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Netcraft wokshop

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Jan Samols.

Netcraft will showcase the problems operators of Dark Markets face in maintaining their anonymity whilst running their illegal empires.

Please register for the event at

Silk Road is estimated to have transacted $1.2bn in illegal drugs, netting Bitcoin worth $80M in commissions for the owner. Dread Pirate Roberts’ anonymity would have been under 24/7 attack, from thieves wishing to steal his bitcoin, from many countries’ law enforcement operatives wishing to lock him up and throw away the key, and from gangsters wishing to find him and force him to give up his Bitcoin. One small mistake could lead to the loss of his newfound wealth, permanent incarceration, or a tortuous death.

Dread Pirate Roberts is believed to have spent six months working on Silk Road before first putting it online, and desperately preserved his anonymity for two and half years, allegedly paying hitmen $750K to murder six people in the process.

Your challenge, after a short tutorial outlining and illustrating the concepts, is to spend an hour bullet-proofing your dark market and then defend it against your peers, whilst discovering the identity of as many of their Hidden Services as you can. Netcraft staff will be available to help. Contract assassinations may lead to disqualification.


If you would like to participate. you should bring a laptop with the Tor Browser installed. The laptop must be able to connect to a Wi-Fi network. Any operating system is fine – however, Windows users will also need an SSH client like putty If you don’t have a laptop, you are nevertheless very welcome to come, listen to the presentation, watch the competition, and eat the food.


If you would like to read some background material before the event, have a look at

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This talk is part of the Technical Talks - Department of Computer Science and Technology series.

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