Silk Road is a notorious market-place where you can get various illegal substances. There are exceptions however, from the terms of service, “anything who’s purpose is to harm or defraud, such as stolen credit cards, assassinations, and weapons of mass destruction”. The site which opened shop in February 2011 provides a online market for buyers and sellers of hard drugs. But over the last couple of days, the Tor-based site has come under heavy denial of service attack. An estimate from the Carnegie Mellon University puts the amount of monthly trade that passes through Silk Road at $1.22m.
There have been speculations as to the cause of the attack with some users attributing it to deep-rooted vulnerabilites in the Tor network. According to a post from one of the sites administrators, the attacks are the attempts of one individual who is out to blackmail Silk Road. The attacker, Lance G, is threatening to crash the site unless he receives a pay-out of $5000. Administrators at the ecommerce site are offering the same amount of money to anyone who will help them track down the extortionist.
A post from the Silk Road sub-reddit reads: ‘LATEST UPDATE from DPR (05/03/2013 0545 UTC): The attacks have been coming non-stop since my last update. We’ve been able to keep the site open more than half the time with only minor issues such as limited image uploading for vendors. Every hour we are making progress and I am feeling much more confident that we will come out on top within the next few days. Still, expect some unannounced down-time here and there.’