WHAM13 - Search Results
Major online black market drug site shut down
New York, N.Y.-- On Wednesday, the FBI shut down what they are calling the web's biggest anonymous drug black market.
The site, called The Silk Road, operated for more than two years as a hidden website. It allowed thousands of drug dealers to peddle all sorts of illegal drugs to more than 90,000 registered users.
Brian Tomaszewski, an assistant professor of information services at RIT says hidden websites are not visible to everyone.
We're all really familiar with Google searching a website like The Silk Road is called the Deep Web and that means that is a part of the Internet that cant be accessed through search engines.
According to the FBI, the sites users were also protected by something called onion routing.
You could almost think of it like when you mail a letter, you take a letter to the post office in Rochester and it might go to the post office in Buffalo and so forth, Tomaszewski explained. Imagine when that letter is being sent, you're trying to make that pathway so scrambled and messed up that no one can find out where it originated from and who sent it.
For a two and a half year period, The Silk Road sold more than $1 billion dollars in drugs sales. The transactions were made using digital currency called Bitcoin.
Investigators were able to register with the site and make more than 100 drug purchases which were later delivered to the New York area.
U.S. Attorneys Office of the Southern District of New York charged the alleged drug kingpin and website administrator Ross Ulbricht, 29, with narcotics trafficking, computer hacking and money laundering.
Tomaszewski says that crime has evolved thanks to the digital age.
These ideas have been out there for a long time, but I think you're seeing a different level of sophistication, he explained. As the technology has been improving or changing, it's become more difficult to track them break into them and stop [the criminals].