A devastating distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack had recently hit one of the largest dark web marketplaces in the cybercrime landscape in buying cannabis, Cannazon, that caused their website to crash. For this reason, the operators of Cannazon decided to retire officially and assured not to pull any exit scam against their vendors.
The exit message published by the dark web marketplace operators was posted last November 23. They immediately went offline afterward and claimed not to be returning.
It is not unusual for dark web marketplaces to be hit by massive DDoS attacks – similar to what happened to Cannazon.
Upon learning about being attacked, Cannazon’s operators decided to reduce accepting orders from their clients and go offline for a while as they fix the issue caused by the DDoS attack. However, the community feared that it might be an exit scam tactic.
Later on, the operators finally announced shutting down and apologized for their lack of transparency regarding the incident. They also explained in their message that vendors who could not obtain all their signed Bitcoin multisig transactions should get it from Dread, a dark web discussion forum, from an encrypted message published in the said platform.
Security experts expect other dark web vendors to create clone sites using a new Tor address after the shutting down of Cannazon. It has become a usual occurrence within the dark web landscape that fake clone sites appear after a large-scale dark web platform shuts down. They also expect these clone sites to be run by scammers attempting to deceive the members of the original site they cloned.
Warnings for individuals interested in trying out dark web marketplaces
For those thinking that dark web marketplaces are safe zones to buy illegal drugs like cannabis and evade drug-related laws in their country, security experts claimed otherwise. Dark web customers may still face a huge risk despite hiding behind VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) or Tor.
Customers must remember that dark web marketplaces such as Cannazon require membership; therefore, customers shall give away crumbs of their data as they register. These data may be used by authorities to identify drug buyers and seize them. There is also a high chance of customers being scammed by dark web operators even if they promised a secured and safe transaction.
Another factor to not engage with the dark web is how operators can fake any drugs they ship to their customers and lace toxic substances into it or ship a completely different item than the one they ordered. If any of these happen, consumers’ health may be put at risk.