FBI takes down Dark Web site the “Silk Road”

seized

Pretty big news in the computer world today as the FBI took down one of the most prolific dark web sites on the internet, the “Silk Road”

The Silk Road has been in about every major news story about the online drug trade for quite a while now. The site seemed to operate with impunity as it blatantly offered illegal drugs for sale online in the Hidden Web, or Dark Web, as it is called.

The Dark Web is not accessible via normal internet browsing, you need a program like Tor to access the hidden sites. The Dark Web is a haunt for illegal goods, and services and the Silk Road was one of the most popular sites.

The website not only offered to ship illegal drugs in an envelope to any location, they also offered illegal services like forged documents and access to hacked accounts. You could even pay for these services with the anonymous currency “Bitcoins”.

According to reports the website generated about $1.2 Billion in sales over 30 months of operation.

The alleged sole creator and operator of the site, 29 year old Ross Ulbricht, also known as “Dread Pirate Roberts”, was arrested and appeared in Federal court today.

Apparently federal cyber crime experts compromised the Silk Road server on July 23, 2013 and were able to pull data from the system. A bit ironic as Ulbricht allegedly hired a hitman to take out a user who was threatening to release the identity of thousands of Silk Road users.

Cudos to the FBI Cyber Crime team, this is a huge move to combat online cyber crime!

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Upcoming Conferences: DerbyCon! (September 25-29th, 2013)

The security rockstars are at it again in Kentucky.  This week, DerbyCon 3 will be held in Louisville. And it looks like they have a great lineup. A ton of talks, tech tracks and parties.

They will even have a Zombie Apocalypse with proceeds going to Hackers for Charity.

How cool is that?

DerbyCon will run from Sept. 25th to the 29th:

Wednesday – Training starts at 9:00AM and ends at 5:00PM
Thursday – Training starts at 9:00AM and ends at 5:00PM
Friday – Opening ceremonies start at 8:30AM and the keynote starting at 9:00AM. Talks finish at 8:00PM
Saturday – Talks start at 9:00AM and end at 7:00PM
Sunday – Talks start at 9AM and end at 4PM

Event and Talk Schedule

I also hear that security guru and creator of the Social Engineering Toolkit (SET) David Kennedy will be live on Foxnews tomorrow morning at 7:40 EST.

Check it out!

The Jester’s Website Seized by the DHS ICE

Jester Seized

Popular Patriot Hacker seems to have had his website seized by the Government. Anyone surfing to his website today (http://www.jesterscourt.cc/) were greeted with the message above.

According to the notice, the website was seized by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – Homeland Security Investigations division.

According to their website:

“The ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) directorate is a critical asset in the ICE mission, responsible for investigating a wide range of domestic and international activities arising from the illegal movement of people and goods into, within and out of the United States.”

That sounds pretty odd, but you would think the next paragraph would seem more pertinent:

“HSI investigates immigration crime, human rights violations and human smuggling, smuggling of narcotics, weapons and other types of contraband, financial crimes, cybercrime and export enforcement issues. ICE special agents conduct investigations aimed at protecting critical infrastructure industries that are vulnerable to sabotage, attack or exploitation.”

But the kicker is the message about “Willfull copyright infringement”. That is rather odd. Not sure how that corresponds to his website, other than he was selling “Jester” themed merchandise from it through the Zazzle store.

Going to the Zazzle store and clicking on any of the Jester Shirts produces an error message saying the shirts are no longer available or have been deleted:

Jester Zazzle

Haven’t seen any mention of the seizure on the Jester’s Twitter page, though it seems from his posts that he is currently at the Black Hat conference in Vegas.

Wow, copyright infringement, how odd. Not at all how I imagined the feds coming after the Jester.

** Update ** Jester’s Page back online, Questions remain

Snowden Granted One Year Asylum in Russia

Snowden has left the Russia airport and been granted a one year Asylum to live and work in Russia.

The latest news from RT.com, stated that the embroiled former CIA employee and NSA hacker has received papers from the Russian Immigration Service granting him permission to leave the airport and live and work in Russia:

“In July, Snowden applied for temporary asylum in Russia, a status that would allow him to live and work in the country for one year. Kucherena earlier said the fugitive whistleblower is considering securing permanent residency in Russia, where he will attempt to build a life.”

According to the news agency he has been relocated to a safe undisclosed location.

So, Russia it is apparently. Though many see him as a hero for blowing the whistle on the government spying program, with this latest news, can we safely assume now that he will be updated to traitor status?