BREAKING NEWS: The admin at Agora Marketplace will be taking the site offline temporarily to upgrade security. They are advising all users withdraw their bitcoins in the meantime. Most other markets would just run off with your bitcoins but Agora just proved again that they are thinking of the people. In the meantime, Dream Market is the best option to check out. Dream Market is the biggest darknet market now.
Speaking about the mysterious Agora Marketplace, one thing is certain – they’ve been under a lot of attacks more often than not; but still they’ve managed to grow as one of the largest communities on the Darknet.
One cannot say that Agora was not an honest, customer-caring market, careful enough to secure safe browsing for its customers in the cruel world of darknet markets. Agora hasn’t made a single scam, a single fraud, and every customer was satisfied; you can check out their subreddit forum. They hardly ever used it, by the way, except for precaution measures. And yet, they have fallen.
But, have they really?
According to the Agora’s official statement, signed by the original PGP code, Agora Marketplace is only temporarily down due to the enormous cost to cover some security flaws in TOR browser which were threatening to deanonymize the servers. In other words, Agora has found a cheaper way to protect their anonymity; however, it requires some time to setup everything properly and certain temporary downtime is necessary.
If you have been wondering why people behind Agora Marketplace are so cautious, the answer is really simple – if you want to survive in the wild west of drug markets, it’s imperative that you stay entirely anonymous. And that’s exactly why the Agora Marketplace succeeds on the darknet all these years.
Agora however didn’t invent hot water by being so paranoid about the security; they’ve simply observed and analyzed carefully the faith of their rivals who indeed have fallen.
Certainly, the most valuable lesions Agora has learned from the Silk Road and Ross Ulbricht; and once they realized they can get a lifetime in prison, they started organizing their market more carefully.
It was easy for feds and other investigators to catch the big fishes off of the street – you simply trick some small dealers or users to snitch on each other in exchange for their freedom. But in the world of optic fiber and copper cables, these rules don’t apply – because nobody is known by their legal name, rather by pseudonyms and even the buyers give fake ID’s and addresses for drop outs.
And that’s definitely one of the main reasons the government is investing hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars to track down the anonymous vendors on darknet markets.
When the first DoS/DDoS attacks occurred by the large group called the DDos Mafia, Agora was down for the first time. Users just assumed that Agora was attacked by some rival marketplace. Perhaps Blackbank or Nucleus, were just clearing their way to the top by disabling the opposition?
But, as it turned out later, a partial responsibility for DDoS attack was claimed by Mr. Nice Guy, who admitted to pay the DDos Mafia not only to stop attacking his own market, but to attack certain other, rival markets as well.
Many people find it ironic, even symptomatic that Agora forum was down more often than the marketplace itself. However, there’s nothing to it really – it all seems well planned and logical actually; because, if you shut down the forum, they will have to use their subreddit in order to communicate with customers and thus expose themselves.
On top of it all, Agora has had troubles not only with the government and the competition attacks, but also with its own customers; specifically those who were unintentionally DDosing Agora Marketplace. How was that possible?
Well, a majority of darknet market users are not that computer savvy and when stumbling upon captcha that needed reloading, they repeatedly hit the F5 button to refresh the page, which then led to overloading of TOR’s secure connection (that can only deal with 100 connections at a time – just a fraction of the huge Agora community).
Agora Marketplace was down way too many times, which made users scared for their bitcoins. Still, not a single word from the administrators of the market has been said. Anywhere… Of course, for security reasons again.
Last time it happened, Agora Marketplace managed to deflect DDos attacks, stabilize the market and everyone was happy. Until the official statement explaining Agora’s temporary shutdown came out of nowhere.
Reactions were harsh at first; but later, people agreed it’s all for the best and they were happy to be able to withdraw their bitcoins from their accounts. Some are still complaining that their bitcoins are waiting to be transferred, but all in all, users are mostly understanding of the new situation of marketplace.