The deep dark web of the darknet market has a clear message for vendors and coronavirus scammers who are looking to exploit the current crisis to earn some quick bucks. And that is to Keep Out!
So, it is true! Humanity knows no boundaries. The darknet market, popularly referred to as the digital underworld or the online mafia, is an anonymous internet network that bypasses all forms of surveillance and censorship due to its encrypted format. It is often associated with illicit and unethical business activities, including money laundering, selling counterfeit products, and, at times, supporting terrorism-financing.
Despite its shady reputation, some marketplaces on the darknet are taking a firm stance against those who are trying to make a profit from other people’s misfortune.
On 2nd April 2020, a notable darknet journalist called Eileen Ormsby tweeted a screenshot from a Tor-hosted darknet marketplace, Monopoly Market, which states that the platform will reserve the full right to ban any vendor or scammer who wishes to use the platform to promote fake coronavirus vaccines or cures.
It would be unnerving to note that according to The Guardian’s report, published on Saturday, coronavirus scammers in the UK have pocketed over one and a half million pounds (GBP 1.6 million) so far through phishing attempts, seeking illegal donations and exploiting pandemic-related fears by selling daily essentials and cures.
Moreover, a Cryptopolitan article published last month revealed that the darknet markets experienced an inundation of users ever since people have been forced to remain indoors and do business from home as lockdowns in many countries have completely shut off offline sales or non-essential items. Businessmen also have their code of honor like trading with bitcoin future.
Thus, in its attempts to prevent further chaos and not aggravate the already-worsened situation of people across the globe, Monopoly Market is saying no to coronavirus scammers and vendors who are caught selling unauthorized items or flogging goods as a possible cure to the deadly virus.
According to its announcement, no one will be allowed to misuse COVID-19 situation to make profits, sell illegal goods, and conduct unethical business. We will no longer support the marketing of any form of coronavirus cures, essentials like toilet papers, facial masks, or even peddling of questionable items, the post states.
Meanwhile, a Twitter post revealed last month that Bitcoin ransomware Ryuk is wreaking havoc across already-burdened healthcare systems and targeting vulnerable hospital management across the US.
A study conducted by cybersecurity firm BleepingComputer stated that while many ransomware groups prefer to show no form of mercy amid crisis-hit times, there are a few who have come forward and expressed their solidarity with those affected and discouraging the coronavirus scammers from exploiting challenging times to target the helpless. Thus, we do hope that more darknet market platforms follow these examples and stand together in this uphill battle against the unceasing infection.