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Showing posts with label darkweb. Show all posts
Showing posts with label darkweb. Show all posts


Michael Albert Focia is a 50-year-old from Montgomery, Alabama. He’s sitting in prison for selling firearms without a license and shipping them illegally. Focia used the dark web to sell firearms to people in other states and countries.

Michael Andrew Ryan, a.k.a. “Gunrunner,” was a 35-year old man from Manhattan, Kansas. Ryan was busted for illegally exporting semi-automatic rifles and handguns to Scotland, Ireland, England and Australia. Ryan removed the serial numbers to make them harder to trace.

Both Focia and Ryan were using a website called “Black Market Reloaded.”

GAO and ATF Stings

When you think of the Government Accountability Office (GAO), it conjures up images of budgets, reports, and bean counters. It turns out, though, that some of its investigations involve undercover work and guns.

At the direction of Congress and working with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), the GAO set out to gather information on purchasing firearms on the internet. “The relative anonymity of the Internet makes it an ideal means for prohibited individuals to obtain illegal firearms,” according to the ATF. “The more anonymity employed by a firearms purchaser, the greater the likelihood that the transaction violates federal law.”

The GAO report shows undercover agents were able to buy a fully automatic Uzi submachine gun anonymously without any kind of background check on the dark web. They also bought an AR-15 semi-automatic weapon.

The agents, however, had to work hard at the sting operation. Only two of the 74 attempted transactions were concluded.

72 Attempts To Buy Firearms Were Denied By Sellers

In most of the cases, the potential seller refused to complete the sale. Upon hearing from the undercover agent that they were not legally allowed to own the gun, another third of sellers wouldn’t sell. The agents themselves got scammed by others that took the money and never delivered.

Firearms Can Be Bought For Lower Prices

Public policy organization RAND Europe, a non-profit division of the RAND Corporation, looked at the seedy side of the internet to examine black market arms transactions. The report reveals the overwhelming majority of weapons sold on dark web marketplaces originated in the United States. The study showed that “better performing, more recent firearms (are available) for the same, or lower price than would be available on the street or the black market.”

2017 Study Of Organized Crime

The National Crime Agency in The United Kingdom also acknowledges concerns over firearm sales on the dark web.

The agency points towards the use of virtual or crypto-currencies like Bitcoin as a way to conduct transactions anonymously and without using conventional financial methods.

Firearms Sales Represent A Small Portion Of Dark Web Sales

Weapons represent just a small portion of transactions on the dark web, according to Nicolas Christin, a researcher at Carnegie Mellon University. He called the use of the dark web for firearms sales as negligible, especially compared to the number of illegal drugs being bought and sold. Christin estimates firearms sales account for less than 3% of sales.

Still, there is a consistent call from lawmakers in the U.S. in other countries to crack down on illegal firearms sales online.

Thanks & Cheers 

How Easy Is It to Buy Guns on the Dark Web?


60% of the Information for Sale on the Dark Web Can Damage a Business  

Most IT professionals automatically figure Dark Web threats like stolen password files or different kinds of ransomware into their calculations when they’re planning cybersecurity strategies. However, there are many types of information that can hurt businesses that can be easily obtained on the Dark Web including:  

  • Payment Card Information – Stolen or skimmed credit card data (and the software to capture it) is a perennial bestseller.  
  • Research Data – Medical research including information about new drugs and therapies is a hot commodity, especially COVID-19 data. 
  • Trade Secrets & Formulas – Proprietary manufacturing information is both popular and easy to sell. 
  • Blueprints & Security Plans– From buildings to networks, all kinds of schematics and planning data is useful for bad actors. 
  • Medical Records – They’re especially popular for blackmail and spearfishing ammunition. 
  • Financial Records – This multipurpose data is desirable for money laundering, blackmail, spearfishing, and identity theft. 
  • Intelligence Reports – International espionage is a big market that’s high-danger but high-reward. 
  • Government Secrets – Investigations, communication, programs, budgets, documents, and more sell fast. 

As a Service” Offerings Are the New “It” Category 

Why just sell your password when you can keep making money by selling your services? “As a Service” transactions on the Dark Web are proliferating, and that creates big dangers for every company. Malicious insiders with access to specialized data, systems, or institutions can make a fortune by selling their services to facilitate other cybercrimes. 

Insider threats also include things like embezzlement, records tampering, money laundering, crypto mining, deploying malware, stock trading, espionage, and more dastardly deeds. These workers are generally looking for profit instead of revenge, but sometimes that’s a factor – and they’ll keep doing it until they’re caught.   

Dark Web markets aren’t just focused on selling data, passwords, and hacking services. There’s also a booming trade in dangerous, illegal, and disgusting commodities that can’t be sold publicly like weapons, narcotics, stolen goods, looted antiquities, illegal commodities, endangered animals, slave labor, and child pornography – plus harmless yet strange things that you wouldn’t expect.  

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You May Be Surprised By What Really Sells in Dark Web Markets in 2020