Ever since the coronavirus outbreak swept the globe, darknet markets (DNM) have grown exponentially and the lockdowns worldwide are prompting first-time DNM buyers. Currently, the largest DNM on the invisible web is the marketplace Empire, and the only thing impeding the rush of DNM sales these days are the general worries over the postal and mail delivery services shutting down.
The response to Covid-19 has caused an interesting predicament for the masses worldwide, as business shutdowns and government-enforced lockdowns have disrupted the global economy. One economic sector, however, is thriving during the financial downturn, as swathes of people are visiting darknet markets (DNMs) in order to obtain contraband amid the hard times. It’s a well known fact that during any economic crisis and long-standing unemployment there is always a massive increase in global substance use.
At the time of writing, the largest DNM is the marketplace Empire Market and throughout forums and social media Empire is the go-to destination for everyone’s DNM wares these days. Other popular DNMs include the Majestic Garden, Kilos, Monopoly Market, White House Market, Dark Market, Cannahome, Cannazon Market, Hydra, UAS Service RDP, Wannabuy RDP, and Global Dreams. Data stemming from dark.fail shows which DNMs are “online,” markets that are “offline,” and of course DNMs that are “maybe” online.
Empire, the darknet’s largest market, has been offline for over 12 hours. Their DDoS filter is online but the site itself is down.
They posted an update on Dread: “We are aware […] Empire is not going anywhere.”
— dark.fail (@DarkDotFail) July 11, 2020
The researcher behind the dark.fail web portal also has a Twitter account that gives updates about the status of certain DNMs. On July 11, 2020, the dark.fail Twitter account wrote about Empire Market coming back online after a long outage. “Empire Market is back online after ~18 hours of downtime. Their DDoS filter remained online throughout,” the Twitter account explained that day. Last month, the researcher behind the dark.fail discussed the prominence of DNMs with the Vice columnist Mike Power.
“Darknet drug markets are in a golden age,” the dark.fail analyst said. “People worldwide have been stuck at home exploring Tor [an internet browser used to access markets privately] and buying drugs. In January, the markets were hard to access, as they were under permanent attack from hackers. Now, they are operating quicker than ever before.”
Additionally, Mike Power’s investigation notes that the lockdowns are prompting first-time DNM buyers. Moreover, a recent Naval Criminal Investigative Service or NCIS report has found U.S. Navy officers have been using DNMs a lot more these days while traveling abroad.
The press release published by…