Illicit Marketplace AlphaBay Returns With New Leadership

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The illegal marketplace AlphaBay has resurfaced four years after it was shut down by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The site is now run by the site’s former second commander after the 2017 shutdown, a person who goes by the alias DeSnake.

In a lengthy chat, DeSnake corresponded with WIRED by sending encrypted text messages from a series of often-changing secret accounts after proving his identity by signing a public message with DeSnake’s original PGP key.

The resurrected version of AlphaBay allows users to buy and sell only with the cryptocurrency Monero, which is much harder to track than Bitcoin.

Additionally, AlphaBay’s dark web site is now accessible not only through Tor, but also via I2P, a less popular anonymity network that DeSnake encourages users to use instead.

With AlphaBay’s relaunch a few weeks ago, the site sits at fewer than 500 listings, compared to more than 350,000 during AlphaBay’s 2017 zenith. These low numbers are likely the result of DeSnake’s insistence on accepting only Monero, a cryptocurrency that is much harder to trace than Bitcoin.

Skeptical dark web users are waiting to see if the new AlphaBay is legitimate, whiea number of distributed denial-of-service attacks that have knocked the site offline since its launch.

If DeSnake and its resurrected AlphaBay survive, it could be a highly motivated digital black market beyond the reach of U.S. law enforcement.

For more information, view the original story from Arstechnica.

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