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Silk Road Successor Evolution Disappears From Dark Web

The dangers of buying from darknet sites was highlighted again this week after Silk Road successor Evolution vanished from the internet, leaving behind a lot of angry, confused members and rumors that the administrators may have run off with their money.

Reports suggest that the site began preventing users from withdrawing their bitcoins last weekend, claiming it was due to technical issues.

Then on Tuesday it apparently went offline completely.

A user dubbed 'NSWGreat' – who claims to have “admin access to see parts of the back end” – appeared to confirm everyone’s worst fears in a post to Reddit in the early hours of this morning; that site admins Kimble and Verto had cut and run.

“The admins are preparing to exit scam with all the funds. Not a single withdrawal has gone through in almost a week. Automatic withdrawals has been disabled which is only doing on rare occasions … Confronted Kimble and Verto about it, they confirmed it and they're doing it right now.”

The Tor-based site was highly regarded on the dark web as a bigger, more stable, marketplace for narcotics than the infamous Silk Road, whose crown it inherited when the Feds took out the latter.

It sold goods via escrow, which reassured users they they wouldn’t be defrauded by sellers on the site, but ironically also gave the platform’s admins the opportunity to run off with their bitcoins in a so-called “exit scam.”

One sign probably should have alerted users of the site that their bitcoins were in peril.

Unlike Silk Road, Evolution apparently also traded in stolen credit card and other information, with co-founder Verto having already run the Tor Carder Forum.

The site will no doubt be supplanted by another on Tor, I2P, Freenet or a similar anonymised network, but this will certainly serve as a cautionary tale to those who use such platforms: if the Feds don’t find a way of taking them down, the site owners themselves might.

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