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Darkowl’s Observations About Alphabay Are Ridiculous

DarkOwl, a company specializing in so-called “darknet intelligence,” believes there is “something larger transpiring” with the AlphaBay relaunch.

I do not want to make any claims about the legitimacy of DeSnake or AlphaBay. His return is one of the most surprising things I have witnessed unfold in this sector. The relaunch elicited mixed reactions from users on Dread, XSS, Twitter, and elsewhere for obvious reasons. Feedback appears to be a mix of legitimate concerns (there is no way to prove the original DeSnake did not sell his PGP key to someone else) and unverified or downright incorrect claims (the feds verified that Cazes controlled DeSnake’s account).

A picture of Even in the indictment, feds separated DeSnake and alpha02.

Even in the indictment, feds separated DeSnake and alpha02.

The cybersecurity company DarkOwl believes “something larger transpiring than a simple relaunch of the former marketplace.” However, the observations highlighted by the company’s analysts that supposedly support their theory are just silly.

The following points are from a DarkOwl blog post.

  • Registration for the market and the forum seem unnecessarily complicated, including errors if the pin code started with ‘0’ and asking for the user’s “real name.” The concept of a real name is irrelevant in the darknet unless the administration is possibly trying to catch someone not in the “right-state-of-mind” slip-up and actually put their real name into that field.
  • The DDoS protection and bot detection measures are excessive for a brand new marketplace. While navigating the domain manually, DarkOwl analysts regularly had to reset their Tor circuit and refresh their identity to simply view the vendor listings.
  • The market includes an outrageous number of strict rules delineated as “global AlphaBay” versus rules specifically for “buyers” and “vendors.” There are no weapons allowed (where the previous AlphaBay had a weapons category), no Fentanyl sales allowed (where the previous AlphaBay had a ‘Fent and RCs’ category), no COVID-19 vaccine or cures can be offered, no ransomware sold or advertised, and no Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) related countries activities allowed.
  • The “About-Us” and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) sections are a laborious read with over 13,000 words combined – 8,200 for the FAQ section alone. Conversely, the original AlphaBay’s FAQ was a mere 277 words.
  • The overt exclusion of CIS countries is peculiar, especially given that DeSnake and alpha02 were openly active in Russian carding communities. According to DarkOwl Vision’s archived documents, Russian speakers were present on the original AlphayBay forum and in interviews alpha02 spoke of how they “work with our Russian colleagues to enable each of us to enrich our base of vendors and buyers,” and clearly was not excluding users located in Russia.
  • AlphaBay now only accepts the cryptocurrency Monero, and heavily promotes that users access it via I2P instead of Tor, calling their Tor services “mirrors” to the main I2P eepsite. DeSnake’s detailed instructions for installing I2P on Dread fail to mention the potential risks of peer discovery and de-anonymization through known techniques like Eclipse and Sybil attacks in conjunction with flood-fill takeovers. Interestingly, the last known Monero-I2P-centric market was Liberitas, which went offline in June 2019 after a very short stint on the I2P network.
  • DarkOwl could not confirm any prior darknet experience from the moderators DeSnake has installed as Staff on the market and forum.
  • The new AlphaBay Marketplace refuses donations. It is unheard of that a darknet service would decline and discourage donations. A fully-functional darknet marketplace will indeed provide sufficient financial resources in the future; yet refusing them from the start is unreal.

DarkOwl has been active in this scene for a long time. They have some legitimately informative analysis on marketplaces. Surely their analysts know that these observations about AlphaBay are not any more convincing than random statements on Dread.

To their credit, they did not publish outright lies. Although I am not sure it “is unheard of” that a market would not solicit donations. DarkOwl’s statements in the rest of the blog post seem to imply that DeSnake is now much wordier than he used to be (although the word count bullet point in the list above only suggests that DeSnake did not write the original FAQ which is not relevent). I cannot really disagree with this and it might be a legitimate point in support of a theory of some sort.

As to th i2p point, this person on Dread who claims to be a former LEO wrote that LE markets will encourage use of i2p.
dreadytofatroptsdj6io7l3xptbet6onoyno2yv7jicoxknyazubrad.onion/post/486ac94a84cdac803ed4 /

bonus from 2017 with some of the same characters: Admins and staff of the largest darknet drug marketplace - Alphabay - have been doxxed on reddit even after paying an extortion amount of $45,000 (

It's Called We Engage In A Mild Amount of Tomfoolery
ce79be00 Sat, Apr 2, 2022

that nigga crazy

919c4ff0 Sat, Apr 2, 2022

I dunno, we’ve been there… the , ” jewnl , ” bullshit… If you put a grate at the bottom of the pit to catch the boiled off fat and stack the product between wood, and use a little of the old styrofoam gasoline combo… works great, HNO3 isn’t rocket science, well actually it is but whatever, alphabetically speaking, God isn’t real and love all you gals and gents : )

91dd9eb0 Sat, Apr 2, 2022

I dunno, we’ve been there… the , ” jewnl , ” bullshit… If you put a grate at the bottom of the pit to catch the boiled off fat and stack the product between wood, and use a little of the old styrofoam gasoline combo… works great, HNO3 isn’t rocket science, well actually it is but whatever, alphabetically speaking, God isn’t real and love all you gals and gents : )

acdcfa20 Sat, Apr 2, 2022

seems fishy

b77a6a30 Sat, Apr 2, 2022

how is this crazy? Alphabay when first relaunched had a full name form on signup which can be backed up by many members of the community. Desnake telling people to install i2p on tails is insane. Just look up I2P tails security hole which shows how a user can be de-anonymized easily. YES and during the arrest it showed alpha02 held his account details. Some of what darkowl said is true but others have yet to proven although stated about is all true. dnl clearly got paid for this.

5b28cb50 Sat, Apr 2, 2022

My toddler has better reading comprehension than you do.

0d571060 Sun, Apr 3, 2022

everyone is paid hah tails hole about i2p was 5 years ago bro wake up! how can anyone be deanonymised if they use tails (tor) on top of i2p? i don’t get it its much more safe

a61610b0 Sat, Apr 2, 2022

the whole thing has been fishy from the start! rip alph02. this is a disgrace to his name.

803b74b0 Sat, Apr 2, 2022

Y’all are too easy lmao

6756fd70 Sun, Apr 3, 2022

who cares about some snake oil security company LOL im getting ma bricks from ab for months now no problem use PGP use good vendors USE COMMON SENSE

24f907a0 Sun, Apr 3, 2022

Brilliant article. I like the part where everything is he said she said even linked to someone who created account 5 seconds ago and posted about being law enforcement officer. If it weren’t for darknetlive to create his own news by making posts and referring to himself on dread where would we all be?

Sarcasm aside many times alpha02 paid him to confuse people i’d thought dnl would vet and research his topics more… guess not!

Zero proof about i2p we can argue darknetlive is law enforcement pushing people away from the technology that’s even older than tor and hundred percent funded by people not US NAVY. How many hidden services got busted on tor again? I never heard any on i2p

13569b10 Sun, Apr 3, 2022

spot on observation i looked the user account created 1 hour ago

fffdf430 Wed, Apr 6, 2022

God some of you are so dense. So how would you expect LE to post something like that Sherlock? From an aged account that has a Law Enforcement flair next to his name?

cf909e40 Sun, Apr 3, 2022

To be fair alphabay provides a very decent service I’m yet to have any issues using pgp my vendor uses enforced pgp feature alphabay gives 10/10

f586b5e0 Sun, Apr 3, 2022

There are so many contradictions in this article

96f58cd0 Mon, Apr 4, 2022

Yall I’ll be honest i was pretty damn upset when ab came back but reading desnakes post man the guy is super intelligent a different breed to admins we see today. I remember him from the real dark0de forum and he was on verified and couple other forums. Real recognise real big up my man if you’re reading my comment alex would be proud of you

9b225f70 Mon, Apr 4, 2022

I always thought /u/mr_white was /u/DeSnake.

6a04ec30 Tue, Apr 5, 2022

Nah desnake is more smarter than mr_white one has operate biggest marketplace almost twice now other one operate small market lol

1e107620 Wed, Apr 6, 2022

lulululz!!! DeSnake was Mr_White’s little bitch who ran to dread to cry about getting ddos’d by white into the dirt. It was funny as fuck to see da snake brought low and crying like a helpless girl.

Search feature works on dread now, look it up.

9ba76810 Sat, Apr 9, 2022

I looked up what 812fb15a said and from overall community response you can see people were hating on mr_white because he was working with known DDOS punks.

mr_white showed his true colors that day and it was downhill for WHM since the day Desnake got under his skin. He was untouchable until Desnake came back and left shortly after. The narrative is completely the opposite World and Dark0de or anyone can’t DDOS Alphabay at the moment I wouldn’t be surprised if Desnake did that on purpose and studied mr_whites psychology. I don’t think anyone reading his comments on dread can say he isn’t an intelligent man.

The posts i searched outline alphabay had been up majority of time mr_white couldn’t bring them fully down at all. Their i2p links are reported to have been working too.

b5b92260 Sun, Apr 10, 2022

1621395a is a desnake dicksucking clown. White didn’t work with any ddos punk nigga. He didn’t need to. He was always a one man show, unlike other market owners who have to outsource their ddos’ing because they can’t do it themselves.

Once you unwrap your lips from desnake’s penis it will be too late. You’ll be too deep in the i2p honeypot.

ffe22b80 Mon, Apr 11, 2022

I don’t care for alpha or any other market i’ve moved to DD but as a vendor I distinctly remember dread posts of white saying he works with guzman lol

d4051cd0 Mon, Apr 11, 2022

mr_white was biggest ddos faggot he was a disease that ddosed asap market all the fucking time i couldn’t place my orders at all don’t fucking defend the daft cunt :) Whoever kicked mr_white ass desneke or other admin good job mr_white was very rude to his customers small dick energy ya kno

398b5ae0 Thu, Apr 14, 2022

Word to world mr_white was a complete faggot people used whm because of no choice!! mr_white exit scamed

5cbee660 Tue, Apr 5, 2022

i hope this snake guy gets busted hes begging to get busted what kind of idiot makes millions exitscams retires just to start up again i mean yo ur a millionaire u didnt get caught LE forgot about you why come back? why trust alpha bay for ? he could be a fbi informant or this this new alpha is a honey pot

a44c75f0 Thu, Apr 7, 2022

i find alphabay to be really strange. with the bust of cazes, it wouldnt be a good idea for desnake to come back under the same name considering the heat surrounding the market. its possible that desnake is some sort of informant. if he isnt turning over information, hes letting the feds look over his shoulder to see how things operate, how to find flaws to exploit etc.
personally, i would not buy off of it, but people say its good so idk. i think desnake is way too ambitious and over his head

7f5e4230 Mon, Apr 25, 2022

Desnake comes across as a textbook LE agent provocateur. Constantly starting flame wars on dread making accusations of other markets that he himself is guilty of. The latest, an accusation of another market that they inflate their numbers when he does that himself. I noticed this back in October when he listed a ridiculous number of vendors and users yet the site got no traffic. The attacks all comes across as a way to distract from having to answer any hard questions himself.

5bc3fc20 Fri, Apr 8, 2022

The new alphabay has promised so much without delivering anything. The site has also not been updated since last year. I honestly think this is gonna end in an exit scam.

c316a9a0 Sat, Apr 9, 2022

He’s been making updates every week more and more I read some of the responses here they seem to be exactly what Desnake usually gets as criticism. From admins who are jealous of the Alphabay name and standing.

Desnake kicked everyones ass he took out castle market and parchezi, whm, fucked worlds reputation beyond repair exposed their group with the ring of markets they own, exposed yosemites market list goes on. I dare anyone go on and dread and see what I’m talking about. He’s more agressive than mr_white but when he strikes shits lethal.

I’m not saying all as fanboy I’m using multisig in versus it works for me but other markets should get a reality check of the situation some delusional thoughts they’re pouring into the comments! I’m not a big fan of him I prefer markets who work in the background but i can’t stop and respect him for how he rebuilt alphabay in what 8 months? Respect the come up

d6f72f70 Mon, Apr 25, 2022

e5f7d962 you didn’t do a very good job hiding your fan boyism seeing as how desnake had nothing to do with “taking out” whm. Your bullshit is deep.

53de4a00 Sun, Apr 10, 2022

Alphabay is DaGOAT pro market ngl

583609b0 Mon, Apr 11, 2022

DNL Is Desnake confirmed

57d62100 Fri, Apr 22, 2022

I’m no expert… I don’t know shit about tor, i2p, touchmypp, none of it. As a layman, my first thought was “why would anyone use the AB name again?” You would think buyers would be skeptical of a market with a history of being a honeypot (or was Hansa the honeypot? I can’t remember but you get the point). But then I thought, maybe that’s the point? Maybe they’re using the AB name again because most LEO would think the same thing I did, “no one will use it with the same name”. Maybe it’s the real deal because it makes no sense to use the AB brand…. I don’t know. Just tell me how to work this stupid encryption thingy so I can buy my weed…

50e17400 Thu, Apr 28, 2022

Over worded remins me of the Monopoly admih. Over written statements and obsessive rules.

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