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Agora Dark Web market discovers suspicious activity on servers, pauses operations

Darlene Storm | Aug. 27, 2015
The Agora Dark Web market cited Tor Hidden Services security vulnerabilities that could allow de-anonymization attacks and temporarily shut down operations after detecting suspicious activity on its servers.

“We advise you to use only destination bitcoin addresses that do not expire when you send money out from Agora, as the payments to them might get delayed,” continued Agora’s statement.

While the market is offline, do not send any bitcoin to any of your deposit addresses on Agora. We do not guarantee the safety of any funds sent there.

Vendors, we strongly advise you to abort any orders that haven't been sent out or processed yet, as we cannot guarantee what will happen with the orders in resolution. We shall try to resolve it on a case-by-case basis, but there might not be time to wait for orders that require long shipping times.

We are going to handle the situation with the vendor bonds soon, we need some time to make sure that no one uses this as an opportunity to start scamming wildly.

All of the market data will be kept intact and be available upon return, including all of the user history and profile data.

Agora included its new PGP key which can be used to check the authenticity of its future messages.

After the Evolution Market exit scam, when Evo went poof along with million in bitcoins, Agora was credited with selling more products than any other online black market and was dubbed king of the Dark Net by Wired. Instead of seeming sketchy, the fact that Agora issued a statement before temporarily shutting down seems to ring of professionalism…something that is not often associated with the Dark Web portion of the Deep Web.

But not everyone is impressed or as optimistic about shoring up security. Matthew Green, a cryptography expert from Johns Hopkins University, tweeted, “I wouldn't trust a Tor hidden service farther than I could throw the server. Not in 2015.”

IBM researchers warn businesses to block Tor

Elsewhere regarding Tor, the IBM Security X-Force research team released its quarterly threat intelligence report (pdf); the researchers advised businesses to block Tor as the service is increasingly used by malicious actors.

 

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