A Silk Road-inspired dark net marketplace, Evolution, has now attracted some notable comments from the “Dread Pirate Roberts” (DPR) following.
Ross Ulbricht was convicted last week as the infamous Silk Road’s DPR. He was charged with seven offenses including money laundering and narcotics trafficking, and faces anywhere from 20 years to life in prison.
One Evolution user, “Fantino,” was simply beside himself when he heard about Ulbricht’s allegedly irresponsible approach to keeping safe. He wrote:
“Ross was an absolute cement-head, when it came to security. There were any number of knowledgeable people on the SR Forum who gave him advice, which he universally ignored.
I consider myself pretty jaded, and am not easy to shock, but some of what came out during his trial I found shocking:
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I found out today that Ross apparently kept his PGP passphrase in a folder called ‘keys’ on his laptop. My jaw dropped when I heard this—this means that the Feds didn’t even have to lift a finger to decrypt all the data encrypted with Ross’s PGP key—the information was sitting there, waiting for them. This is such a fundamental breach of security practices that it isn’t funny.”
Indeed, Ulbricht apparently handed the feds a free pass by keeping intimate journal logs of his Silk Road journey on the very same laptop.
Then again, he did (allegedly) declare to a prospective employee, “When you look at the chance of getting caught, its incredibly small…put yourself in the shoes of a prosecutor trying to build a case.”
Other users of Evolution debated the extent of his genuineness. And several lamented the case’s outcome, with one commemorating his hero by “smoking a blunt for him right now.”
Evolution is believed to now rival the successes of Silk Road, becoming one of the largest dark net drug markets. It survived Operation Onymous during which most such sites were shut down, likely helping it suck up market share. As to why Evolution was spared, a European cybercrime division was quoted as saying, “Because there’s only so much we can do on one day.”