The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has found its way onto the deep web and during the last few months, researchers have found a great number of individuals turning to darknet markets (DNMs) for employment. The organization Check Point Research has recorded a rising trend of people looking for jobs on hacking forums and DNMs. Additionally, alleged versions of the coronavirus vaccines from the top manufacturers are being sold on DNMs alongside vaccination records.
Mass Darknet Market Closures in 2020 Invoked Opioid Product Premiums
In 2020, a great number of darknet markets (DNMs) went dark by either voluntarily closing, exit scamming, or getting busted by global law enforcement. Despite the loss of many DNMs, the vast amount of spontaneous underground markets saw record revenues in 2020. However, the numerous amounts of DNMs disappearing have led to an increased demand for opioids. A new report from the Australian National University (ANU) shows that the effects of global law enforcement takedowns and other types of DNM closures have decreased the accessibility for opioids.
The study by ANU was led by Emeritus Professor Roderic Broadhurst, and for 352 days the team collected data from DNMs like Berlusconi, Valhalla, Wall Street, Apollon, Empire, Dream, Nightmare, and Tochka. Broadhurst noted that DNM operators, after closing shop, simply create another illicit shop again with higher prices on opioid products. Essentially, the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns and travel restrictions fueled DNM operations.
“Since the pandemic, everybody’s going online,” Professor Broadhurst said. “Markets have been boosted by increased demand by buyers and …
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