Finally, the largest dark web markets, “Empire Market” has exit scammed with its users’ cryptos worth $30 million. All those who had placed orders for drugs in this market have lost their cryptocurrencies owing to the Empire Market exit scam.
Earlier the market was hit by a massive trail of DDoS attacks beginning around the 19th of August 2020. But it is still unclear whether the Distributed-Denial-of-Service attack was just used as a mask to hide the Empire Market exit scam.
On the 20th of August 2020, one of the moderators of the Empire market had posted an update to their Dread account. In the message, the moderator had tried to post the goodwill of their market despite the DDoS attack battle. The message read:
“We are the #1 market and it is your trust that has allowed us to get here.”
“Trust is earned over time. When dozens of admins were scamming in 2018 and 2019, we were the only market to stay loyal to you. This is who we are. Our character has not changed. Many want to see us fall but we are not going anywhere.”
On the 23rd of August, the Bitcoins of the users that were being held in the escrow for so long had started to move to the offline wallets. Since this occurrence, many of the users have been searching for their goods. The users kept commenting on various places from forums, to other websites, to news websites and so on.
One of the users have posted on a news website:
“Will I still get my order, I ordered an ounce of shrooms, 7 grams were delivered so I was waiting for the rest and then the site went down, anyone have any ideas?”
While one of the other users have commented:
“$13k lost but no worries. Its part of the game. tho i wasn’t expecting this tbh.”
A post on the Dread forum dated 27th of August 2020 by the lead moderator “Se7en” said that the Empire Market had never worked as they should supposedly have been and that the market had been paying an extortionist named Stackz420 or Gustav and amount of $10,000 to $15,000 each week to cease the DDoS on the market and never do it again, as stated by a source. The lead moderator had also taken a note on the availability of the market admins, who were no more available on their Jabber accounts. This gives an insight that there has been an Empire Market exit scam where the market fled with huge funds.
Empire market had been the centre of the DDoS attacks since 2019, where it lost many of its potential users, as a source clearly states. However, the market authority had announced that it had a mirror system installed in its structure and also used an anti-DDoS offering named Endgame for moderating the DDoS attacks. Yet, it is unclear whether the claims are valid or the strategy is worthwhile.
“In this tumultuous environment, with English-language marketplaces disappearing left, right, and center, Empire had become a bastion of steadfastness – a beacon of credibility to which all other dark web marketplaces were compared,” Digital Shadows says.
Despite this, the market administrators conducted an Empire Market exit scam with $30 million of funds leaving their users panic-stricken.
Source: Bank Info Security
Disclaimer: Read the complete disclaimer here.