Only a few days after its grand relaunch, famed darknet markets forum Dread went offline again, apparently unable to withstand what co-admin HugBunter says is a well-funded DDOS attack. Dread resurfaced on March 6 to much fanfare after being offline since late November of last year, disarming numerous critics who assumed the site was never coming back. Within hours of the relaunch, however, a new DDOS attack struck the site, rendering the site unreachable once again.
While months of dedicated retooling of the forum to make it more resistant to DDOS attacks did not pan out as expected, HugBunter’s latest creation, Daunt, remains up and reachable on Tor. Advertised on Dread and Reddit with the slogan ‘DoS Attacks End Here,’ Daunt is a collection of verifiable links for several of the biggest darknet markets, including Abacus, Archetyp, ASAP, Bohemia, Cypher, and Tor2Door, among others. Each link on Daunt can be verified via signed PGP message if the user has the PGP public key of the market on hand.
Also included on Daunt are links to forums, vendor shops, and other types of Tor sites.
Screenshot of the homepage of the new Tor service created by the Dread team.
“This platform will serve as a ‘solution’ to the on-going DoS attacks through the private mirror sharing concept I have built into it,” said HugBunter in his introductory Reddit post about Daunt. “While it doesn’t solve the problem at hand, it should allow the possibility for a lot more organic traffic through to affected services. Essentially, side-stepping the DoS attacks,” he added.
In another post, HugBunter conceded that the private mirror concept had not yet been implemented for Dread, which means that all visitors are still reliant on its main URL as a point of entry. The steps taken by HugBunter and co-admin Paris to mitigate the attack on the main URL have thus far been fruitless, however, as the site remains offline due to the attack.
Seemingly more frustrated than usual in the past few days, HugBunter provided some details about his DDOS-ing adversary, revealing that the attacker “only has power behind his attacks now because he has been paid off so heavily” by certain darknet markets that gave into extortion demands to cease attacks on their Tor sites. He also acknowledged that he had “been talking to the attacker regularly.”
Dread’s presence on I2P has also been affected by an ongoing attack across that network, which is much less robust than Tor and thus easier to disrupt. HugBunter says they are currently unable to apply a new fix to the forum’s I2P portal until the attack on the network subsides.
Dread was still down on Tor as of early Sunday morning UCT.