A look at the official URL and mirrors of the Empire market indicates that the marketplace is currently down and ‘not working.’
Empire Market is the world’s biggest Dark Web marketplace that went offline after receiving a massive DDoS attack. Since 2019, it’s the first time that Darknet’s biggest market went down for such a long duration. It’s over 36 hours now that the marketplace is offline.
Tweeting about the incident, researcher Dark.fail (@Darkdotfail ) said that Empire Market had been down for about a day and a half. The downtime started on Sunday, August 23, 2020. Empire’s Reddit-inspired forum on the deep web called r/darknet was thronged by its 127,000 subscribers who started posting threads and memes about the incident.
Dark.fail tweeted on Friday that Empire was targeted with a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack. In a DDoS attack, the server is bombarded with artificial traffic, which makes it difficult for the server to process web requests, and it ultimately goes down.
In one of his tweets on August 21, the researcher noted that:
“Empire Market remains under a large DDoS attack making it very slow to access.” “Monero functionality appears broken, Bitcoin is functioning according to multiple trusted sources. Always PGP verify URLs, many phishing links are circulating.”
A PGP signed message from the team Empire was also released on Friday that read: “Many want to see us fall but we are not going anywhere. Long live the Empire.”
According to Dark.fail, recently, the darknet marketplace’s head moderator “Se7en” sharply criticized the phishers, LE cooperators, and doxxers of the community, and this event could be a consequence of that.
Dread's co-admin Paris believes that Russia's largest darknet market Hydra uses a custom multi-threaded Tor implementation to stay online despite DDoS attacks. It's hard to verify this, but their uptime is nearly perfect. pic.twitter.com/06HndD6ytD
— dark.fail (@DarkDotFail) August 22, 2020
Empire is one of the two biggest darknet markets globally, the other being Russia’s Hydra market. Launched in February 2018; the Empire market is heavily inspired by Alphabay, with LTC, BTC, XMR, PGP 2FA, and MultiSig features.
It offers numerous categories of products, most of which feature illegal products. Just like Alpha Bay, Drugs and Chemicals is one of the most popular product categories in the Empire Market.
It is also worth noting that the marketplace is home to hackers who have been selling a trove of stolen databases for over a year. Two such cases involve Shiny Hunters hacking group who was selling more than 300 million accounts comprised of different databases including:
WattPad – 271 million accounts, Dunzo – 11GB worth of data, Dave.com – 7 million accounts, Bhinneka – 1 million+ accounts, Minted – 5 million accounts, ProctorU – 444,267 accounts, Tokopedia – 91 million accounts and Couchsurfing – 17 million accounts.
In another recent incident, a hacker stole a massive trove of databases from a breach notification site DataViper and ended up selling it online. Nevertheless, as for Empire Market itself; Hackread.com will keep an eye on the situation and update the article accordingly even if it is an exit scam.