Silk Road 2.0 has launched on the Tor network about one month after the FBI took down the original illicit online marketplace and indicted its alleged operator, 29-year-old Ross Ulbricht – also known as Dread Pirate Roberts, DPR, or Silk Road.
The newly launched Silk Road is essentially the same thing as its previous iteration, except there is a new profile section with the option of enabling PGP two-step authentication for accounts, according to a post. Currently, new users can only join pending an invitation from a current member.
The updated black market was reportedly launched by several members of the original version and, perhaps as a result, the Tor website's head administrator has been named ‘Dread Pirate Roberts' – the moniker Ulbricht took on when operating the initial Silk Road.
Ulbricht, who was arrested in San Francisco in early October, appeared before a New York judge on Wednesday where his attorney will seek to prove Ulbricht is not the creator of Silk Road.
A case was built against Ulbricht by a special agent for the cyber crime squad within FBI's New York field office.
The special agent, who worked cooperatively with agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Homeland Security Investigations, and other law enforcement, went undercover to access Silk Road via Tor.
Tor is an anonymous network that directs traffic through thousands of relays to make internet tracking nearly impossible. Users can access these portions of the internet – known as Deep Web because they are not indexed by traditional search engines – by downloading the Tor Browser Bundle, which contains a modified version of Firefox.