcoin’s growth. This was never the goal of Segwit2x.”

Following the announcement, Bitcoin’s price surged to a new all-time high above $7,800, before quickly dropping below the $7,000 mark. The announcement ended with a message of unity, thanking those who contributed constructively to SegWit2x, “whether in favor or against.”

“Buy Bitcoin” is now more popular than “buy gold,” according to Google

According to Google Trends data, the search term “buy Bitcoin” just became more popular than “buy gold.” The search query takeover came partly due to the cryptocurrency’s new all-time high this month, and from gold’s decline. According to Bloomberg, concerns over Brexit and Catalonia’s push for independence didn’t increase demand for gold, and in the meantime the dollar strengthened, and global equities set new records. All of this made investors lose some of their interest in gold, so much so that BullionVault’s amount of gold changing hands in the last 12 months dropped by nearly a third, on average. Data further suggests countries like the U.S., the U.K., Australia, and Canada still have a larger interest in gold, while countries such as Chile, Venezuela, and most of Europe prefer Bitcoin.

World affairs:

A Bitcoin bashing Saudi Prince has been arrested for money laundering

On October 29, DeepDotWeb covered the thoughts billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed had on Bitcoin. The Prince had stated Bitcoin was like “Enron in the making,” referring to a U.S. energy company that filed for bankruptcy after accounting fraud was revealed within it. To Prince Alwaleed, Bitcoin was “going to implode.” Recently, according to reports, Prince Alwaleed was arrested for financial crimes including money laundering, bribery, and extortion. The arrest was ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the chair of an anti-corruption committee established by Saudi Arabia’s king. 10 other Princes and four ministers were arrested in the country’s crackdown. The Saudi government explained the crackdown stating that “some weak souls” put their own interests above those of the public, but some analysts believe it was a political move to help Salman secure his status as the crown Prince.

Iran is preparing infrastructure to begin accepting Bitcoin “as early as possible”

The Iran Front Page recently ran a piece suggesting that the country is preparing infrastructure to begin accepting Bitcoin and give it status as legal tender. Iran’s Minister of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) was quoted as saying that a number of studies have been conducted in an effort to prepare infrastructure for Bitcoin use inside the country, adding that this was among the ministry’s core objectives:

  • “We (the ICT) as the main centre in Iran dealing with the country’s technology developments have taken very seriously the issue of preparing the infrastructure for the new currency.”

In the past, Iran was left out of SWIFT following sanctions imposed on Tehran that were only recently lifted after former U.S. president Barack Obama signed a nuclear deal with the country in 2016. That same deal was disavowed by current president Donald Trump. Naturally, the country is now looking at financial technology and cryptocurrencies as alternatives, so much so that ICT Minister Davaee notably added that arrangements with related organizations were being made so Bitcoin could be accepted “as early as possible:”

Financial:

Bitcoin falls to $6,385.31 as investors turn to altcoins

Following the announcement calling off the SegWit2x hard fork, mentioned above, Bitcoin hit a new all-time high above $7,800. However, as some investors realized this means they wouldn’t be getting an “airdrop” in B2X tokens proportional to the same amount they had in Bitcoin at the time of the hard fork, some started to turn away from the number one cryptocurrency and turned to altcoins, so much so that Bitcoin’s dominance fell from over 60% to 54.4% at press time. Bitcoin’s market cap is at $106 billion, while the cryptocurrency ecosystem’s market cap is at $195 billion. One Bitcoin is currently trading at $6,385.31.

Bitcoin Cash at $1,123.66 following a major rally

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) saw a huge surge in value this week as the cryptocurrency likely benefitted from the end of the SegWit2x hard fork. Following the announcement, Bitcoin Cash saw a significant increase in trading volume, and its value surged from about $650 per coin to $1,123.66 at press time. Bitcoin Cash’s market cap is of $18 billion.

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Melbourne Drug Lord Allegedly Used Supplements Business as Façade to Traffic Drugs https://www.deepdotweb.com/2017/11/12/melbourne-drug-lord-allegedly-used-supplements-business-facade-traffic-drugs/ https://www.deepdotweb.com/2017/11/12/melbourne-drug-lord-allegedly-used-supplements-business-facade-traffic-drugs/#respond Sun, 12 Nov 2017 04:54:41 +0000 https://www.deepdotweb.com/?p=23491 The issue of drug trafficking on the dark web seems to be cementing its place in society now. In this modern era, people are familiar and comfortable doing stuff on the dark web, because of its anonymity. The dark web has taken over the illegal drug trade, pouring in an excess of over $100 million ...

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The issue of drug trafficking on the dark web seems to be cementing its place in society now. In this modern era, people are familiar and comfortable doing stuff on the dark web, because of its anonymity.

The dark web has taken over the illegal drug trade, pouring in an excess of over $100 million in sales annually as well as developing new tactics every day in eluding government capture.

However, many busts have been made in an attempt to bring this situation under control with the latest one being a 26-year-old man who is accused of trafficking drugs on the dark web using a supplements business he runs as a decoy.

Paul Schembri, the accused, a native of Parkdale is alleged to have used fake identification and paperwork to open many bank accounts, credit cards, and post office boxes under names to peddle drugs. This scheme has been described as a “sophisticated and devious” operation.

Reports suggest that he had two storage units in Mordialloc and Cheltenham of which he stored his wide range of drugs including ecstasy, cocaine, GHB, ice and prescription medication. He had transformed the storage facilities into some kind of small-scale distribution center for the drugs he ordered via the dark web.

These drugs have been the cause of many deaths across the world in the past few years as many people are overdosing on them.

Mr. Schembri’s arrest came on the 11th of October in the Southland shopping center parking lot by investigators and has since refused to cooperate.

He is now facing 21 charges, which includes multiple counts of trafficking a commercial quantity of drugs and making and using false documents.

When his storage units were raided by police, they alleged to have found two fake driver’s licenses with Mr. Schembri’s image on them but under two different names, Jack Clark and Edward Barnes.

However, those items weren’t the only ones bearing fake names as bank accounts, post office boxes and credit cards uncovered also had fake names.

He also had parcels which were sent from overseas containing illegal drugs waiting to be collected at the suburban Post office boxes, according to the police.

During the court hearing on Wednesday, Thomas Schmidt, a Senior Constable from Caulfield’s Divisional Response Unit, stated in the Melbourne Magistrates’ court that the accused was likely to get some additional charges as there were still ongoing investigations.

“It’s believed these digital devices will expose further evidence of drug trafficking,” he stated, at the hearing of which Mr. Schembri was making a bail appeal.

This appeal was however opposed by Senior Constable Schmidt stating that the charges the accused is facing were very serious charges and his capability to access false documents made him a flight risk and therefore shouldn’t be released back into the community.

Peter Mealy, the Magistrate denied the bail and afterward asked curiously: “Why does someone need so many identities?”

“A red herring has been raised about the source of the drugs. He’s declined to give passwords — one has to wonder why.

“He has a number of bank accounts, multiple post office boxes. It all goes to paint a picture of a sophisticated and devious methodology.”

Blake Sey, a friend of Mr. Schembri who offered $50,000 of his savings as a guarantee was also questioned by Mr. Mealy about what he thought his friend did for a living of which he told the court that, Mr. Schembri, who he had known since high school, ran an online supplements business, selling multivitamins, and immune and memory boosters.

He continued that, he was very surprised by the allegations which were leveled against his friend.

The magistrate then stated that, although the amount seems like a lot of money to Mr. Sey, it was, however “small bickies” to the court.

Jade Brown, 27, Mr. Schembri’s fiancé of which the Mordialloc storage facility was rented under her name, also appeared in court to support him.

She also was questioned about his fiancé’s dark web drug operation but was released without any charge.

The accused is set to return to court on the 8th of January.

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Coinhive Hacked and Launches New Opt-In Service https://www.deepdotweb.com/2017/11/11/coinhive-hacked-launches-new-opt-service/ https://www.deepdotweb.com/2017/11/11/coinhive-hacked-launches-new-opt-service/#respond Sat, 11 Nov 2017 20:15:31 +0000 https://www.deepdotweb.com/?p=23478 On October 23rd the JavaScript Monero mining service Coinhive had their Cloudflare account hacked. The hacker changed the DNS records on Coinhive’s Cloudflare account and were able to hijack all Coinhive accounts by getting thousands of sites to load a modified version of the coinhive.min.js script. This modified script forced thousands of sites that run ...

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On October 23rd the JavaScript Monero mining service Coinhive had their Cloudflare account hacked. The hacker changed the DNS records on Coinhive’s Cloudflare account and were able to hijack all Coinhive accounts by getting thousands of sites to load a modified version of the coinhive.min.js script. This modified script forced thousands of sites that run Coinhive’s miner to begin mining Monero for the hacker. The hacker was able to steal the hashes from Coinhive users. Someone representing the Coinhive service told the website BleepingComputer that the hacker only had access to Coinhive’s Cloudflare account for approximately six hours.

The hacker was likely able to access Coinhive’s Cloudflare account due to the account’s password being leaked during the Kickstarter data breach that occurred in 2014. While the passwords that were leaked during the Kickstarter data breach were encrypted, an attacker could decrypt the passwords if they were weak passwords. This means it is likely that Coinhive was using weak passwords for multiple accounts.

According to a blog post on Coinhive’s website, no user account information was breached and Coinhive’s web servers and database servers were not accessed during the hack. “The root cause for this incident was an insecure password for the Cloudflare account that was probably leaked with the Kickstarter data breach back in 2014. We have learned hard lessons about security and used 2FA and unique passwords with all services since, but we neglected to update our years old Cloudflare account. We’re deeply sorry about this severe oversight,” Coinhive stated on a post made on the site’s blog. Coinhive has pledged to reimburse sites for the theft. Among Coinhive’s plans to reimburse sites is a plan to credit all users with an additional half day of their average daily hashrate.

The Pirate Bay, one of the world’s largest torrenting sites, recently deployed Coinhive’s JavaScript Monero miner, but the site went on to switch to one of Coinhive’s competitors, Crypto-Loot. It appears The Pirate Bay may have since removed all cryptocurrency miners from its site, but many other sites followed the example set by The Pirate Bay. Since the debut of Crypto-Loot, there have been a series of other competitors that have popped up. Another JavaScript Monero miner that has been released is Coin-Have. A Chinese JavaScript Monero miner has also recently launched, called PPoi. Another similar service which recently launched is called MineMyTraffic, however, their site appears to be down as of the writing of this article. Microsoft’s Malware Protection Center recently tweeted that it had discovered more cryptocurrency miner scripts, one called CoinBlind and one called CoinNebula.

While most of the new JavaScript mining services focus on mining the privacy focused Monero cryptocurrency, a new JavaScript mining service has launched which aims to mine a new cryptocurrency that is designed to be mined inside of web browsers. This new coin is called JSECoin and is designed around the concept of web mining. JSECoin advertises itself as being more environmentally friendly than cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. The coin’s web site states that JSECoin transactions have no fees.

Coinhive’s Monero mining service is now becoming a plugin for WordPress sites. Over four different plugins have been created to allow WordPress users to incorporate the mining script into their site. One plugin, WP Monero Miner with Coin Hive, was removed from the WordPress repo. The JavaScript Monero miners are also frequently showing up on hacked websites such as the cable television network Showtime’s web site and the airline AirAsia’s website. While many of these JavaScript cryptocurrency miners do not alert users that mining has started or provide a way for users to opt in or opt out, Coinhive is taking steps to change that. Coinhive has recently released a widget which allows a web site’s users to start and stop the mining process. The widget also allows users to see their hashing rate. In addition to the widget, Coinhive has launched AuthedMine, which specifically requires users to opti-in before mining can begin. Coinhive is begging for ad blockers and antivirus makers to not block the AuthedMine web site.

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Hacker Attempted to Extort a Fraud Market Admin https://www.deepdotweb.com/2017/11/11/hacker-attempted-extort-fraud-market-admin/ https://www.deepdotweb.com/2017/11/11/hacker-attempted-extort-fraud-market-admin/#comments Sat, 11 Nov 2017 12:15:29 +0000 https://www.deepdotweb.com/?p=23477 In late October, an alleged hacker uploaded a warning to the administrators of Basetools.ws, a clearnet fraud marketplace. The hacker’s warning came in a Pastebin post as part of a threat that if the admins refused to pay a ransom fee, the hacker would release information on the site’s owner(s). Not only would the hacker ...

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In late October, an alleged hacker uploaded a warning to the administrators of Basetools.ws, a clearnet fraud marketplace. The hacker’s warning came in a Pastebin post as part of a threat that if the admins refused to pay a ransom fee, the hacker would release information on the site’s owner(s). Not only would the hacker reveal information on the suspected administrators, but the entity said that United States law enforcement agencies would be receiving the information. Basetools went offline during the extortion attempt.

Under the aliases “spiderspidy” and “jcreep,” one or more hackers uploaded two pastes titled “BASETOOLS.PW – MARKET (DATABASE LEAKED).” The pastes accused the admins of manipulating stats and reseller stats. According to spiderspidy, the owner of the market opened a reseller account named “RedHat” that stays in first place. As of the writing of this article, RedHat was not in first place.

Screenshot from 2017-11-02 14-26-23.png

MESSAGE TO BASETOOLS OWNER:

Hello, you have only 24 hours to PAY 50.000$ OTHERWISE YOU WILL BE EXPOSED AROUND THE WORLD & ALSO WE HAVE TOO MANY PROOFS THAT WE HAVENT (sic) INCLUDED THEM HERE AND THOSE WE WILL SENT TO THE RELEVANT BODIES LIKE: “DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY”, “HOMELAND SECURITY INVESTIGATION”, “DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE”, “FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION.”

The hacker uploaded screenshots to prove that he had accessed the market’s backend. One screenshot was a picture of the admin dashboard and support panel. The picture shows the last 15 sales, last nine tools refunded, the total number of opened (support) reports, customer reports, total reports, and total tickets. Not only does the support panel resemble the market’s style and UI, but it also shows sellers and usernames of actual vendors on the site, including RedHat.

s-nSELJCRTWERxzYfkgC3A.png

The hacker(s) claimed they “corrupted the internet provider” of the programmer of the site. In order to prove they had accessed information that incriminated the programmer, they uploaded a screenshot of RedHat’s I.P. address and first and last initial. They also claimed that they “exposed” the owner of Basetools.pw. They uploaded the same information they had already uploaded for the programmer, minus the initials.

MR_HEVbuS76iCeJss4LL-g (1).png

The site went back online on November 1 and the administrator(s) posted a message to the users, apologizing for the one day the market had been down. They went down due to maintenance and site updates, the post said. “We have added option reset password using your email, you can reset your password if you forget it,” the recently extorted administrators wrote in the post. “Remember BaseTools will never be closed, we will be online in every moment,” they added. The marketplace has been online ever since and the hacker(s) could not be reached for comment.

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Highland Heights’ darknet fentanyl dealer sentenced to 12 years https://www.deepdotweb.com/2017/11/11/highland-heights-darknet-fentanyl-dealer-sentenced-12-years/ https://www.deepdotweb.com/2017/11/11/highland-heights-darknet-fentanyl-dealer-sentenced-12-years/#respond Sat, 11 Nov 2017 04:17:24 +0000 https://www.deepdotweb.com/?p=23483 On October 31, a Highland Heights darknet fentanyl dealer was sentenced to 12 years in a federal prison by U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver Jr. Alec Steinberger, 22, pleaded guilty during a detention hearing held on August 1, to three federal charges of drug trafficking and seven counts of using a phone to conduct a ...

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On October 31, a Highland Heights darknet fentanyl dealer was sentenced to 12 years in a federal prison by U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver Jr.

Alec Steinberger, 22, pleaded guilty during a detention hearing held on August 1, to three federal charges of drug trafficking and seven counts of using a phone to conduct a drug trafficking offense. One of the charges he pleaded guilty to was selling fentanyl to 19-year-old Laith Hudson who overdosed and died in February 2016.

Federal prosecutors told the court that Steinberger bought the fentanyl from the darknet and had it shipped to Northwest Ohio from China. A series of text messages the prosecution put in his indictment showed that Steinberger persistently texted Hudson to try the new, powerful drug that had just arrived in the mail and that Hudson had finally acquiesced. According to the messages Steinberger would dilute the fentanyl to sell on the street.

When issuing the sentence Judge Oliver noted that Steinberger himself was an addict. He accepted the agreement reached by the prosecution and Steinberger’s attorneys and sentenced him to 12 years. He told Steinberger that “the public does not need some protection from you right now’’ and that he does not believe Steinberger will offend again.

Oliver also ordered Steinberger to pay $10,548 in restitution to Hudson’s family which will cover the 19-year-old’s burial costs. He also recommended Steinberger participate in the most intensive drug-treatment program offered by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

After the sentencing Steinberger said he would probably not have stopped had the federal agents not arrested him. He said he wants to finish college. His attorney Tom Shaugnessy said Steinberger has done some work with universities and hospitals to talk about his problem and deter others.

According to the prosecution the path from Hudson’s death to Steinberger’s plea took nearly a year and a half. Since after learning of Hudson’s death Steinberger panicked, flushed all but a small amount of fentanyl he had ordered from a supplier in China down the toilet and changed his phone number. He hoped the police wouldn’t link him to the death of the 19-year-old.When Cleveland police questioned him that day he lied and said that Hudson got the drugs from someone else. Eventually authorities traced the case back to him and he was later arrested in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on April 12, where he had been in a rehabilitation facility addressing his own opioid addiction for six months.

The news release on the case has shown that Steinberger got furanyl-fentanyl and Xanax in the mailbox on Jan.30, 2016. He texted an associate on Feb. 23, 2016 to say he had just got a pack and then told others that he had drugs on sale among those who heard from Steinberger was Hudson.

The release further shows that on Feb.25, 2016, Steinberger texted Hudson; “find customers tell them you are the plug and I’ll get it you and then sell it and cut u in a tiny bit.’’

The Medical Examiner’s records listed Hudson’s cause of death as acute intoxication by furanyl-fentanyl and despropionyl fentanyl.

Steinberger’s sentence would have been of more than 12 years since his charges involved a death which carries a mandatory prison sentence of at least 20 years. The prosecution and his attorneys however agreed to seek a 12-year prison sentence which the judge agreed to.

Federal prosecutors have ramped up their efforts to charge those accused of selling heroin and fentanyl to those who later die of fatal overdoses. They have pushed for stiff penalties, threatening defendants with a minimum of 20 years in federal prison should they be found guilty at trial.

Their efforts come as fatal opioid overdoses hit an all-time high in Cuyahoga County. According to Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s report heroin and fentanyl resulted to 666 drug overdose deaths in 2016. Officials are predicting another spike to approximately 775 deaths in 2017.According to drug enforcement agency fentanyl is shipped into the US from China after dealers have ordered through the dark web.

Steinberger was in a list of suspected drug dealers that federal prosecutors in Northern Ohio have charged with selling fatal doses of opioids. The authorities are hoping the tactic will be effective in combating the tidal wave of opioid deaths.

 

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The New York Times Launches a Tor Version of their Website https://www.deepdotweb.com/2017/11/10/new-york-times-launches-tor-version-website/ https://www.deepdotweb.com/2017/11/10/new-york-times-launches-tor-version-website/#comments Fri, 10 Nov 2017 20:55:00 +0000 https://www.deepdotweb.com/?p=23465 While many people think the dark web is no good except for buying drugs and guns, a new innovation has now made it possible to also read the news on the same platform. The New York Times announced on the 27th of last month that it was launching a Tor Onion Service of its website, ...

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While many people think the dark web is no good except for buying drugs and guns, a new innovation has now made it possible to also read the news on the same platform.

The New York Times announced on the 27th of last month that it was launching a Tor Onion Service of its website, at the address, https://www.nytimes3xbfgragh.onion.top/.

The launch was an “experiment in secure connection” on the dark web and will only be accessible through the use of TOR (The Onion Router).

The Times also added that this service was also under development and that, there isn’t a guarantee that certain features such as such as logins and comments, will work. Implementation will come in waves, they also said.

In a blog post via the news outlet Medium, the Director of Information Security at the New York Times, Runa Sandvik, stated that: “The New York Times’ Onion Service is both experimental and under development.

This means that certain features, such as logins and comments, are disabled until the next phase of our implementation. We will be fine-tuning site performance, so there may be occasional outages while we make improvements to the service. Our goal is to match the features currently available on the main New York Times website.”

The goal, it states, is to “match the features currently available on the main New York Times website” over time. The aim of this launch is to give readers access to the website despite monitors or blocks trying to prevent them and having an onion domain will increase the security for readers who will access it.

As the Times stated: “The New York Times reports on stories all over the world, and our reporting is read by people around the world. Some readers choose to use Tor to access our journalism because they’re technically blocked from accessing our website; or because they worry about local network monitoring; or because they care about online privacy; or simply because that is the method that they prefer.”

In some parts of the world, the governments have rules that control the use of the internet, including blocking some websites while other to survey local use of the internet.

This means that anyone with access to Tor can access the Times privately and securely without any interference from anyone.

Sandvik stated that one way we can help is to setup nytimes.com as an Onion Service  making

the website “accessible via a special, secure, and hard-to-block VPN-like ‘Tunnel through the Tor network.”

“Such tools assure our readers that our website can be reached without monitors or blocks, and they provide additional guarantees that readers are connected securely to our website,” Sandvik further explained.

Reports suggest that the onion service was setup to enable Chinese readers on board although Sandvik didn’t officially name any country for deploying censorship. The New York Times websites have in place three languages for its content to be read in. These are English, Spanish and Chinese.

Onion Services are mostly referred to as “hidden services” or “the dark web”. An onion is a special-use top level domain suffix designating an anonymous hidden service reachable via the Tor network. So basically, an onion service is one that can be reached without any form of interference by third parties searching your browsing details.

The Tor software also shields you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays all around the world. Thus it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location, and it lets you access sites which are blocked.

So in order to access this new website from the New York Times, you will need to install the Tor browser first before you point it to the onion link.

Now over the years, many organizations have had onion services most notably Facebook and ProPublica with each of these organizations creating a custom tooling to support their implementations.

The New York Times, however, stated that their Onion Service is built using the open-source Enterprise Onion Toolkit (EOTK), which automates much of the configuration and management effort.

“Over time, we plan to share the lessons that we have learned — and will learn — about scaling and running an Onion Service. We welcome constructive feedback and bug reports via email to onion@nytimes.com”, Sandvik added it the latter parts of the blog post.

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Operation CROZET Nets Two International Drug Traffickers https://www.deepdotweb.com/2017/11/10/operation-crozet-nets-two-international-drug-traffickers/ https://www.deepdotweb.com/2017/11/10/operation-crozet-nets-two-international-drug-traffickers/#comments Fri, 10 Nov 2017 12:54:58 +0000 https://www.deepdotweb.com/?p=23464 In February 2017, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Border Force (ABF) launched an investigation into international drug traffickers in Melbourne. Among other drugs shipped to the dealers, the ABF had pulled 15.8 kilograms of MDMA and 2.6 kilograms of cocaine from the mail stream. They called the joint action “Operation CROZET.” In late ...

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In February 2017, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Border Force (ABF) launched an investigation into international drug traffickers in Melbourne. Among other drugs shipped to the dealers, the ABF had pulled 15.8 kilograms of MDMA and 2.6 kilograms of cocaine from the mail stream. They called the joint action “Operation CROZET.” In late October, the investigation came to a peak when Australian law enforcement arrested two dealers in connection with international drug distribution.

In the Melbourne suburbs of Merna and Kew, Australian police conducted three raids at locations specified in as many search warrants. The search teams found a massive drug stash in at least one of the properties. At another property, officers found cash and seized a Lamborghini Gallardo. The money and car were results of the suspected drug crime, the AFP announced.

The execution of the search warrants resulted in the discovery of 1 kilogram of methamphetamine; 1 kilogram of ketamine; 10 vials of testosterone; 700 grams of cocaine; 1 kilogram of marijuana; 10 kilograms of MDMA; and 16 liters of 1,4 butanediol (BD). The AFP arrested a 27-year-old man from Merna and a 26-year-old man from Kew. Both men caught charges connected to drug importation, drug trafficking, and possession of border controlled drugs. The AFP announced the men also received charges relating to the handling of the proceeds of drug trafficking, but left out specifics.

AFP Commander Justine Gough reiterated warnings issued by the AFP and ABF after several recent drug seizures: that Australian law enforcement will continue to catch drug importers, regardless of the scale of the importation. ABF Regional Commander James Watson gave similar statements to the press. He explained that ABF officers both send and receive intelligence from law enforcement partners. Operation CROZET provided proof that the “‘targeting methods” worked, he said. According to his statement, the ABF intercepts packages of drugs at the border on a daily basis.

Less than one month prior to the arrests of the suspected drug dealers, a joint investigation between the ABF, AFP, and Thai authorities led to the interception of 4 tons of ephedrine. The AFP arrested a 22-year-old Chinese-Australian dual national and a 22-year-old Australian man in connection with the importation. According to the government’s math, the shipment could have been used to create $3.5 billion of methamphetamine.

Following a related seizure of 350 kilograms of methamphetamine, AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin explained that these border interceptions depend on international intelligence. “This is not a problem we can combat alone, and is why we rely on the strengths of our partnerships,” he said. The subsequent investigation on the ground in Australia led to the capture of a 31-year-old Glenmore Park man.

The two Operation CROZET suspects appeared in court on October 27.

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Finnish Police Quietly Seize a Darknet Imageboard https://www.deepdotweb.com/2017/11/10/finnish-police-quietly-seize-darknet-imageboard/ https://www.deepdotweb.com/2017/11/10/finnish-police-quietly-seize-darknet-imageboard/#respond Fri, 10 Nov 2017 04:10:14 +0000 https://www.deepdotweb.com/?p=23458 Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation and Customs recently seized a Finnish hidden service called Sipulikanava, an anonymous and majority uncensored imageboard. In 2015, Criminal Commissioner Juha Korhonen said that Finnish police planned to crack down on Sipulikanava and, along with it, Silkkitie aka Valhalla Market. Like the landing pages of other hidden services seized by ...

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Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation and Customs recently seized a Finnish hidden service called Sipulikanava, an anonymous and majority uncensored imageboard. In 2015, Criminal Commissioner Juha Korhonen said that Finnish police planned to crack down on Sipulikanava and, along with it, Silkkitie aka Valhalla Market. Like the landing pages of other hidden services seized by the government, Sipulikanava now prominently displays two Finnish law enforcement logos and the text “this hidden service has been closed by the authorities.”

Known as “Onion Channel” in English, the site served as a Tor-only imageboard with categories for drug advertisements, hacking, and even ordinary discussion. The hidden service’s anonymous creator launched the site in early 2014, shortly after another Finnish Tor site shut down in December 2013. Sipulikanava’s predecessor, Thorlauta, had raised hell prior to shutting down. The site had attracted attention from law enforcement and the media. And according to the police, Sipulikanava had started attracting similar attention.

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Or at least some attention. One recent incident in particular, Customs Supervisor Hannu Sinkkonen said, placed the imageboard in the spotlight. According to the Customs Supervisor, in Spring 2017, users of the site had arranged a large amphetamine deal that ended in armed robbery. The words “arranged” and “deal” only apply in a vague sense. Sinkkonen said that police were tasked with investigating that amphetamine deal/robbery.

After that event, Criminal Commissioner Juha Korhonen announced that the police aimed to tackle and investigate illegal hidden services. “Crimes have become really brutal on the Tor network, especially at the Silkkitie Marketplace and the Sipulikanava forum,” Korhonen said. The Criminal Commissioner likely learned later on that the vast majority of darknet market users had either abandoned Valhalla, had never heard of the market, or worked for Customs during one of the many Valhalla related drug busts.

Valhalla is currently still online, for the most part. It had trouble loading several pages in the days after the Sipulikanava takedown, but that is not unusual for the marketplace. Although Sipulikanava never reached the darknet drug market status of Alphabay or the Silk Road (by design), authorities still focused on the drug trafficking. In September, for instance, Finnish police uncovered a large amphetamine deal on the site and managed to arrest a number of suspects in connection with the conspiracy.

As the former users of Sipulikanava migrate towards one of the many remaining Finnish and international imageboards on the Tor network, police are taking steps that may lead to the arrest of the Onion Channel’s users. “Undercover steps have been taken [towards identifying suspects] in the last 24 hours, but at this stage we are not commenting on the matter any more,” Sinkkonen said.

The users of Sipulikanava were a very tight community. On the same day the closedown of Sipulikanava was announced they created three new sites on the dark net as a successor to Sipulikanava.

Sipulikanava was the unofficial discussion forum of Valhalla (a finnish DNM turned into a scam site). Although it was mainly in Finnish there was a category for English discussion too.

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California Dealer Caught with 10K Alprazolam Pills https://www.deepdotweb.com/2017/11/09/california-dealer-caught-10k-alprazolam-pills/ https://www.deepdotweb.com/2017/11/09/california-dealer-caught-10k-alprazolam-pills/#comments Thu, 09 Nov 2017 20:02:06 +0000 https://www.deepdotweb.com/?p=23446 Following a two month investigation by a prescription drug task force in Ventura County, California, detectives conducted a traffic stop that led to the suspect’s arrest. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit and the Ventura County Sheriff’s East County Street Narcotics Unit concluded, during their joint investigation, that 31-year-old Ryan Tallmadge had supplied ...

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Following a two month investigation by a prescription drug task force in Ventura County, California, detectives conducted a traffic stop that led to the suspect’s arrest. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit and the Ventura County Sheriff’s East County Street Narcotics Unit concluded, during their joint investigation, that 31-year-old Ryan Tallmadge had supplied Los Angeles and Ventura residents with Xanax and MDMA for several months. Inside Tallmadge’s car, the detectives found 1,700 Xanax pills and 15 grams of MDMA.

Ventura County authorities booked Tallmadge at the Ventura County Sheriff’s East County Jail on one count of possession for sale (aka possession with intent) of a controlled substance (MDMA) and one count of possession for sale of a designated controlled substance (alprazolam).

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After the booking, detectives executed a signed search warrant at the 34-year-old’s Santa Monica residence. The house search resulted in an even greater discovery by the detectives; inside Tallmadge’s residence, the detectives seized 141 grams (5 ounces) of MDMA, 10,264 alprazolam pills, and a “large sum” of cash. The cash, detectives announced, came from Tallmadge’s narcotic sales in the area.

Detective Corey Nicholas of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office explained that the detectives working the case had not yet discovered how Tallmadge had collected 10,264 alprazolam pills. Detective Nichols explained that Tallmadge had probably ordered the drugs from a vendor on the darknet. “We haven’t found out for sure but I’m assuming he ordered it from out of the country,” Nicholas added. “Based on the quantities and types, that’s my best guess so far.” He said the pills likely came from India or China.

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None of the police statements indicated the pills were anything but legitimate pharmaceutical pills. Det. Nicholas gave his “best guess” when suggesting that Tallmadge ordered them from India or China. His guess may have been accurate given that identifying the country of origin of a prescription pill is a much easier task than finding a specific clandestine laboratory. A dead giveaway, for instance, would be if the pills had imprints matching those on Indian “Restyl” or “Aldix-1” alprazolam pills. A safe preliminary conclusion, in that case, would be that the someone in India shipped the pills to Tallmadge.

Shortly after the arrest, the District Attorney’s office reviewed the case. The office filed one felony: possession with intent to sell (the MDMA) and one possession with intent to sell a designated controlled substance (the alprazolam). One day after the District Attorney’s office elected to file felony charges, authorities released Tallmadge from the Ventura County jail.

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Teen Submachine Gun Buyer Denies All Charges https://www.deepdotweb.com/2017/11/09/teen-submachine-gun-buyer-denies-charges/ https://www.deepdotweb.com/2017/11/09/teen-submachine-gun-buyer-denies-charges/#comments Thu, 09 Nov 2017 12:02:00 +0000 https://www.deepdotweb.com/?p=23445 In April, a teenager, 14-years-old at the time, left school and met a darknet firearms dealer. The charges stemmed from a report by undercover police officers who had caught the teen in a darknet sting operation. One officer posed as the vendor and another, after the first had convinced the suspect to buy a submachine ...

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In April, a teenager, 14-years-old at the time, left school and met a darknet firearms dealer. The charges stemmed from a report by undercover police officers who had caught the teen in a darknet sting operation. One officer posed as the vendor and another, after the first had convinced the suspect to buy a submachine gun and ammunition, posed as the “in real life” contact. At a recent hearing at a Youth Court in Northern Ireland, though, the teenager entered not guilty pleas.

At his first hearing in April, the court charged him with the attempted possession of a PPS-43 submachine gun (SMG) and 100 rounds of ammunition between March 23 and April 7. Based on “covert” information obtained by the officer who had posed as a darknet vendor, the court also charged the suspect with the attempted purchase the gun with intent to cause damage to or harm another person.

He also pleaded not guilty to the recently added “terrorism” charge. Not long after the court had relaxed the teen’s bail restrictions for GCSE studies, the court added charges related to a document on the suspect’s computer. The document—a text file titled Eth.txt—contained instructions on producing an explosive similar to one used by militaries (PETN).

 

Police had monitored the darknet for potential gun customers, the “vendor” told the court. And during the conversations between the undercover officer and the 14-year-old, the teen agreed to buy the PPS-43 and ammunition for only $185. As the officer gathered information on the buyer, she had allegedly learned the suspect’s intentions.

According to her statement, the suspect arranged the gun deal to “intimidate a third party.” After his arrest, she added, his stories had changed. He said that his “Jamaican friend” had asked for the gun. Investigators determined that no Jamaican friend existed – at least on the teen’s Facebook account.

The court publicly revealed next-to-nothing about the evidence compiled by the police, but the evidence could be less than damaging. In six months with access to the suspect’s computer, investigators only managed to accuse the teen of downloading a text file.

Reporters, thanks to laws preventing the publication of a minor’s identity, have kept the 14-year-old’s name private. Several updated reports suggested that he had turned 15 during the case. At the Coleraine Youth Court hearing, he pleaded not guilty to all charges and chose to send his case to the Crown Court. His next hearing will take place in less than one month.

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