Illegal Marketplace and Cybercrime Forum Darkode Is Back Online

Darkode, the hacker forum and illegal online malware marketplace, is back online after law enforcement agencies shut it down a few weeks ago.

Notorious cybercrime forum Darkode was recently shut down due to a crackdown spanning law enforcement agencies from Europe and the US. However, the cybercrime forum has made a revival in returning to the web, reports Wired.

Darkode is Back
Darkode is Back

Already live and functioning with a new domain, the forum is actively advertising its improved features and services. Darkode is commonly known as

the most prolific English-speaking cybercriminal forum to date… to trade and barter their hacking expertise, malware and botnets, and to find partners for their next spam runs or malware attacks.

Back From the Ashes?

A Darkode admin – “Sp3cial1st” who was notably absent from the lists of the many arrested during the raids posted a message that signaled the revival of the web forum.

“Most of the staff is intact, along with senior members,” the message read. “It appears the raids focused on newly added individuals or people that have been retired from the scene for years. The forum will be back in onion land, it will be invited only, and members we can confirm are still active will be given an invite (no-one else).”

The admin also explained that new changes will be enforced in a significant departure from the older version of the website and forum that was taken down. Sign-ups will remain invite-only and the admin confirmed that those still active from the old website would be the only people who will acquire an invite. Furthermore, the new version of the malware marketplace and forum will also be more secure. Forum user MalwareTech explains this further.

The new format, with all members having their own onion address would allow the Darkode admins greater control over who gets access, preventing people from accessing a hacked account without the owner’s onion URL. It would also allow them to better monitor who views what by creating an individual log file for each onion, meaning they could quickly weed out leakers.

Members will have separate onion URLs for gaining access to Darkode, according to the statement. Users will also have to authenticate with their Bitcoin wallet IDs using the Blockchain API. Authentication through a Bitcoin wallet address will prevent scammers from gaining access to the forum, in theory.

The return of the web forum is not likely to serve as a surprise for many. However, the rapid resurrection merely weeks after the original shut down that resulted in the arrests of over 70 people from around the world is certain to get the FBI and other law enforcement agencies looking into the website’s rapid recall.

Image from Darkode website and shutterstock.

Ali is a freelance journalist, having 5 years of experience in web journalism and marketing. He contributes to various online publications. With a master degree, now he combines his passions for writing about internet security and technology. When he is not working, he loves traveling and playing games.