Dark Market Agora Shuts Down Citing Security Threat

Yessi Bello Perez
Aug 26, 2015 at 17:45 UTC
Updated Aug 27, 2015 at 19:53 UTC

Dark web marketplace Agora has announced it will shut down temporarily while it explores defense mechanisms against potential attacks.

The marketplace attributed its decision to recent research that highlighted vulnerabilities in the Tor protocol that could lead to the identification of its servers and operators.

Agora is believed to be the largest dark market website by daily transaction volume, and uses bitcoin to facilitate payment for both legal and illicit items listed by vendors.

In its online announcement, Agora’s anonymous administrators reported they had moved servers following the detection of “suspicious activity” that could potentially reveal their IP addresses and enable law enforcement agents to gain insight into its operations.

The announcement read:

“At this point, while we don’t have a solution ready it would be unsafe to keep our users using the service, since they would be in jeopardy.”

It continued: “Thus, and to our great sadness we have to take the market offline for a while, until we can develop a better solution. This is the best course of action for everyone involved.”

The administrators urged customers to withdraw funds from their accounts as soon as possible. Consumers were also asked to refrain from sending bitcoin to Agora’s deposit addresses while it was offline.

Agora’s predecessor Silk Road was taken down by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2013 and Ross Ulbricht – it’s operator – was sentenced to life in prison earlier this year.

Closed image via Shutterstock.