Dream Market, the Dark Web’s largest marketplace, is reportedly going to shut down this April. On March 26, researchers at Flashpoint and IntSights learned about the shut down after a number of threat actors posted on the DNM Avengers forum about the forthcoming closure.
According to Evelyn French, a senior analyst at Flashpoint, the users claim to have received messages informing them of the shutdown.
French said: “A threat actor operating under the alias nigafawefawg stated that they received the following message, allegedly on Dream Market: ‘This market is shutting down on 04/30/2019 and is transferring its services to a partner company, onion address: weroidj*********.onion (currently offline, opening soon)’.”
“Other threat actors commenting in the same thread reported receiving similar notification messages, while some threat actors denied receiving the notifications.”
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Flashpoint says it’s also monitoring similar discussions on a multitude of other marketplaces and forums, including Empire Market Forum, Wall Street Market Forum, Pirate Ship, and Italian Deep Web.
According to the head of the cyber threat research team at IntSights, Ariel Ainhoren, if the online chatter about the closure proves to be true, the Dark Web economy is likely to take a massive blow.
“The closure of Dream Market will be a big hit to dark web economy as Dream Market holds more than 65,000 listings of digital goods, including hacked databases, hacking tutorials, hacking tools, malicious software and almost 90,000 listings of different drugs,” she said.
“A lot of dark web users started talking about drawing their balance from the site and vendors started talking about moving their business to other known markets, such as Wall Street and Berlusconi markets, but it is too early to tell what the effect of this announcement will be.”
At this point, it remains unclear what is driving the closure. Experts have speculated that it could be either law enforcement, fatigue on the market itself or that the founders are attempting to reinvigorate or reinvent the market.
“A couple of weeks ago two very known forums named Kickass and Torum went down after a threat actor named the Thedarkoverlord (9/11 papers) posted that he can be contacted on these forums.
“His activity drew a lot of fire and attention from law enforcement to these forums, and they suffered repeated attacks by unknown attackers until they were taken down.
“It could be that the targeting of these forums rang the bell for Dream Market operators to take their gains from six years of operation and close shop,” Ainhoren said.