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, AlphaBay Market and Silk Road 3 are the best options to check out.
Recently, Agora Marketplace announced through its admin that there would be a pause in operations so as to address major security threats facing the site. This process will ensue only after notifying account holders of the intended temporary shutdown, so that they can make necessary transactions before it becomes too late. The owners have released a signature appended message explaining the situation, and verifying that this is not an “exit scam” as they would soon be back.
According to Agora Marketplace owners, a just concluded research shows that there are certain vulnerabilities in their Tor network which could help criminals de-anonymize server locations. While there are already known methods on how to deal with this breach, most of them require substantial amounts of resources which can easily be reduced by adopting new security strategies.
A solution is being concocted but may require immense changes in the existing software stack, which fortunately will prevent unauthorized personnel from accessing Agora Marketplace accounts. But the process shall require considerable amounts of time before coming to fruition. Additionally, suspicious activity has been reported around the servers indicating that indeed attacks could be happening as we speak. Due to this unfolding, the web location has been moved temporarily awaiting major improvements later on.
Agora Marketplace administrators say that though a solution in not yet on the offing, it would still be dangerous to keep users online since this can jeopardize their security. Hence, there’s no other thing that can be done other than taking down the site till a much better solution is found. This is an honorable course of action for everyone’s safety, including site owners themselves.
In the meantime, Agora Marketplace has promised to try its best in clearing out all outstanding payment orders so as to prevent inconveniences. Anyone who has a cash balance on their account should withdraw it immediately, since the site won’t be held accountable when they go offline given the prior warning which has been issued.
Nevertheless, during this time users may experience delays in payouts since many people are likely to withdraw money at the same instance. Agora Marketplace intends to resolve such issues, but also advices users that they should only use destination bitcoin addresses which don’t expire when sending finances out from the site. Considering that some payments might get delayed.
As a precaution, when the website is offline avoid sending bitcoin to any deposit addresses on Agora. The safety of funds sent henceforth isn’t guaranteed since there would be no one to track it. As for vendors, they should abort any orders that have not been sent or processed yet. These measures are being proposed so that no one can take this as an opportunity to start scamming people wildly.
Despite the changes, Agora Marketplace has still committed to keep intact all user data including the history and profile information of specific accounts. Similarly, since their PGP key is nearing expiry date, they have launched a new PGP code which can be used to verify authenticity of admin messages in the future.