Threat Management

Study, dark web vendors taking precautions after AlphaBay and Hansa takedowns


Researchers spotted an uptick in dark web markets after the fall of AlphaBay and Hansa earlier this year, but it seems some cybercriminals still aren't taking precautions to ensure they evade capture in the event of another major sting operation making law enforcement's job easier.

More than half, 54 percent, of users that migrated from the seized platforms to Dream Market, a similar dark web marketplace that is still operating, didn't take any noticeable evasive measures to avoid detection on the new platform with only 14 percent going as far as switching their username and only 26 percent switching their PGP settings, according to the Dutch research institute TNO.

It's worth noting many of the vendors that didn't change their information may have been afraid of losing their track-record, reputation and clientele if they were to change their names, researchers said.

The potential loses may have been worth it as the vendors that did change their information changing marketplaces may have taken in consideration that law enforcement intended to herd drug vendors from AlphaBay to Hansa Market to nab all the data of migrating vendors and collect data on transactions before shutting it down as well.

Overall, researchers said the most recent dark web market takedowns have had a positive impact with fewer vendors simply migrating to a new platform when one is shut down similar to what happened in both Silk Road takedowns. 

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