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29.01.18 Dark Web and Cybercrime Roundup

German Darknet Vendor Faces Seven Years in Prison

A 43-year-old darknet dealer faced judges in Berlin for his alleged crimes as a darknet market vendor. And “not a small time one [vendor],” either. The courts admittedly knew very little about the man’s operation. They knew he started selling on Silk Road in 2012. They found as many as 5,600 orders on the market that the vendor had filled.

They also knew that he brought his (romantic) partner and a good friend along with him when he started selling again. Between 2012 and 2013, the man had amassed more than $700,000, federal authorities in Germany found. That have no idea how much money the vendor currently holds. In exchange for a confession, the man would get a chance at seven years in prison. The courtroom, alongside his partner and his friend, the man said next to nothing. He said nothing that questioned or denied the charges he faced, however. DeepDotWeb

Munich Glock Vendor Also Gets Seven Years in Prison

Seven years may have been the magic number this week as the Munich gun vendor’s trial had finally ended. It ended with the darknet weapon vendor receiving a seven year prison sentence. After the “arrest of the Munich gunman’s vendor,” all related news seemingly stopped existing for some time. Then, out of the blue, German authorities announced that new evidence had emerged and they charged K. with negligent homicide. They said he knew what David Sonboly had planned after purchasing the Glock.

Dozens of court appearances later, a sentence has finally been handed down: seven years in prison. DeepDotWeb

Etiking Got Convicted for Fentanyl Distribution

Parts of two worlds collided when 43-year-old Jeremy Achey landed in police custody for fentanyl distribution. Law enforcement investigated a former Alphabay fentanyl vendor named EtiKing after a customer overdosed on tetrahydrofuran fentanyl. Achey, though, was not just a darknet drug vendor. He was deep into the research chemical scene. Moderated forums and subreddits. Users voiced concerns on numbers occasions regarding EtiKing influencing readers to purchase from a vendor that benefited Achey in some way. Little did they know that Achey sold a fentanyl analogue on the darknet.

In January 2018, United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announced that a federal jury found Achey guilty of conspiracy to distribute and distribution of controlled substance analogues. He will be sentenced in April. DoJ

The BKA is Using a Trojan Spy On Mobile Phones

The Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), according to several reputable German media outlets, has started using a state-sponsored trojan in ongoing investigations. German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung revealed that the trojan allows investigators to access encrypted messages in WhatsApp, Signal, or Telegram. Not through vulnerabilities in those apps, the paper explained. Instead, the trojan targets the “data of suspected individuals on their smartphones before the information becomes encrypted.” Screen captures of text input fields.

Authorities everywhere have expressed an opinion of some sort on the topic of encryption. And anyone with any sense would object to having a trojan screenshotting every message. But German citizens have lived through two episodes of mass surveillance and both were poorly received. For now, and for operational purposes, the BKA will refuse to answer any questions on the topic. DW

Dream Vendor ‘playgroundROX’ Busted in Connecticut

Peter Ceplenski, now known as Dream vendor PlaygroundROX, fell into a federal investigation after the United States Postal Inspection Service intercepted a package from a supplier overseas. The supplier had shipped roughly 1,000 alprazolam pills inside the package that Ceplenski had shipped to his own home. Instead of using his real name though, he used the name of a former resident. Authorities made the connection between Ceplenski and Dream market through a note in the package that mentioned Ceplenski’s username (that he used for buying supplies).

During the course of the investigation, authorities seized several more packages headed towards Ceplenski’s address. Very few of the seized packages contained the drugs Ceplenski had ordered, officers later found out when the 47-year-old admitted everything. U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut John H. Durham announced that Ceplenski waived his right to indictment after seeing the case the government had built. DeepDotWeb

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