Dream Market: Are You Famous? Yesterday Europol announced that the FBI, DEA and the Dutch Police cooperated in an investigation aimed at closing AlphaBay and Hansa. Today there are rumors that the Dark Web's third largest illegal market, Dream Market, has stopped working after the authorities have intervened.
Some Redditors have discovered an unencrypted IP address in the Dream source code that many users interpret as an indication that law enforcement agencies may have taken control of the drug market and are actively watching the platform.
While these allegations have not yet been verified by more reliable sources, the underground community coordinators support Reddit for their initial suspicion.
Meanwhile, users are still discussing whether this is indeed the case. According to many publications, visible IP in the source code has been there for at least nine months, and some of them have been able to detect the address at Swedish Speedstepper hosting company.
Others argue that displaying a public IP address is not an expected behavior for Dark Web. As more paranoid publications have pointed out, simple errors like these have caused the closure of other illegal Dark Web purchases in the past.
Mentioning that a public IP address exists in the source code of a website on the Dark Web is a very serious vulnerability that makes it easy for authorities to locate the "service". In this way the authorities can locate the servers and gain full control without the knowledge of the sellers and buyers.
In fact, this strategy was used and the Dutch police undertook to monitor and finally close the Hansa drug market.
What makes Dream a perfect goal for the authorities is that without AlphaBay and Hansa, drug vendors and buyers have probably turned to that website to continue their business.
Yesterday Dutch Police said that after the closure of AlphaBay, the Hansa drug market saw an eightfold increase in daily trading - from 1.000 to 8.000. The same pattern is very likely to be repeated in the case of Dream.