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Silk Road noobs pose security threat

Everybody knows about Silk Road, it's not a secret. But since the secret has been out it has remained up and running, creating a global marketplace of illicit drugs sold over the internet though anonymous encrypted channels. Silk Road is secure, but it is not bulletproof. Witness the stupidity.

The trouble is brewing in Australia, where a guy named Paul Leslie Howard is facing as many as five years in prison for selling drugs on Silk Road. We're not talking millions of dollars worth of drugs, but we are talking about thousands of dollars worth. And just as Silk Road natives had feared, Howard was one of those Silk Road n00bs who read a newspaper article about the site and decided to try it out for himself.

Despite the many layers of anonymity and firewalls involved in the Silk Road experience -- encrypted transfers of the anonymous currency Bitcoin, for instance -- Howard got caught last summer from the simplest mistake. He had a shitload of drugs sent to his house. Though it's unclear what tipped them off -- drug dogs? snitches? some sophisticated cyber crime task force? -- police intercepted a number of packages bound for Howard's home, opened them up, and ended up finding a total of 46.9 grams of pure MDMA and 14.5 grams of cocaine.

Oops. Don't be that guy. The DEA and law enforcement agencies are well onto the Silk Road trail, and are tracking suspected orders to find hits like this bust in Australia. Is this the beginning of the end? Read all about the evolution of this story at Vice Motherboard.

Posted By jamesk at 2013-02-03 10:13:56 permalink | comments
Tags: silk road
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