A hacker has been sighted on Alphabay (one of the biggest darknet market online). He is believed to have hacked 83,000 accounts from the century-old American news agency, United Press International. The hacker is believed to have used an MD5 Algorithm to hash the passwords of the various accounts stolen.
The MD5 Algorithm is an old hashing technique which has its own level of assailability. The MD5 Algorithm which is very popular among Hackers has a weakness which makes it possible for hackers to create multiple and differing input sources which produce a fingerprint of the same output any time it is launched.
The seller, who is known by the username “zerodark70” provided a sample verification of the data to news agencies. These samples contained encrypted passwords, emails, usernames and real names. According to a report, the hacker was selling each of these accounts for no less than $100. With payment confirmation, the buyers would receive emails, names, and passwords. However, several of these passwords have already been hashed by the hacker.
UPI, however, removed the login page from their next section of the United Press International website. The case as reported by reporters confirms that the breached accounts appear to include all the UPI’s of the email subscribers which may sum up to tens of thousands of individual users. This also includes information regarding high-ranking executives, journalists, and employees.
Repeat Attacks for UPI
This is not the first hack attack launched on the United Press International. The Twitter account belonging to the United Press International, and the New York post were hacked in 2015. This led to the blame on the Syrian Electronic Army by the UPI director, though it took the UPI several hours before issuing a correction. The hacked United Press International is one of the leading providers of news, photos and information to people all over the world. It was founded by E.W Scripps in 1907 and has been a source of reliable information to many. Today, UPI is based in Florida, Boca Raton, and Washington DC. In the midst of the rampant hacking cases recorded in the recent years, journalists are believed to be high-value targets for hackers due to their close relationships with powerful individuals.
Alphabay market officially launched December 22, 2014. It is arguably the largest darknet market online, and they operate on the Tor network. The Alphabay Darknet market serves as a platform where dealers and buyers come together to trade all kinds of products in different categories. These range from digital products to services. The market is known to have listed over 130,000 drugs and chemical in its category. However, the market also has a niche for different kinds of products such as software, malware, security, and hosting. This gives dealers enough options to spread out their goods and services for interested parties to access.
The Alphabay market is popularly known for selling hacked information as of the start of 2017. The hacker was able to exploit the vulnerabilities of the website successfully and hijacked 200,000 and more private encrypted messages from several users. In addition, he proved his successful compromisation of the Alphabay market after he randomly posted screenshots of users private conversations.
Alphabay has also been a platform where few hackers have been busted for selling hacked Items. In 2016, Aaron Glende was arrested by the FBI for stealing bank passwords and selling them on Alphabay. Following his arrest, the FBI released a report that more criminals will be fished out and face the law. “The threat posed by cyber criminals is a persistently increasing problem for everyday citizens here in the U.S. and abroad. This investigation and resulting arrest clearly illustrate that the FBI, however, will not cease in its effort to identify, locate, arrest and seek prosecution of these criminals regardless of how deep in the digital underground they reside,” said J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office.
Several online Darknet markets contain hacked data including credit cards and account information. According to a report released in April 2016 by the cyber security companies FireEye and iSIGHT, a single website was in possession of $400,000,000 worth of financial data stolen from individuals and organizations as at 2016. Most Darknet websites allow the sales of all sort of substances. Therefore, there are others which have made it a priority to blacklist the sales of certain products.
Most Darknet websites have several rules and regulations to control the market. These rules prohibit and ban users who engage in the selling of certain substances. Hydra market, for instance, prohibits the sales of secret government information, pornographic materials, murder services or contract killing, life threatening weapons and substance whose correct chemical formulas has not been specified. Darknet market has been misrepresented by few dealers but its advantages will not be overlooked as they help easy selling and buying without stress and hassle.