Crimes on the DeepWeb: who hasn’t heard about them?
Everything in the world has its good and bad side, its pros and cons. These Deep Web sites are run mostly by cybercriminals and can be very harmful to the users surfing online. There are many malicious sites owned by hackers and criminals threatening user’s privacy and security. Now, these banned sites are too many to name; however, we have narrowed them down to you in this article by mentioning the Four of the Deep Web URL that The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs cracked down on in Russia.
What is DeepWeb?
The deep web is deeper than the rest of the 90% of the accessible sides of the internet. The deep web is much larger than the surface web than what you think, as you won’t even be able to know how many websites or even pages exactly are active there at one time.
The most basic and accessible sites and big search engines are on the service web for everyone to ask away the basic queries they have. However, from academic journals to passwords, private databases, and most of the illicit content won’t be accessed by any mediocre person. The deep web is also a notorious side of the internet known as the dark web.
Furthermore, most of this deep web side of the internet is said to be safe and legal. Some of these largest parts of the internet include:
- Databases: Files that are protected publically and privately, that are not connected to other areas of the web, and that can only be searched by staying in the database.
- Intranets: Internal networks for enterprises, governments, and educational facilities that are used to communicate and control several aspects privately within their organizations.
If you are still wondering how to access the deep web well, then you must be surprised when I tell you you might be using it on a daily basis. Yes, all the web pages that require a password or have some security walls around them are included in the deep web section. Some of these websites are unidentifiable by conventional search engines. Therefore, these pages are hidden for a number of reasons.
What URLs Were These?
These deep web URL were the most famous and leading dark marketplaces, putting their vendors at the top of the list. These are not any sites that are present on the conventional search engines on the internet that we use. They are part of the deep part of the internet.
This group of six people was committing these crimes; among them was Andrey Novak, who was a part of this alleged hacking organization for distributing “means of payment” without authorization, as Moscow’s Ministry of Internal Affairs seeks, that they have connections to the sites that were seized hasn’t been verified yet, though.
These big marketplaces, collectively, have earned more than $260 million across Litecoin and others, including Bitcoin.
Things Being Sold on These Marketplaces
There are many illegal and illicit things being sold on these dark web marketplaces. They are actual vendors selling stolen things that you can imagine that they would be actually being sold on this marketplace.
Furthermore, we will be discussing the markets on the deep/dark web in general and weird and unexpected or stolen personal belongings and information that are being sold there, including drugs, fake papers and documents, items related to fraud, and services and tools for hacking.
Stolen Credit Cards Market
The second biggest leading market of Stolen Credit Card loses its rank. Moreover, these four famous URLs not only had stolen credit card markets, but they also had online bazaars of big theft.
Furthermore, these cards hold the payment details information of the bank and company accounts for crypto assets. These credit cards are valuable as lots of expensive items and gifts can be purchased through them. Now, these cards are resold for more cash and earning money illegally. This process of selling and reselling cards is known as “carding,” an essential part of the cybercriminal’s playbook.
Here are some of the illegal shops online that were leading and highly growing marketplaces on the deep/dark web until Russia took them down.
FERum Shop has been one of the biggest stolen credit card shops since 2013, known to be the leader among card market vendors for stolen credit. This shop made an estimated amount of $256 million in Bitcoin through this carding. It interestingly had banners of another similar site called Trump Dump, which was also taken down by the Department “K” of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Another major carding shop in January 2022 was UniCC.
This site, UniCC, is known to be a top market for buying and selling stolen credit and debit cards. The site was known for holding 30% of the carding scam and fraud business; it has earned $358 million in cryptocurrency since its launch in 2013, according to a report by Elliptic.
UniCC also made a profit by receiving Bitcoin worth $100 million bitcoin in exchange for stolen credit cards in 2021 alone. However, later, it announced its shutdown in January 2022.
REvil ransomware is a virus that is a serious threat that blocks files and encrypts files after infection and discards a ransom request message. So, the message explains that the user or the victim has to pay a ransom in Bitcoin. And if the one is not able to pay the ransom in the meantime, then he has to pay double the actual demand.
Revil also affected 1,500 businesses from all around the world in their July ransomware attack operated by FSB. They have seized more than 5.5 million dollars, 426 rubles, cryptocurrency wallets, as well as 20 luxury cars.
These ransomware attackers were also arrested back then in 2021. But they came back with a strong plan.
Sky Fraud was a great carding source for beginner carders and cybercriminals; it was an active site for almost 4 years. However, it was never considered to be a high or even mid-tier website. Sky-Fraud does represent the first Russia-based major arrest of cybercriminals since March 2020.
The “K” Department of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) holds more than 30 members of an illegal carding operation and charged twenty-five of them with “illegal means of payment.”
Other Deep Web URL Cracked Down by the Russian Military’s Department “K”
The Department “K” of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs has not only cracked these four famous deepweb URLs; instead, they shut many businesses down and URLs in the past as well. Here are some of the other famous marketplace sites on the deep/dark web.
It was a carding automated vending cart established in 2013. In the same year, a lot of security and media blogs stated that popular retailers reported big data breaches involved in stolen cards that were being sold on Rescator. Millions of credit and debit cards were compromised. Rescator has services like they offer dumps, wholesale, cards, etc.
Furthermore, it only receives payment in Bitcoin. They also provide daily updates and news dumps, and a lot of CVV products are offered at a very good price; they have a lot of providers around to help them access compromised card data. However, it was an unexpected loss for cybercriminals and hackers that the site was taken down in 2019 by Russia.
Trump Dump, an illegally seized darknet market site, was infamous for using the image of Donald Trump, the former President of the United States of America, for their branding and marketing.
Trump’s Dumps is another prominent carding site in the deepweb marketplaces, which sells raw magnetic Strip Data from the cards. Carders commonly refer to them as “dumps.” This site has made a whopping amount of around $4.1 million since the day it was established in October 2017.
Well, with all the breaching news, Trump International Hotels Management LLC announced that a third-credit card data breach within 2 years. As per reports, anyone who used their credit card at Trump Property in these two years had their card data stolen and further put it on sale on the dark web as cybercrime as a result.
All World Cards
This site called All World Cards was created in May 2021 with a huge marketing campaign to promote their store and announced 1 million cards for free. To further promote their store and make their marketing campaign visible, they sponsored forums like BlackHat Carding Black Bones around August 2021.
These published credit cards were compromised during the time of 2018 and 2019; however, clients could still find them active in the year 2021, which made the shop evident and at a certain level of credibility. During the time of seizure by the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs of 4 major shops, these shops kept a low profile so that they could avoid being targeted by law enforcement. Representatives of these forums were last seen on 9th February 2022.
Arrest of These Cybercriminals and Downfall of These Sites
The most common type of crimes committed on the deep/dark web are related cybercrimes, including identity theft, stolen credit cards, driving licenses, fake social media accounts, hacking accounts, drug trafficking, trading of illegal weapons, and distribution of material involving child pornography and exploitation.
These are the four famous URLs of major marketplaces of stolen credit card data and information on the deep/dark web. Many criminals are arrested, and the authorities have made sure to avoid such risks of online increasing the number of crimes. Russia is one step ahead, and it is their third major arrest of cybercriminals since the beginning of year January 2022.
SilkRoad: The First Biggest Deep/Darknet Market Place
The Silk Road was a darknet online marketplace operated by a guy named Ross Ulbricht. It was named after the historical network of trading routes between the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and East Africa. This marketplace was a place where users were able to buy and sell illicit goods without revealing their true identity.
It was operated through and on the deep/dark web, and it was only accessible by those having special software or browsers like TOR. Silk Road is said to be the first modern deep/dark web marketplace. All the transactions were done in cryptocurrency, Bitcoin to be specified.
Silk Road’s Shut Down
The Silk Road was shut down in 2013. US Senator Charles Schumer, the DEA, and the Department of Justice did a deep and lengthy investigation that eventually led to the shutdown of the Silk Road— along with the arrest of founder Ross Ulbricht.
Not only that FBI also seized the crypto wallets of Silk Road users and arrested its Founder, collecting Bitcoins worth millions of dollars. The seizure of Bitcoin, the shutdown of Silk Road, and the arrest of Ulbricht were meant to send a clear message to anyone involved in cybercrime.
The Website is not currently activated; however, it has laid a foundation for other marketplaces on the deep/dark web so that they follow the footsteps of the first biggest and leading markets on the dark net. Silk Road is considered an important case study for analyzing the growth and engagement of the other dark web markets. It’s the original inspiration for an extremely profitable underground global trade that continues today.
What Became of the Bitcoin Stacked on the Silk Road?
Ulbricht apparently owned a staggering 600,000 bitcoins, valued at $80 million. However, the FBI is allegedly unable to access it. About $3.6 million was “downloaded” by the FBI, or 26,000. The password to a Bitcoin wallet must be known to access it. Unfortunately, Ulbricht might have added other encryptions on top of those passwords.
Ulbricht’s coins are not irretrievable, as stated by Marco Santori, the chairman of the Regulatory Affairs Committee at the Bitcoin Foundation, in Wired.co.uk. In the event that Ulbricht refuses to give up his private key, the Department of Justice (DOJ) may ask the court for a seizure order. If he says no, the DOJ might never even need to present any proof in order to sentence him to jail.
FBI Regarding the Bitcoins
Although the US government acknowledges that the currency can be used for legal purposes, it has been looking into the shadowy side and dark reaches of the industry for years. Furthermore, in May, authorities closed down Liberty Reserve, a Costa Rican digital currency corporation that was being used for money laundering at the time.
Therefore, how can one perceive it to be using a currency that it is fighting, whether legitimately or not? The point is that this form of currency cannot be utilized to conduct investigative transactions on other virtual black markets since transactions leaving the FBI’s wallet may be tracked by anybody because Bitcoin is open source. It is unlikely that it will convert them into cash.
How the Shut Down of Silk Road Affected Bitcoin?
Most of the Bitcoin transactions were ever made on the Silk Road. According to a report from the FBI earlier, despite the fact that there are plenty of places to spend your bitcoins, one of them has to be a UK pub chain that accepts them. The sales reached $1.2 billion, with commissions coming in at $80 million between February 2011 and July 2013. The total worth of all bitcoins in circulation is $1.5 billion.
The evolution of the currency seems to be driven by services similar to those found on the Silk Road. The closure of Silk Road has shown that bitcoins are not dependent on any third party, just like the March FinCEN guidelines proved that these bitcoins were legal.
The Hacking of These Credits and Debit Cards
This credit and debit card information can be stolen by phishing or other scams. As they can be helpful in hacking bank accounts and all retail databases. Now, these cards can be sold or further used for money laundering. Which is obtained with the help of some other types of online crimes. The ban and seizure of sites like UniCC, Trump Dump, Sky-Fraud, REvil, and Silk Road on the dark web.
Knowing the fact that dark web sites cannot be accessed on traditional browsers or conventional search engines, which falls under the category of illicit activities. The sudden ban of these four famous deepweb URLs has motivated others to keep their businesses more hidden to avoid increasing law enforcement. As these illicit marketplaces are shutting down because of the illegal and horrendous going on there.
As mentioned above in this article, Russian authorities have arrested six men who are accused of operating some of the most active online shops that are selling stolen credit and debit card payment data. Another crackdown on major fraud shops by the Russian Ministry. Another arrest of 14 men allegedly being part of the REvil ransomware gang and many other rooted cybercrimes.
Internet Censorship in Russia in General
Limiting access to the internet is something being enforced in Russia using a variety of legal justifications and enforcement techniques. Moscow’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) has been keeping an internet blocklist (sometimes referred to as the “Single Register”) consolidated since 2012.
Content on the Blocking List
IP addresses, domain names, and specific URLs are censored on the list. When this was first released, its purpose was to filter websites. That included illicit content like supporting drug usage and manufacturing, how-to guides for suicide, and child pornography.
It was then altered to allow the blocking of materials on the Federal List of Extremist Materials, allowing for the blocking of materials deemed extremist. Freedom House claims that the rules made have been regularly exploited to prevent critics of the federal government or local governments from speaking out.
Shut Down of Journalism
Online sites for journalism can be shut down through a mechanism put in place by law. A law that forbids the “abuse of mass media freedom.” A bill was shown and was signed into law in March 2019. Which imposed fines on anyone who the government believes is circulating fake news and displaying blatant disrespect for state officials.
The European Court of Human Rights found in June 2020 that Russia had infringed the plaintiffs’ right to free speech by censoring websites critical of the Kremlin, including Garry Kasparov’s
The Russian-Ukraine Invasion and the Ban on the Internet
After the Russians invaded Ukraine, the government decided to block the main social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and also restricted more than 5,000 websites. Penalizing people who do not remove the content or localize user data from other platforms.
The Government authorities and several other administrative and criminal proceedings under a new law punish with 15 years in prison anyone who spreads false information deliberately.
Q. What sites are banned in Russia?
The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs bans several darknet marketplace sites in Russia.
Q. Who is the Founder of the Silk Road darknet marketplace?
Ross Ulbricht is the Founder of the famous and biggest darknet marketplace, Silk Road, and made plenty of profits and deals from this marketplace.
Q. What things do these deepweb sites sell?
Stolen credit cards, selling personal data and information, fake passports, fake driving licenses, pornography, including videos and pictures of torture and abuse.
Q. Which Department of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs was behind the seizure?
A Department named “K” of The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs was behind the seizure of these illicit and highly notorious deepweb URL sites.
The most common crime of the deep/dark web is cybercrime. It is that side of the internet, data, credit cards, and personal information. However, Russia has always been one step forward, and it made sure to protect your privacy. Therefore, The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs shut down a lot of sites in the past and continues to do it if it is threatening to users surfing online who have no idea that their personal information is at risk.