A day after announcing on Reddit that his forum was now live for private testing, Dread founder and co-admin HugBunter confirmed on Sun, Feb 26 that the impending public relaunch of Dread was imminent, and that there would be an announcement post on Reddit when the forum was live for all.
The Dread Tor URL displayed an encouraging change for the first time on Mon the 25th as the forum’s status changed from “Deploying” to “Online”, although it was explained that this came with a caveat in that “online” applied only to those who had been invited to test the production server in private. In a PGP-signed message posted to Reddit, HugBunter elaborated that he and co-admin Paris “absolutely must run private testing in multiple stages over the next few days.”
“Right now, we have invited multiple hidden service admins to test and will next be moving onto advertisers and individual subdread Moderators, so they can pre-set their subdread’s with any updates or relevant new posts, clean out any untouched spam from before shut down and so on…
We’re looking to get through this testing quickly.” – Dread admin HugBunter on Reddit
Dread began to display signs of revival on Feb 25th although the forum remains offline for most.
Dread has been inaccessible since late Nov of last year when it was taken down by its admins so it could be retooled to better sustain a prolonged DDOS attack that had rendered the forum crippled through a good portion of the latter half of 2022. The attacker is believed to be the same individual who has been DDOS attacking several prominent darknet markets which has caused ripples of chaos throughout the community, leaving many in the dark without a source of trustworthy information.
Despite the positive tone of HugBunter’s updates, many remain doubtful that Dread is actually in the process of a return, having lost confidence that the forum had not somehow been compromised. The sentiment is likely at least partially fueled by the disappearance of AlphaBay admin DeSnake, who was known to be prominently active on Dread.
“I honestly think dread isn’t coming back,” wrote one disgruntled redditor in the r/darknets subreddit. “As much as it kills me to say that, if I had a gun to my head and had to pick, I’d bet it’s gone for good,” they added.
“It’s actually the opposite and Dread has been to most consistent and reliable service around for 5 years now,” wrote HugBunter yesterday in response to another critic who proclaimed the Dread forum to be “as good as dead” and an unreliable service. “We always come back and always overcome every problem by any means possible, unlike others who give up at the first sign of trouble.”