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Saturday, June 8, 2013

It took 10 min to get onto the Silk Road

Ive been hearing about the silk road more and more and it seems to become mainstream. I knew it was hosted through something called a hidden service on the Tor network which is used to try and anonymize internet traffic by passing data through many different forwarders each one decrypting just on layer of the message at a time (like peeling an onion) This does a great job of hiding your traffic because if you operate a relay for Tor then your data just gets mixed in with everyone elses and if you operate an exit node for tor you can do some cool stuff spying on the people using your tor protocol... So with a google search I had found the secret hash on the .onion domain that provides the hidden web service in the tor network.
Finding a mirror of the silk road .onion site through tor2web

After making a fake account ill never use again i logged right in. Everything on the Silk Road is sold through Bitcoin which is a anonymous digital currency that users can "mine" and in the act of doing that validate the transactions of the network with no central authority or server

Currently bitcoin is trading for  109.58395 USD

Original handmake silk road pillow
Not only are there gallons of moonshine and handmade silk road pillows but theres also some "flakey fish scale" cocaine also for sale and "east coast style heroin stamps"
Cocaine and heroin being sold
I was amazed by the number of items and the fact that it just flaunts the entire thing... they even have a book you can buy for how to ship things through the mail and not get caught. With the current state of cryptography and what we see with companies trying to combat piracy and DRM i dont think theres very much you could do about this
Well actually I might sit back and drink my opium tea and think about that awhile... Although anybody can go to the silk road by using a tor browser or one of the many tor2web services that lets you use tor without a client installed there are some thing I think an entity as large as the government could do to combat a website like this. I would attack the money... thats always been the issue is how you get your ill gotten gains out... Bitcoin has gained an order of magnitude in value since I dabbled playing with it over a year ago... the few pennies I made with weeks of CPU mining (do do it the power costs more than you make) are now dimes
So if the government were to crack or otherwise acquire some large store of bitcoins they could could flood the market and make it so the currency is worthless but that wouldn't stop the problem because then prices would just change (although a bunch of hackers and crazy investors would probably loose alot)
Silkroad anonymous market lottery
A better plan would be to signup with a bunch of fake accounts and then get them to ship the stuff to you... I haven't purchased anything so Im not sure how shipping works but I bet the authorities could figure out where the boxes were coming from. This page is all about fake ids... I even saw one for a police badge
Fake Ids available through the hidden service
Its the ebay for criminals, you can buy all kinds of things and there's even reputation and ratings/commenting built in so people can try and keep from getting scammed (although I bet it still happens a ton)
More tor hidden services lists being sold
What do you think of these services? Is there any way to take them down? There are already security researchers thing about this. Taking over exit nodes or monitoring the network over time to collect data on those that are participating. At defcon the hacker conference they say your ISP and the government are best friends. Is the PRISM program and NSA spying programs archiving the fact that you use Tor? It seems like any Tor traffic would likely be involved in something illegal or at least things you wouldn't want people knowing about