Lawmen Confirm AlphaBay Shutdownbr>
Law enforcement officials have confirmed that they have shuttered AlphaBay, the largest underground online market for illicit goods. The site used bitcoin as its payments method.
The site was taken down last week after its founder, Alexandre Cazes, was arrested on July 5 in Bangkok. A 26-year-old Canadian, he was found dead in his cell in Thailand on July 12. Authorities claimed he committed suicide.
Those in the process of transactions will lose their bitcoins, losses which could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“It was one-stop shopping for criminals,” said Edward J. McAndrew, a former federal cyber-crime prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said to the web site Philly.com. “Drugs, child porn, weapons, credit card numbers, personal ID information. You name it, you could buy it there. It really was a bazaar.”
AlphaBay was considered the successor to Silk Road, another site dealing in drugs and other illegal activities. Its site was taken down in 2013, and Alphabay launched in 2014. The Silk Road proprietor, Ross Ulbricht, recently lost an appeal of a life sentence.
The AlphaBay site took in an estimated $600,000 to $800,000 per day this year, according to Nicolas Christin, a professor of computer science and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh who monitors cyber-crime.