Urban boyscout.Tech-whisperer. Tech-skeptic.
598 stories
·
8 followers

After AlphaBay’s Demise, Customers Flocked to Dark Market Run by Dutch Police

2 Shares

Earlier this month, news broke that authorities had seized the Dark Web marketplace AlphaBay, an online black market that peddled everything from heroin to stolen identity and credit card data. But it wasn’t until today, when the U.S. Justice Department held a press conference to detail the AlphaBay takedown that the other shoe dropped: Police in The Netherlands for the past month have been operating Hansa Market, a competing Dark Web bazaar that enjoyed a massive influx of new customers immediately after the AlphaBay takedown.

The normal home page for the dark Web market Hansa has been replaced by this message from U.S. law enforcement authorities.

The normal home page for the dark Web market Hansa has been replaced by this message from U.S. law enforcement authorities.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the AlphaBay closure “the largest takedown in world history,” targeting some 40,000 vendors who marketed a quarter-million listings for illegal drugs to more than 200,000 customers.

“By far, most of this activity was in illegal drugs, pouring fuel on the fire of a national drug epidemic,” Sessions said. “As of earlier this year, 122 vendors advertised Fentanyl. 238 advertised heroin. We know of several Americans who were killed by drugs on AlphaBay.”

Andrew McCabe, acting director of the FBI, said AlphaBay was roughly 10 times the size of the Silk Road, a similar dark market that was shuttered in a global law enforcement sting in October 2013.

As impressive as those stats may be, the real coup in this law enforcement operation became evident when Rob Wainwright, director of the European law enforcement organization Europol, detailed how the closure of AlphaBay caused a virtual stampede of former AlphaBay buyers and sellers taking their business to Hansa Market, which had been quietly and completely taken over by Dutch police one month earlier — on June 20.

“What this meant…was that we could identify and disrupt the regular criminal activity that was happening on Hansa Market but also sweep up all of those new users that were displaced from AlphaBay and looking for a new trading plot form for their criminal activities,” Wainwright told the media at today’s press conference, which seemed more interested in asking Attorney General Sessions about a recent verbal thrashing from President Trump.

“In fact, they flocked to Hansa in droves,” Wainwright continued. “We recorded an eight times increase in the number of human users on Hansa immediately following the takedown of AlphaBay. Since the undercover operation to take over Hansa market by the Dutch Police, usernames and passwords of thousands of buyers and sellers of illicit commodities have been identified and are the subject of follow-up investigations by Europol and our partner agencies.”

On July 5, the same day that AlphaBay went offline, authorities in Thailand arrested Alexandre Cazes — a 25-year-old Canadian citizen living in Thailand — on suspicion of being the creator and administrator of AlphaBay. He was charged with racketeering, conspiracy to distribute narcotics, conspiracy to commit identity theft and money laundering, among other alleged crimes.

Alexandre Cazes, standing in front of one of four Lamborghini sports cars he owned. Image: Hanke.io.

Alexandre Cazes, standing in front of one of four Lamborghini sports cars he owned. Image: Hanke.io.

Law enforcement authorities in the US and abroad also seized millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin and other assets allegedly belonging to Cazes, including four Lamborghini cars and three properties.

However, law enforcement officials never got a chance to extradite Cazes to the United States to face trial. Cazes, who allegedly went by the nicknames “Alpha02” and “Admin,” reportedly committed suicide while still in custody in Thailand.

This story will be updated throughout the day. In the meantime, the Justice Department has released a redacted copy of the indictment against Cazes (PDF), as well as a forfeiture complaint (PDF).

Read the whole story
chrisrosa
4 days ago
reply
San Francisco, CA
Share this story
Delete

shop.houseclubfitness.com — EarPeace Ear Plugs + Case

1 Share

New EarPeace Ear Plugs + Case engraved with Fit Mix® + Housing
High-fidelity hearing protection that improves your entertainment experience.

We partner with EarPeace to deliver affordable hearing protection to the dancer + DJ community.

Why wear hearing protection?

  • protects you from hearing loss so you can enjoy the music for years to come
  • hear every level of the music and your friends while getting down
  • stop that post-party ring
  • easy-to-use

Hear clear with EarPeace
EarPeace is engineered to deliver superior sound-quality so you have the best possible sound and entertainment experience. The attenuation filters create a flat response (or very clear sound) that allow just the precise amount of unobstructed sound to enter the ear. This turns down the volume without distorting the sound. You will actually hear better and still be able to talk to friends on the dance floor. Noise Reduction Rating is 10dB.

soft + comfortable + virtually invisible
EarPeace Ear Plugs are made out of soft, safe hypoallergenic silicone that can be worn comfortably for hours. Reusable with easy-to-use ‘tab’ that gets them in and out easily. Includes three (3) ear plugs, just in case you lose one.

sleek, aluminum case with secret stash chamber
Comes with the coolest, two-chamber carrying case with durable carabiner engraved with both Fit Mix® and Housing. Clip it to your Fit Pack or festival bag.

Important  |  Please read and follow the included instructions. EarPeace Ear Plugs are not difficult to use but there is a special technique to use them properly which will make a big difference in your enjoyment.

Warning  |  If you get an ear plug stuck in your ear, please seek emergency medical care immediately.

Learn more about EarPeace.

Read the whole story
chrisrosa
5 days ago
reply
San Francisco, CA
Share this story
Delete

Password Masking

1 Comment

Slashdot asks if password masking -- replacing password characters with asterisks as you type them -- is on the way out. I don't know if that's true, but I would be happy to see it go. Shoulder surfing, the threat is defends against, is largely nonexistent. And it is becoming harder to type in passwords on small screens and annoying interfaces. The IoT will only exacerbate this problem, and when passwords are harder to type in, users choose weaker ones.

Read the whole story
chrisrosa
5 days ago
reply
here here.
San Francisco, CA
Share this story
Delete

Why Security Experts Are Pissed That ‘1Password’ Is Pushing Users to the Cloud

1 Comment

If you're worried about getting hacked and want to keep your data safe, one of the easiest things to do is use a password manager, an app that let's you create and store unique passwords for all of your services in a secure vault. If you use one of these, all you need to remember is one strong master password—something your brain can very well do—and the app takes care of remembering dozens of unique passwords across the web.

There are many different password managers, but in the last few years, 1Password has become a favorite for hackers and security researchers who often recommend it above all other alternatives.

What makes 1Password different, and more desirable for certain sectors of the hacker and security community, is that it allows users to keep all their passwords stored in a local "vault," a password protected database that only lives inside their computers or smartphones. For some, this is better because your passwords never leave your computer, meaning that the user has complete control over their passwords—a hacker would have to go after that specific user as opposed to possibly getting them from 1Password if the service itself is hacked.

Last weekend, though, several security researchers tweeted that 1Password was moving away from allowing people to pay for a one-time license and have local password vaults, in favor of its cloud-based alternative that requires a monthly subscription.

"Unfortunately, 1Password is betraying their users and moving to a subscription-only service. This is unfortunate," tweeted the official account of the Crypto Village, a privacy and encryption workshop. "We cannot recommend them."

A 1Password engineer explained in a Twitter chat that the company knows "without a doubt that 1Password.com is better for usability and security," referring to the cloud-based option, which costs $2.99 per month (or $4.99 for an account for up to five people).

"We want our customers to get the best. Some people won't agree with that (which is fine!) so we'll work with them to get set up how they want, but for 99.9 percent of people, 1Password.com is absolutely the way to go," Connor Hicks, an engineer at 1Password, told me.

Using the cloud-based alternative is much easier for regular people. You can check your passwords from any computer by logging into your account on 1Password.com, and your passwords can still be retrieved if you lose your device. This is the same model most password managers (such as LastPass) use.

Hicks also clarified that the new 1Password for Windows is "is built for1Password.com and has no licence option." So, in practice, Windows user already are forced into the cloud. Hicks, however, said that if a user wants a one-time license she or he can email the company and 1Password will "help them determine if a license is really what's best for them."

In other words, 1Password really wants you to stop using its local storage version, though Hicks also added that the company is not planning to "remove support for local/Dropbox/iCloud vaults from the software," at least for now.

Whitney Merrill, a security and privacy expert, told Motherboard in a Twitter chat that "it's troubling that 1Password, a company that has traditionally been very loyal to its user base, could make such an impactful decision (subscription model and loss of local vault) without transparency to those users."

"I make a huge effort to keep my computer secure," Merrill added, "when I give all my passwords to a third party that means I need to trust them and their security."

If you use 1Password, sounds like you'll have to trust them too.

Get six of our favorite Motherboard stories every day by signing up for our newsletter.



Read the whole story
chrisrosa
14 days ago
reply
oh man...say it ain't so.
San Francisco, CA
Share this story
Delete

5K Versions of Every Default macOS Wallpaper

2 Comments and 3 Shares

Every major version of Mac OS X macOS has come with a new default wallpaper.

I have collected them all here, in glorious 5K resolution. I owe a huge thank you to the mysterious @forgottentowel for upscaling many of these for modern screens.

Read the whole story
MotherHydra
14 days ago
reply
COOL. I remember folks always complimenting the wallpaper on my 12" PowerBook.
Space City, USA
chrisrosa
14 days ago
reply
San Francisco, CA
Share this story
Delete
1 public comment
JRBaz
14 days ago
reply
Pura nostalgia en 5k
Vitoria-Gasteiz

Popping a Balloon in a Reverberation Room vs an Anechoic Chamber

1 Share

 

Listen to the difference in reverberation time of a balloon pop in a reverberant field versus an anechoic field. This footage was taken during an acoustical tour sponsored by Sound Advice/Ecore International in Lancaster, PA.

 

see more videos button Popping a Balloon in a Reverberation Room vs an Anechoic Chamber

twistedsifter on facebook Popping a Balloon in a Reverberation Room vs an Anechoic Chamber

 





Read the whole story
chrisrosa
16 days ago
reply
San Francisco, CA
Share this story
Delete
Next Page of Stories