Silk Road Back Online

By   ISBuzz Team
Writer , Information Security Buzz | Nov 07, 2013 04:42 am PST

It was inevitable, the launch of Silk Road 2.0 has arrived! Have a read to see what security experts, Tripwire think about it.

From Dwayne Melancon, chief technology officer for Tripwire:

“The re-emergence of the Silk Road raises a few red flags for me. When the initial ‘take down’ of Silk Raod occurred, the FBI was named as the instigator. However, the Department of Justice which includes the FBI initially denied their involvement. Later, the FBI changed their tune to take credit for the operation. Meanwhile, millions of dollars in Bitcoins was seized by the FBI but about three to four time that amount have ‘gone missing’ and can’t be accounted for.

There is a lot of back-channel speculation that the take down of Silk Road was a ploy to steal millions in Bitcoins, and that the 25% seized by the FBI may have been given up to cover the embezzlement of the other 75% of the funds.

In addition to these issues,  I wonder why would the FBI  allowed the launch of ‘Silk Road 2.0’ in plain sight, especially after the arrest of so many Silk Road participants?

Many security researchers are speculating that the re-launch might have happened with tacit agreement of the FBI, either to do build up to another profitable seizure of Bitcoins, or to function as a ‘honeypot’ to attract and later prosecute drug dealers and buyers.”

From Craig Young, security researcher for Tripwire:

”Despite several recent takedowns of similar sites, there’s no shortage of people willing to risk administering new sites to resume black market operations.  The obvious question of course is whether these are individuals looking to continue providing the services and philosophy of Silk Road or if it a law enforcement honey pot designed to identify and prosecute the sites users.

Although the new Silk Road site is not open for orders just yet,  the market place already contains 486 drug listings, 18 listings for forged documents, and a surprising number of apparel items.  One user is even offering high school or college level essay writing services for ฿0.55738875 which converts to approximately $150 USD

Silk Road 2.0’s new security features include the ability to use PGP based 2-factor authentication are definitely designed to give users some additional sense of privacy but when it boils down to it, anyone using a site like this to conduct illegal business should not expect to remain anonymous forever.”

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