A handful of top darknet markets have gone offline, according to corroborated reports. The sites affected include the number one ranked Dream Market, as well as Trade Route, Tochka and Wall Street.
Generally markets fall through due to busts by authorities, hacks or exit scams. Members of one forum pointed to massive DDoS attacks that took place earlier this year, which have preceded crackdowns on other dark web sites such as Silk Road. “These [DDoS attacks] were probably an effort to locate the server,” one Reddit user wrote. “Now look at all the DDoS attacks on the current markets. Is it not reasonable that this current [attack] is a government effort to locate the remaining unfound servers?”
When a DDoS attack is facilitated over the Tor network, the operation enables hackers to anonymously disable the route that the sites can be accessed through. According to some users, the reason why the outages appear to be the result of a DDoS attack is because all the markets went down simultaneously — making it unlikely that this is a government-initiated operation intended to close the markets.
Since the markets came down unexpectedly, it is obvious that many users had their Bitcoins stored on the platforms. Dream Market users reported losing their Bitcoins during the temporary downtime that happened back in September due to hard drive crash.
On previous occasions, darknet markets giants such as Silk Road, AlphaBay, Hansa and Outlaw have shut down. The fall of these markets happened unexpectedly, and as a result, the users of the platforms lost their funds.