Dream Market Vendor Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison

rear view of prison officer leading prisoner in handcuffs in corridor
Cory Nicholas Skinner, a darknet drug vendor known as DoggFood, has been sentenced in court after pleading guilty to narcotics charges.

Cory Nicholas Skinner, a darknet drug vendor, has been sentenced to seven years in prison by a Maryland court.

He will also be subject to four years of supervision upon his release.

This is after Skinner pleaded guilty in May to conspiring to sell and distribute drugs on Dream Market under the vendor handle “DoggFood.”

The Investigation

Before his arrest in early 2018, Skinner was an employee of the United States Postal Service.

He first came into the limelight during the investigations of an Arkansas police officer murder case.

The priority mail that was found on the officer, shipped from Maryland, led to the discovery of two other similar priority packages that were destined for Arizona and North Carolina.

These packages contained a supply of drugs, and as expected, this sparked an investigation to be launched.

The recipients of the mails were then brought in for questioning, and it was revealed that they had purchased the drugs from Dream Market.

The vendor that made the sale was known as DoggFood, and they made their payments to the vendor via Bitcoin.

The police further discovered that the Arizona-destined package contained a supply of buprenorphine, an opioid partial agonist that’s used in treating narcotic addiction.

It carries special properties that reduce opioid cravings and help block the effects of opioids on the body, thus minimizing the negative side effects that come with withdrawal from opioid usage.

Derived from thebaine, it passes for a strong narcotic—hence it’s label as a drug that can be subjected to abuse.

The authorities carried out a fingerprint analysis on the packages to determine the sender, and the fingerprints were found to match those of one Cory Nicholas Skinner, a 33-year-old resident of Pikesville, Maryland.

It was revealed that Skinner had been distributing drugs to different people across the country.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service then decided to intercept some packages that were sent by Skinner, and they were all found to contain narcotics.

He was also known to take advantage of the mentally disabled to make deliveries at post offices in the city of Baltimore during mid-2017.

According to a Department of Justice press release, Skinner’s dealings totaled more than 97 grams of cocaine, 290 grams of heroin and 216 units of buprenorphine by January of this year.

All sales he made were through the Dream Market vendor account DoggFood.

The investigation process culminated in a police raid on Skinner’s home. They found several items including a weighing scale, a personal laptop, stamps, postal addresses as well as around $6,600 in cash. Skinner also had firearms in his possession.

The Role of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in the Investigation

man's hands on the bars of a prison cell
Cory Nicholas Skinner, a darknet drug vendor, has been sentenced to seven years in prison by a Maryland court.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service arguably played the most important role in the investigation of Skinner.

After it emerged that the deliveries were made through postal channels, the Inspection Service intercepted a large number of packages sent by Skinner, making the operation a jackpot for federal authorities.

The fact that Skinner was completely anonymous on the dark web would have made it almost impossible for him ever to be caught.

As much as the fingerprints on the parcels pointed directly at Skinner, the Postal Inspection Service’s efforts made it possible for the authorities to gather more evidence on him to make an arrest.

Dream Market

It was revealed by authorities that Skinner used Dream Market to sell drugs.

Started five years ago, Dream Market has grown to become among the top darknet marketplaces today in terms of popularity.

It has survived the wrath of law enforcement agencies which have seized most of its competitors over the years.

It is full of vendors that sell a range of goods and services—mostly illegal in nature.

Payments in Dream Market are made using cryptocurrencies. Three are in use to date, namely Bitcoin, Monero and Bitcoin Cash.

The market has several categories which include drugs, digital goods, services, among others.

All the vendors have ratings which reflect how they associate with their customers.

Some of the most-sold commodities on Dream Market include cannabis and digital goods.

All these have recorded above tens of thousands of dollars in sales to date. Other goods and services include hacking, jewelry, steroids, software, data, erotica and fraud.

Skinner’s Case Meets Its End

After he was arrested earlier this year, Skinner had faced charges of conspiring in the sale and distribution of drugs.

He had committed additional crimes such as illegally being in possession of firearms.

The death of the police officer in Arkansas was also found to be due to an overdose of heroin that had been purchased from the DoggFood vendor account, but Skinner was never indicted with any charges related to the death.

Skinner signed a plea agreement in May for his drug conspiracy charges.

In the end, Skinner was sentenced to serve seven years in federal prison followed by four years of supervised federal release.

Dream Market Has Banned the Sale of Fentanyl

Dream Market has recently ban the sale of fentanyl, a move likely to put some opioid sellers out of business.

Major darknet marketplace, Dream Market, has recently ban the sale of fentanyl. The message was posted in the market forum by one of the moderators known as “Gowron.”

Even though they posted this message at the end of the first week of May, it did not come into effect for another two weeks since the memo stated that as of May 20, no vendor would be allowed to sell the type of drug.

Gowron’s message is categorically clear that all vendors should remove all listings of the said drug and if any member of the site comes across any listing that sells the opioid, they should report it with immediate effect.

Below is a screenshot of the message from Gowron on the Dream Market forum.

Is the Ban of Fentanyl the Ultimate Solution?

The matter can be looked at from a broader perspective, but the real question is whether it will reduce the menace brought about by the drug due to fatal overdoses.

There are other marketplaces in existence which have not yet initiated the ban of the fentanyl and as such, Dream users are likely to migrate to other darknet markets.

So, therefore, people will still have other options, and from the writers’ perspective, this is not the ultimate solution because it has a very minimal effect.

The other thing is that the market vendors and buyers still have the option of using anonymous messaging platforms which have gained significant popularity and preference over the years. For the case of Dream Market, it is not any different.

A look at the marketplace reveals that several sellers have left their contact details on their vendor profiles, making it easy for buyers to contact them without necessarily logging in to their Dream Market account.

Therefore, the drug vendors will remove the drug listings from their profile and further urge those who wish to purchase fentanyl to order it directly by use of messaging apps.

The end effect, though trivial, is that Dream Market will end up losing a certain proportion of the revenue they earn from commission generated after a sale.

Given that drugs are among the most profitable businesses in the dark web, then it is evident that there will be an effect.

Dream Market Vendors and Operators Under Watch

It is evident that Dream is the biggest market in the darknet community. Because of this reason, the authorities are at the moment trying as much as they can to bring down the site by whatever means possible.

Before Dream gained its position as the top market, there was AlphaBay, which was seized alongside Hansa Market in a joint operation by law enforcement agencies in different parts of the world.

The operation that brought down the two mega-markets is regarded as the most successful in the history of darknet markets.

But even after a major darknet crackdown, more people get involved in darknet markets by simply creating new ones.

What makes it even worse is that the number of law enforcement personnel participating in curbing crime is not growing at a proportionate rate.

And for this reason, the rate of crime-related activities keeps on growing as compared to the people who get arrested and prosecuted.

Some of Those Involved In Dream Market Arrested and Prosecuted

Major darknet marketplace, Dream Market, has recently ban the sale of fentanyl.

Despite this, all hope is not lost as there are several instances where authorities have apprehended people involved in Dream Market’s operations by either buying or selling or operating as an admin.

In one of the cases that got international media attention, a former Dream Market moderator popularly known as OxyMonster, whose real name is Gal Vallerius, just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time when he was arrested at the airport while attending a famous beard competition in the U.S.

After months in and out of court, Vallerius pled guilty this month in a move that could see him spend up to 20 years in federal prison.

However, he will not be the first major operator of a top market to end up behind bars. When Silk Road Market was seized by law enforcement in 2013, the founder—William Ross Ulbricht, who went by the name Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR)—was arrested and is now serving a life sentence.

In yet another instance involving a Dream Market vendor, a former postal employee based in Maryland pleaded guilty to drug-related charges last month. The man, known as Cory Skinner, operated a vendor account on Dream going by the name DoggFood. Skinner dealt with heroin, cocaine and synthetic opioids including fentanyl.

Then there’s also a San Diego man known as Sky Justin Gornik, who operated on several markets including Dream Market. Gornik was an established vendor from the days of AlphaBay Market, a sign that he has been in the business for years.

It is ordinarily typical for vendors to set up multiple accounts on different markets in a bid to attract more clientele. In most cases, they use the same username and listings make it clear to all that visit their profile.

The case was evident during the seizure of AlphaBay and Hansa. Since AlphaBay went down first, a spot check on Hansa showed that vendors who previously operated on AlphaBay already had vendor accounts on the market.

For those who never had an account on Hansa and other darknet markets, they rushed to create new profiles in a deliberate bid to continue their business.

The end effect is that there was an influx of registrants that “forced” Hansa to close registration for a period of one week.  All this was a game plan by the security personnel involved in the operation.

It is just a matter of time until it will be known if Dream Market will sail through the wave riddled with hurdles of all sorts.

Dream Market ‘Oxygod’ Busted for Alleged Distribution of Counterfeit Drugs

Dealer selling cocaine,ecstasy or other illegal drugs
The suspects behind Dream Market’s ‘Oxygod’ account have been arrested for dealing fake oxycodone pills on the dark web.

Three suspected drug dealers believed to have been running a lucrative venture on the dark web are finally in custody after months of investigation undertaken by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

Earlier this month, 20-year-old Duc Cao of Orange County, 21-year-old Wyatt Pasek of Santa Ana and 22-year-old Isaiah Suarez of New Port Beach were arrested under suspicion of operating a drug business on the very popular darknet market, Dream Market.

Around the same time the Office of the U.S. Attorney for Central District Of California announced the arrest, a criminal complaint was launched against the three suspects, accusing them of selling drugs on Dream Market under the username Oxygod.

The resulting joint operation between the DEA and the Costa Mesa Police Department lasted six months during which they gathered enough evidence to make a strong case against the three.

Suspects Believed to Have Distributed over 100,000 Fake Pills

Prior to the operation, Costa Mesa Police Department had come across a number of blue counterfeit pills with the markings “A 125” stamped on them.

According to a criminal police affidavit, it was later as they tested for fentanyl that the police discovered that the pills contained cyclopropyl fentanyl.

Costa Mesa police quickly narrowed their search for the source of the counterfeit pills to Pasek.

Opioid overdoses have been on the rise and the majority of these drugs come from darknet markets where fentanyl in all forms, including nasal spray, is being peddled to everyone with access to the dark web.

The Takedown & Arrests

Rather than pounce on the 21-year-old suspect immediately, police maintained close surveillance on Pasek and were rewarded with the location of one of the group’s pill labs in Newport Beach and the identities of the two other members.

Similarly, the authorities kept a close watch on Cao and Suarez as soon as they confirmed that the three were working together. This paid off as well.

In early March, a surveillance team picked up on Cao as he dropped off a number of packages at the post office. Police quickly obtained a warrant and managed to arrest several suspects in different states. A combined total of 1,400 counterfeit A 125 pills were recovered in operation. This was a momentous day for the investigators.

On the second day of April, Cao was spotted at Pasek’s house after which he traveled to the Newport Beach pill lab. After leaving the lab, he drove straight to a post office in Santa Ana and deposited 13 packages, similar to the first batch he was seen depositing in March.

Police obtained a court order to open the 13 packages. All of them contained the counterfeit blue A 125 pills and tested positive for fentanyl, according to the affidavit.

The following day, police made their move. They started by raiding Suarez’s apartment where they found not only fake oxycodone but also fake Xanax pills. It should be noted that Oxygod, a Dream Market vendor with a 4.54 rating after over 200 reviews, only dealt in fake oxycodone pills. The raid unearthed pill binders, an unknown sum of cash and over 13,000 fake oxycodone pills.

Mysteries Remain in the Case

Illegal drugs and money
Three suspected drug dealers believed to have been running a lucrative venture on the dark web are finally in custody after months of investigation undertaken by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

All three could be facing sentences of over 20 years each if convicted. However, this doesn’t seem to solve the case completely.

The last login date on Oxygod’s account was observed to be a day after the group was taken into custody. Furthermore, the issue of the fake Xanax pills remains unsolved, as does the mystery of the second research chemical used together with fentanyl to create the fake oxycodone pills.

It is believed that the trio sold an upwards of 100,000 fake oxycodone pills before the police caught up with them.

A Dream Market Forum Has Emerged on the Clearnet

Forum Chat Message Discuss Talk Topic Concept
DeepWeb Network has just launched. It’s a clearnet-based forum that’s modeled to serve Dream Market users.

Forums are avenues to discuss and swap experiences based on prevailing situations. They are necessary for the welfare of any community and this includes users of darknet markets.

So far, there are several popular forums used by darknet users for discussion. Some of the panels are created by the markets; others have been created by third parties whose sole interest is to improve the community. This is the function of Dread, a new dark web-based communication platform.

And recently, a new forum platform dubbed DeepWeb Network has been established to serve Dream Market users. The admins are clear that the site is not affiliated with the market itself.

It was built because Dream Market is currently the top darknet market today, and it is essential for market users to be aware of the happenings in their community.

Most posts are related to Dream Market in some way; others reflect general news concerning the dark web.

DeepWeb Network has attracted the attention of Dream Market admins, to the extent that the marketplace has publicly linked to it.

A message from a market admin named “Team Speedsteppers” encourages members to feel free to navigate to the site if the link to the official Dream Market forum cannot be accessed.

How DeepWeb Network Works

Communication, dialog, conversation on an online forum and internet chatting concept. Business man or social media consultant holding speech bubbles in futuristic modern abstract space.
Forums are avenues to discuss and swap experiences based on prevailing situations.

For those intending to use the forum, they can do so without having to register as a member. However, for exclusive access and to get alerts based on an individual’s preferences, a sign-up is required.

DeepWeb Network has several categories which can also be referred as sub-forums. Among them are announcements, general discussion, news and happenings, plus tutorials and guides. Depending on an individual’s interests, they can browse through the categories for useful discussions.

It’s worth noting that users should take into consideration specific factors before opening an account and among them is the username. When dealing with goods that can be illegal or legal on darknet sites, it is always advisable to use a pseudonym that does not resemble the user’s actual name.

DeepWeb Network Rules

For any given platform, there must be some guiding principles that govern how persons use a specific site, and this is same with DeepWeb Network.

Among the most common rules for those seeking to use the forum is that they should avoid publicizing too much personal details, no seeking direct clients, they should do adequate research, no blackmailing and doxxing, and last but not least, no selling accounts.

Dream Market Integrates Monero Payments

monero cryptocurrency hologram coin
Dream Market, the most popular dark web market right now, is integrating Monero into the site’s payment system.

The need for privacy and anonymity on the dark web became more apparent last year when a few of the largest darknet marketplaces were shut down by law enforcement authorities.

Now, the remaining platforms are in a race to make their existing systems even more robust to avoid a repeat scenario.

Dream Market, the biggest dark web market that is currently in operation, has begun to consolidate its users’ privacy and anonymity by integrating with the altcoin Monero (XMR).

Already, Dream Market users have begun receiving notifications asking them whether they would like to use the privacy-centric altcoin in their future transactions.

XMR Integration Done Under Wraps

Before Dream Market unveiled the new payment option, which is now officially functional on the site, the admins had been steadily working behind the scenes to ensure that integration took no more than a few days.

It is quite the norm for dark web marketplaces to make these changes under wraps before attracting any publicity to it.

Despite that, competitors step up rather quickly every time a market goes offline, showing that the cutthroat environment of this unmitigated part of the web still exists.

Dream Market has found itself at the apex of the dark web. Although this means that millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin will soon pass through the marketplace, it also means that Dream Market’s admins have a massive target on their backs.

The addition of the privacy-focused Monero on Dream Market is therefore very timely because it gives them a much-needed layer of extra privacy and anonymity.

On Dream Market, the Monero payment option is offered alongside two other options—Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.

Dream Market first added support for Bitcoin Cash late last year.

XMR’s Rise in Popularity

Monero is currently the 13th most popular altcoin and is valued at around $240 USD. Thus far, it is the only altcoin that is truly untraceable.

Its popularity gained a boost last year after the now-defunct AlphaBay successfully integrated with XMR to give users a more anonymous way to pay for their goods.

Several vendors approved of this change and encouraged other markets to follow suit if they truly valued the privacy of their users.

For a period, Bitcoin Cash became a popular payment option on dark web markets with its only advantage over Bitcoin being lower transaction fees and quicker payment confirmations.

However, on the score of privacy, it was just as ineffective as Bitcoin, making it the proverbial band-aid over a gunshot wound.

Bitcoin No Longer the Best Option

Bitcoin gold coin and defocused chart background
Many are now considering other cryptocurrencies as replacement for bitcoin

Bitcoin has, for a long time, been a source of discontent for the thousands of dark web users who feel like it has not grown into the peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that all had hoped it would.

High transaction fees and long payment confirmation periods put a lot of people off from using the digital currency, and although Bitcoin Cash addressed the problem of high costs and long waiting periods, it did nothing about the lack of privacy and anonymity.

Currently, Monero is the only emerging altcoin that implements privacy and anonymity at the protocol level.

Several of its altcoin competitors claim to have the better privacy or to be more anonymous, but in reality, only Monero can hide both the sender and recipient’s identities plus the amount transacted.

So why has it been constantly overlooked and relegated to play second fiddle to the evidently insufficient Bitcoin?

For simple reasons. XMR hasn’t been made convenient to use for novices as of yet.

Since it is quite possibly the most powerful altcoin, especially in terms of being the only altcoin with functional privacy and anonymity features, it remains rather unwieldly for most inexperienced cryptocurrency users.

Bitcoin went down a similar path during its nascent years, so there is no doubt that Monero will eventually become as popular as Bitcoin. In fact, XMR is the only altcoin that offers transparency as an option, meaning that it is private and anonymous by default.

This can surely propel it into even greater heights of popularity than Bitcoin has reached.

Several Marketplaces Integrating Monero

Already, several darknet marketplaces have started to pay attention to the altcoin. Dream Market has officially completed integration, now offering its users three payment options.

Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash will undoubtedly come second to the much more robust privacy coin, which will provide many Dream Market users with true anonymity.

Several Reddit posts have shown that a large number of Dream Market users are clamoring for XMR to be added onto all trading platforms to boost their privacy in light of last summer’s AlphaBay takedown.

Dream Market Adds Bitcoin Cash Payment Option

Bitcoin Cash
Popular darknet marketplace Dream Market has incorporated Bitcoin Cash into its operations as a payment option.

In a bizarre yet significant move, Dream Market has yet again made headlines with an integration of Bitcoin Cash into their system.

While it may seem like a wonderful idea, observers can only speculate about why the popular darknet market chose to go for Bitcoin Cash considering its deficiency, particularly in anonymity and privacy.

Dream Market Is Back, But Not Without a Twist

It has come as fantastic news to see Dream Market make a return from a “maintenance” hiatus devoid of numerous associated problems.

In what has gradually become a popular trend, most prominent darknet markets that announce the decision to go into maintenance either disappear if not just shut down.

For this instance, however, the downtime was scheduled.

And as it appears, the operators of this platform seem to have made the best out of the period.

To be precise, they incorporated an additional cryptocurrency into their system for both buyers and vendors to utilize, although this move will not come without its fair share of controversy.

While it is fair to state that Bitcoin Cash has witnessed substantial success so far, it is still not among the currencies that anyone would go for—especially to conduct transactions on the dark web.

One would be inclined to assume that individuals who carry out their operations across the dark web would insist on privacy and anonymity as the fundamental conditions first.

Flying altcoins with Bitcoin
Dream Market adopted cryptocurrency payment options

And if that were indeed the case, then cryptocurrencies such as BCH and BTC would not have a place in the industry. Not only do they not guarantee complete privacy, but they also fall short on the anonymity aspect.

Even with the deficiency of darknet-oriented services and tools, the significance of the new addition of BCH as a payment option for Dream Market cannot be downplayed.

This is reiterated by the fact that Dream Market is the first of its kind in the darknet market community to endorse the use of BCH officially.

For any user who is willing and open to making use of this altcoin, the process is quite simple: go to your account settings and turn on BCH support. Its integration promises to be an exciting unfolding as we wait to see whether or not it will spark any interest among users nonetheless.

Currently, there is an outright ongoing battle within the darknet marketplace world. Just after the foreclosure of many prominent and famous marketplaces courtesy of law enforcement takedowns, the demand for privacy-oriented options of payment has been on the rise.

And while Monero seems to have cemented its reputation as the best option with this regard, the Dream Market operational team seems to have overlooked this factor and instead settled on Bitcoin Cash for reasons best known only to them.

In recent times, we have witnessed various marketplaces eradicate the use of Bitcoin for its lack of privacy and anonymity, and instead go for the more reliable Monero. As such, it only remains to be seen which particular currency next assumes the position of “favorite” in the darknet market industry (among typical dark web users).

Up until now, it is still a mystery why dark web platforms would decide to incorporate the use of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum.

Until just recently when Dream Market decided to do the unthinkable, it seemed unlikely that any dignified marketplace—especially because of the type of transactions and operations that happen within Dream Market—would decide to adopt cryptocurrency payment options such as BCH, mainly due to their transparency concerns.

With this critical move, the community can only hope that this decision by the Dream Market team ultimately plays out in their favor.

While adding Bitcoin Cash seems like a remarkable idea, it may also be one that comes to haunt them—especially since it is not without controversy.

With its alleged lack of anonymity and privacy (both which are essential for dark web operations), the preference of BCH could well prove a thorn in the foot for Dream Market in the coming days.

Nonetheless, it is only with time that it will become apparent precisely what the future holds with regards to the use of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in darknet marketplaces.

Dream Market Top Vendor Arrested by German Authorities

Police arrest drug trafficker
Popular darknet market drug peddler commonly known as “mrdrogenkommandant” or “drogenfahndung” is now in police custody.

BKA, a federal police agency in Germany, has hit yet another milestone with a massive drug dealer bust.

According to a press statement, the German authorities made an arrest and now have in custody a supposed “top vendor” on two darknet markets: Dream Market and the now-closed Hansa Market.

The alleged vendor, a 29-year-old German national, went by the pseudonyms “drogenfahndung” and “mrdrogenkommandant.”

BKA investigators, in collaboration with the office of the Public Prosecutor in Coburg and the Central Office for the Suppression of Cybercrime (ZIT), commenced their investigations into the alias mrdrogenkommandant in August of this year.

In their findings, they identified a pattern with the vendor where he and several of his close associates, despite residing in the Netherlands, were able to make constant (sometimes daily) trips to Germany.

In this instance, the authorities identified that mrdrogenkommandant, together with his accomplices, apparently sold quite a significant amount of drugs—one that merited daily trips to several parcel reception locations.

For the alleged Dream Market “top vendor,” mrdrogenkommandant’s last account activity was slightly over a month ago on November 9. With his unexpected disappearance, the vendor’s remarkable rating of 4.86/5 had suffered significantly.

His Dream Market clients have started to issue complaints about the apparently delayed deliveries, with some stating that they haven’t received anything at all.

Several days after the BKA made the arrest, they went out to announce the significant achievement.

On November 9, mrdrogenkommandant reportedly arrived with a total of 34 packages in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. However, before he could mail all the items to his customers, BKA officials apprehended him.

A statement from the German authorities says that as soon as they made the arrest, a thorough search was consequently carried out by international law enforcement teams at the vendor’s residence (linked with the trafficking of drugs) back in the Netherlands.

addictive substances
Illegal drugs were siezed

In the heist, the authorities in the Netherlands seized over 75 kilograms of ecstasy, amphetamine, marijuana, cocaine and heroin. The authorities also found $477,320 (€400,000) in cash.

Following this, the office of the Coburg Public Prosecutor linked this heist with numerous other similar arrests in Germany—all related to the dark web.

It was also not a good day for some of the vendor’s clients on Dream Market, including a buyer who had just collected his package from the vendor on the day before his arrest.

Surprisingly, by the afternoon of November 9, law enforcement officials had in custody six of the vendors’ “main clients.”

Earlier this month, the Coburg Criminal Police revised the number of arrested “top clients” in an exclusive press release that mentioned they had managed to identify 12 clients and made two more arrests.

Similarly, the Rottenburg Police Headquarters and the Tubingen Public Prosecutor’s Office also made it public that they had another known drug peddler in custody.

In the press release, they explained that the peddler had subsequently received a drug package from a “popular” suspect who the authorities “know very well.” And to further cap it off, the release outlined the capturing of even more Dream Market customers.

The BKA has confirmed that they would actively collaborate with both national and global law enforcement agencies to arrest more suspects sourced from darknet markets.

Slovakian Dream Market Vendor Busted

marijuana on hand
Dream Market vendor “CzechoSlovakFarm” has been arrested and charged by authorities in Slovakia.

A Slovakian man by the name Juraj was recently taken into custody and charged with the distribution and manufacturing of marijuana.

While this cannot necessarily be considered a dangerous drug, authorities were quick to arrest and prosecute the young 24-year old in an attempt to deal with the gradually growing menace of drug trafficking through the dark web.

The authorities declined to offer much information citing that the investigation is still ongoing.

Nonetheless, law enforcement officials noted that Juraj was in possession of a substantive amount of marijuana with the precise amount being 25 seedlings and approximately 10 kg of the “finished product.” The suspect conducted his distributing activities on various marketplaces in the dark web, although his primary base was Dream Market.

The Slovakian authorities admitted that it was quite challenging to track down Juraj mainly because of his utilization of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, along with anonymity services to access the dark web.

The authorities posted their successful crackdown in a Facebook post.

In the post, they explained that between September 2016 and the time of arrest, the suspect grew marijuana from his home in Trenčín.

Juraj was apparently operating a large-scale operation on Dream Market that involved shipping his products to various countries, among them Germany, France, the U.K., Hungary and Turkey, just to mention but a few.

What’s more, the authorities in their report identified that he used special envelopes to disguise the drugs he was sending to his various Dream Market customers using the postal service.

Immediately, the Slovakian law enforcement team narrowed down his location and the courts issued a residential search—this was how the authorities managed to gather enough evidence to not only arrest the suspect but also to charge him.

Moreover, they also discovered digital evidence that directly pointed towards his dark web activities, leading the authorities to “CzechoSlovakFarm,” a vendor account which he used on Dream Market to conduct his sales.

Juraj perfectly fits the profile of “CzechoSlovakFarm,” a Dream Market vendor who was involved in the sale of several premium cannabis strains.

In line with the Dream Market profile the police were using, the said vendor shipped the products from the same location, as per his additional vendor profile on Valhalla Market.

Finally, after his arrest, a look at the Dream Market vendor profile “CzechoSlovakFarm” indicated that customers who had made orders even days before the arrest had reported that they never received anything from the said vendor.

One user also expressed this on the DarkNetMarkets subReddit, which further indicated that Juraj was indeed CzechoSlovakFarm on Dream Market.

Rise of Darknet Drug Trafficking in Slovakia

pills and tablets on a table
Drugs are sold in Slovakia at a higher rate

According to recent reports, Slovakia has slowly emerged as a suitable spot for the booming of dark web drug trafficking, after the discovery that these drugs are bought at higher rates in the nation.

Nonetheless, in a research report conducted by the Slovakian government between the years 2013 and 2016, authorities have established a theory on the distribution of narcotics across the dark web.

This study reveals that it is challenging for authorities to keep track of illegal activity in the dark web.

And this is because of the anonymity capabilities of the exclusive Tor network, as well as digital currencies such as Bitcoin.

The report also suggests that the main reason for the gradual shift of paradigms with drugs moving from the streets to the dark web is because the latter offers clients a diverse assortment of drug options from which to choose from.

As for Juraj, the Slovakian authorities have estimated the overall value of the marijuana which was found in the Dream Market vendor’s apartment to be around $120,000.

This was after quantifying the total amount of marijuana that was found, and using its value per gram to estimate (each gram costs between $10 and $12).

TorMoil Bug Exposes Tor Browser Users’ Real IP Address

command lines on a monitor
A critical vulnerability that leaks IP addresses on Linux and Mac devices has been found in the Tor browser. It stems from an unpatched Firefox bug.

Recently, the number of exploits associated with the Tor anonymity browser has been on the rise.

Among these vulnerabilities is the newly discovered “TorMoil” bug that exposes real-world Internet Protocol (IP) addresses of those using Tor for encrypted browsing.

An Italian security firm called We Are Segment first spotted the flaw.

In a write-up explaining their findings, they say the bug originates from how Firefox handles local file-based addresses (file:// URLs).

Since Tor is built on a modified Firefox Extended Support Release, the flaw carries over to the Tor browser as well.

Aside from publishing a short press release, We Are Segment CEO Filippo Cavallarin did not reveal any significant details about this vulnerability to the public.

Instead, the team reported the issue directly to the Tor Project, a non-profit group that maintains the anonymity-centered Tor browser platform.

We Are Segment provided a record of this advisory on its website.

According to We Are Segment security experts, the bug resides on Firefox and eventually affects Tor users who click on local addresses such as file:// rather than HTTP://.

The TorMoil flaw then compromises users’ anonymity and can potentially leak their IP address to attackers upon visiting malicious web pages.

However, the flaw does not affect Windows users.

Upon receiving a notification about this vulnerability, The Tor Project’s developer team worked up a temporary fix—Tor version 7.0.9 for Linux and Mac users.

The release accompanied a few paragraphs containing details of the TorMoil flaw, along with some notes on why Linux and Mac users should update their Tor browsers for security reasons.

In We are Segment’s disclosure report, the team pointed out that the TorMoil vulnerability is harmless in Firefox but catastrophic in the Tor anonymity browser.

For example, once a user on the affected systems (MacOS or Linux) navigates to a peculiarly crafted web page with the file:// address, the underlying operating system directly connects to the remote host or server, thereby bypassing the Tor browser.

By connecting to the page directly, the Tor browser does not go through its relay network. In this process, this can ultimately end up exposing users’ real-time IP address.

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Windows users are not affected

In the response that accompanied the security fix, Tor developers further acknowledged the critical flaw on Linux and Mac systems, and confirmed it does not affect Windows users.

The team also stated that users running Tor on the Tails OS and the sandboxed (still alpha-stage) version of the Tor browser are not affected.

Although no harm has been caused at the time of writing, they say an attacker can perform reverse engineering on the Tor browser to detect the patched code.

They noted that well-versed programmers could easily understand how the TorMoil bug occurs, and they could potentially create an exploit for it as well.

That’s why Tor rolled out a partial emergency fix for this particular security vulnerability.

Although Tor developers said there is no evidence that the TorMoil flaw is being exploited in the wild, researchers choose to keep details of the flaw classified over concerns of the security and privacy of Tor browser users.

The exact bug details will only be revealed when a permanent fix has been released to effectively stop the potential leak of IP addresses.

However, Tor advises users to assume that their real IP addresses may have been exposed or might leak in the future, and they should upgrade to the latest versions as soon as possible.

While users on the stable version of the browser for Linux and MacOS have been updated to Tor version 7.0.9, Mac and Linux users on the alpha channels should upgrade to Tor version 7.5a7.

In a bid to keep users’ anonymity and privacy protected, Tor Project announced their plans to release a series of new security features including new cutting-edge encryption system, advanced client authorization, offline service keys and a control port interface.

Other features include secure naming systems, improved guard algorithms, statistics, blockchain support, mixed-latency routing, virtual reality interface and artificial intelligence logic.

These features are set to build on the Tor version release that was rolled out in September. This version supports next-generation onion services, following four years of development.

The new releases are all part of the larger 0.3.2.x series. The series will, by default, replace the legacy onion system that has been in existence for over ten years.

Still, users should know that Tor vulnerabilities are continuing to arise over time. Despite this, you can still protect your security by using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) alongside the Tor browser.

This provides double protection and keeps you safe from any privacy and security-related threats that may find your device.

Dream Market Crashed, Affected Users’ Funds

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Dream Market has confirmed a hardware malfunction in their escrow system, which is preventing some users from accessing their money.

The popular dark web trading site Dream Market has been reportedly having issues with its escrow account system, which is subsequently preventing some users from accessing and withdrawing their funds.

The issue is said to have resulted from a hardware malfunction.

Confirming this predicament, one user claimed he received the following message while attempting to complete a transaction: “This vendor isn’t allowed to finalize early.”

Surprisingly, he is not the only victim in this unfolding, since a host of other users has raised their concerns on Reddit citing similar difficulties.

What’s more, there are some saying that this issue is not new; in fact, it began a few months back.

They believe that this concern is not as much about early finalizing as is now the common perception—users have been attempting to withdraw money from their individual escrow accounts on time but Dream Market will still not allow them to do so.

Following these ongoing problems, the marketplace’s admins have restated by maintaining that there is a limit to the total funds which they can release to users.

Given the admins’ delayed response, some users are already questioning the real intentions of the dark web marketplace.

The story is similar for all the affected users. In truth, some claim that those running Dream Market might as well be typical scammers, even going further to caution potential customers from depositing their funds on the site.

The frustration is widespread indeed. One client, for instance, claimed that while he attempted to dispute an order to reacquire his funds, the dispute button—normally present—was unavailable in this instance.

This resulted in the auto-finalization of the order in as little as 14 days. In his final comments written on Reddit, he expressed his lack of understanding on exactly what was unfolding.

Word around town is that Dream Market is, in fact, orchestrating an exclusive exit scam. Speculation was particularly rampant after the site experienced an outage earlier, lasting only a few hours.

Cybersecurity Forces Soldier Arrests Hooded Hacker
Users feared that the market was seized by law

During this time, many users worried the market had been seized by law enforcement.

But this was before the escrow payment system was reported to be non-functional.

Now, according to the market’s subreddit homepage, users are leaning more toward believing Dream Market’s admins are orchestrating an exit scam.

And what’s even more shocking is that Dream has allegedly confirmed to some of the account holders that despite sanctioning their exclusive FE rights, all dealings over 0.6 BTC would need to get approval by admins.

For these users, it sounds rather unreasonable for the site’s support team to be involved in every private transaction done over 0.6 BTC, which translates to around $300.

Nonetheless, this appears to be a recurrent issue since a few months back when other account holders also raised a similar concern on Reddit.

These displeased holders are urging all account holders to immediately withdraw all their Bitcoin funds from their respective accounts. According to them, the faster they do it, the better and safer it is for them.

This hardware crash is apparently sparing no one, with both big and small vendors suffering the same predicament. Astoundingly, even holders with a 4.95/5 overall rating are also in the mix.

This, however, goes to dispel the idea that the only casualties are the low-rated accounts.

As is now commonly perceived, the notion that Dream is purportedly delaying the release of funds (escrow coins) to users in order to pull a typical exit scam seems to have settled well with many of the traders.

In the end, traders can only wait to see what unfolds.

But in reality, it would be difficult for Dream Market to pull off the ‘so-called’ exit scam, the reason being that they are not large enough to amass sufficient Bitcoin funds that will make it worthwhile.