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3.1.18 Dark Web and Cybercrime Roundup

Suspect Calls ‘Black Death’ Kidnapping a Publicity Stunt

The story of the self-proclaimed model who cried “Black Death Group” refuses to stop making headlines. This time, Chloe Ayling’s alleged kidnapper—who slept beside her and went shoe shopping with her—claimed that she had invented the entire narrative. She had allegedly wanted to further her modelling career through a story about human trafficking and darknet auctions. We previously reported that the alleged Black Death Group operative aka Lukasz Herba had met with Ayling months before the supposed kidnapping ever occurred. Herba told the court through his lawyers that the “model” set the entire plan in motion during their encounter in France.

Ayling claimed that Lukasz Herba and Lukasz’s younger brother had lured her to a fake studio in Milan for a photoshoot. Upon entering the fake studio, two masked men approached her and injected her with ketamine through her leather jacket. She said the men stuffed her in the trunk of a car and held her for ransom in a secluded house in a small town in Italy. According to one of her statements, she had counted as many as six kidnappers. At some point during the time between Herba’s arrest and one of Ayling’s many TV appearances, she reduced the number of kidnappers to just two: the Herba brothers.

Both men had allegedly kidnapped her and planned to sell her on the darknet. She said that the men worked for the “Black Death Group,” a shady gang of human traffickers who kindnapped and sold young women to buyers on the darknet. The Black Death Group legend is not new. As far as we know, the group is as fake as Besa Mafia—the website and shills may have convinced the mainstream media, but little convincing evidence exists. The group as a concept is as much of a fairy tale as the narrative painted by Chloe Ayling. Herba’s lawyer said the entire stunt was nothing more than an attempt to further Ayling’s career. DeepDotWeb


Former Alphabay moderator Penissmith wrote his second article for DeepDotWeb titled “PENISSMITH’s STATE of the DARKNET.” Many know Penissmith as a seemingly insane Reddit troll. The username alone is justification to question the sincerity of any posts associated with it. Even if Mr./Ms. Penissmith wrote the entire article in jest, the state of the darknet as portrayed by the author reflected sentiments shared by many members of the community.

Penissmith said, in no uncertain terms, that the darknet had entered a state of decline. After Alphabay and Hansa fell, PS wrote, the darknet started dying. The top marketplaces fell short of even reaching a similar status. The subreddits “melted down.” And that led to PS’s main point: that darknet marketplaces were simply the result of a bunch of like-minded people behind the mask of anonymity. DeepDotWeb

Hearing Rescheduled for Alleged Dream Mod ‘OxyMonster’

The judge presiding over the case against the Dream Market moderator Gal Vallerius aka OxyMonster, Justice Robert N. Scola, Jr., ruled that Vallerius and his defense could have more time to prepare for the upcoming sea of court appearances. Vallerius’s lawyer moved to have the next hearing pushed from late December 2017 to May 2018. The evidence presented by the prosecutor’s office of the Southern District of Florida stacked up too quickly, the lawyer said. The government’s case “involved all of the complexity of the internet.”

The lawyer, Anthony J. Natale, told Justice Robert N. Scola, Jr. that the case would likely require assistance from computer experts—based on the sheer volume of data presented by the prosecution and the complexity of the evidence based entirely on digital information. Justice Sola agreed to push back the 15-day hearing into early 2018, granting Vallerius some additional time to prepare for a case with an almost certain unfavorable outcome. DeepDotWeb

Man Sentenced for Buying Five Glocks on the Darknet

While admittedly less aggravating to see on the news than Chloe Ayling, international law enforcement agencies have started making increasingly frequent arrests in cases involving darknet weapon buyers. UK’s NCA handled two grenade buyers and barely had 30 days between the press releases. Danish courts just handed down a six-year prison sentence for a woman who hired a hitman online. And German police maintained their 2016 promise of cracking down on darknet firearms trade. Dresden District Court recently sentenced a 35-year-old man for buying—or trying to buy—five Glock 17 pistols from a darknet vendor.

Only, instead of a vendor, the man had attempted to purchase Glocks and ammunition from an undercover officer in Australia who notified German authorities once the 35-year-old had clicked the “buy” button. Law enforcement scored when they arrested the man at a Radeburger Post Office as he waited for his Glocks to arrive. Upon searching his home, police found ammunition he had illegally ordered and storage drives with pictures of children being sexually abused. The court convicted him of ordering five Glocks and 100 rounds of ammunition for $7,600.DeepDotWeb

Dublin Man Bought Grenades on the Darknet for the IRA

A 35-year-old Irishman named Darren Gleeson pleaded guilty to his association with the Irish Republican Army). The court acknowledged that Gleeson had only played a mild role in furthering the IRA’s agenda, but a dangerous one nonetheless. Gleeson admitted purchasing two hand grenades on the darknet in early 2017. The court sentenced the man to more than three years in prison.

The Special Detective Unit of law enforcement in Dublin opened an investigation into IRA activity on the darknet in 2017. During the hearing, one of the three judges read aloud the charges Gleeson had pleaded guilty and the details pertinent to the case. She said the Special Detective Unit had “received a tip” about IRA activity on the darknet at some date prior to Gleeson’s arrest. She did not go into detail, but said that the tip led to the investigation that ended with Gleeson behind bars.

During the course of the investigation, detectives learned that Gleeson had arranged to receive packages of explosives for the IRA. From the information revealed in court, it appeared as if Gleeson went “window shopping” for grenades on the darknet. He told the vendor that he ended up buying from that he would likely be back in the future for more. The Gardaí intercepted the package of grenades—apparently from a genuine darknet vendor—and replaced them with inert replicas. They performed a controlled delivery and arrested Gleeson. Now he will spend the next three years and six months behind bars. DeepDotWeb


  1. Non-Irish Republican

    I have a hard time believing the vendor wasn’t the undercover CI.

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