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04-10-17 Dark Web and Cybercrime Roundup

  DEA Arrests French Dream Vendor “OxyMonster” This week’s high profile darknet market arrest landed in the United States for a competition beard event. The suspect, Gal Vallerius, boasted that his beard ranked “World Beard #8.” Vallerius, a Dream moderator and widely disliked darknet drug dealer, had travelled to the United States to crush the souls of other bearded competitors ... Read More »

More than 50 Arrested in International Darknet Counterfeit Sting

  Through an international operation, Europol and local law enforcement agencies arrested 53 counterfeiters that distributed or purchased fake euro banknotes via the darknet. The “joint action day” involved seven EU Member States, coordinated by Europol, their press release noted. The entire operation fell into place after the arrest of a single counterfeiter in Austria. After Austrian authorities busted the ... Read More »

Playpen Member Guilty of Receiving Child Pornography

On September 19, Acting United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow announced that a 41-year-old Jacksonville man had been found guilty of receiving images of child abuse from the darknet. The charge and subsequent guilty verdict connected to activity on Playpen, the notorious darknet “child pornography” forum. According to court documents—none of which, notably, mentioned Playpen by name—the FBI identified the ... Read More »

DHS Issues 165 New Medicare Numbers After Darknet Fiasco

After recent reports of darknet vendors selling Medicare numbers on darknet marketplaces, the Department of Human Services (DHS) issued new Medicare numbers to as many as 165 people. Although the Australian government downplayed the existence of stolen Medicare numbers, the DHS backtracked their statements from day one. Including the number of compromised Medicare numbers: they had originally claimed that “about” ... Read More »

Teenage SMG Buyer Granted Internet Access for Homework

In April this year, a teenager left his school’s property to meet an undercover officer that he had met on the darknet. In a series of messages and events that effectively qualify as entrapment in some countries, the officer convinced the teenager—14 at the time—to purchase a machine gun and 100 rounds of ammunition for $180. After the inevitable arrest, ... Read More »

Dutch Darknet Grenade Buyer Freed for Personal Reasons

In April 2017, a 37-year-old man from Leek had ordered numerous explosive devices on the darknet. The news only surfaced three months later at the suspect’s first court appearance. The court believed sufficient evidence existed to continue to hold the man until his sentencing hearing in December. However, at a September court appearance, the court allowed the man to leave ... Read More »

The Pirate Bay May Be Ditching Ads in Favor of JavaScript Monero Mining

One of the world’s largest torrent sites is testing a new way to generate revenue that doesn’t include advertisements. On certain pages accessed on The Pirate Bay, such as search results and categories, the JavaScript for a Monero miner loads silently in the background and uses the site visitor’s spare CPU cycles. The mining script used by The Pirate Bay ... Read More »

Authorities Arrest Three on a Darknet Drug Trade

The Italian authorities intercepted three kilos of marijuana and other substances ordered from the Darknet within the week. An investigation coordinated by Nicola Russo led to the arrest of three individuals. Their names were not given by the authorities as investigation were still in progress. However, the information gathered from the arrest revealed that the ages of the arrested traffickers ... Read More »

Bitcoin news roundup, October 1, 2017

This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments: New developments: Peer-to-peer exchange LocalBitcoins to compensate users for their Bitcoin Cash funds On August 1, all Bitcoin holders received an equivalent amount in Bitcoin Cash (BCH), following the network’s hard fork. Popular peer-to-peer exchange LocalBitcoins never really gave users who had their Bitcoin on the platform access to their Bitcoin ... Read More »

Mass Fentanyl Shipments From China Delivered to Canada Through Dark Web Deals

This week, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), both the federal and the national police force of Canada, has launched 20 investigations into increasing delivery of illicit drugs such as fentanyl from China to Canada. Local news publications including CBCNews reported that the Canadian law enforcement has begun to actively investigate into overseas trading of fentanyl as opioid-related deaths hit ... Read More »

Trust issues of open and closed source light wallets for Bitcoin

Currently there are around 250,000 confirmed bitcoin transactions per day, but only 9,200 full bitcoin nodes (nodes are interconnected servers that store Bitcoin’s blockchain), which could mean that Bitcoin users are averaging 27 transactions per day. This could also mean that there are a lot of users connecting to the network via an external node i.e. a node that runs ... Read More »

Advanced ATM Skimming Tools Circulate Dark Web, Severe Security Issues

Advanced ATM skimming tools are circulating the dark web and banks are struggling to implement necessary security measures to prevent loss of funds and theft of debit card information. Over the past decade, ATM skimming has remained a popular method of data theft internationally. In most cases, hackers replace ATM card scanners with their customized hardware that has identical physical ... Read More »

Fifteenth Defendant in Ongoing a-PVP Investigation Pleads Guilty

Following a fourth wave of indictments in a multi-year drug investigation, a Pennsylvania man became the fifteenth defendant to enter a guilty plea for the distribution of alpha-pvp. The case, led by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), brought charges against suspects as early as 2013. The ongoing federal investigation tracked alpha-pvp traffickers across the United States that had imported the drug ... Read More »

Four Arrested in Italy for Selling Drugs from the Darknet

On September 16, a Carabinieri operation spanning from a province in Venice to the province of Pordenone netted four suspected drug dealers who sourced their products from the darknet. The Carabinieri found—while searching all four suspects—thousands of Euros, several pounds of marijuana, 100 grams of MDMA, 70 grams of methamphetamine, heroin, and evidence of drug distribution. The arrests fell into ... Read More »