Dark Net Markets Going Out of Business: Where are Users Headed to Next?

Victoria Kivilevich, Threat Intelligence Analyst and Sharon Bitton, Marketing Manager

Going out of business is a popular phenomenon with online marketplaces both in the Dark Net and surface web. Dark Net marketplaces continually shut down for a number of reasons, causing those markets’ users to actively search for alternative spots to trade goods and services. In light of the major announcement of Joker’s Stash shutting down on February 15th, 2021, we’ve dived into the cybercrime underground to understand more about the closures of Dark Net marketplaces and where market’s users migrate to.

The research’s main highlights include:

  • KELA identified four main marketplaces that are trying to steal Joker’s Stash’s users following the market’s closure. According to advertisements and users’ reactions, we may see users shifting activities to Brian’s Club, Vclub, Yale Lodge, and UniCC.
  • KELA observes cybercriminals acting just as regular businessmen and marketers, trying to take advantage of their competitors’ terminations in order to advertise their services and steal their competitors’ users.
  • KELA reveals an evident trend of market administrators offering free vendor bonds to try and lure new sellers to come to their marketplaces following a competitor’s market closure.
  • KELA highlights the significance of monitoring threat actors and their TTPs so that enterprise defenders can assess actors’ credibilities, predict actors’ next steps, and protect their organizations from cyber threats.