RAMP: Products And Services

Russian-Anonymous-MarketPlace-300x82 (1)RAMP (Russian Anonymous Marketplace) is the dark web’s longest running darknet market. The forum-style market has been around since September 2012, and is a Russian language market that operates primarily in Russia. The forums have over 100,000 different users (although not all of them active), making it a large marketplace.

An alternative to other darknet markets such as AlphaBay and Dream Market, the RAMP site is notable in its absence from law enforcement’s grasp. This appears to be due to the fact that it is run from Russia – a place where US law enforcement and their influence is not at all welcome.

The marketplace itself isn’t fancy – but it’s reliable, and it’s chock full of goods, too..

How do I use RAMP?

You access RAMP though a regular .onion address, similar to accessing any other darknet market. Signing up requires a username, password, email address, and a captcha answer. Once you’ve signed up you’ll be logged in to the RAMP homepage which looks a little bit like a forum from 1999. There’s plenty of flashy, colorful banners on top, advertising various stores in both Russian and English (think “MDMA HQ” and “Diamond Perfect Stuff”), followed by various forum rooms underneath.

There are rooms dedicated to more info about the marketplace, and then specific rooms for each store or seller on the marketplace. There are also regional rooms; however, they are not overly popular. Each room has moderators in place to ensure the conversations conform to the rules of the marketplace.

You can find a guide to access RAMP on this website in the side menu under “RAMP Guide”

What goods and services are available for purchase on RAMP?

RAMP (Russian Anonymous Marketplace)is a marketplace that deals in the sale of illicit and controlled substances only – i.e. drugs.

The most prolific illicit substances available on RAMP are marijuana, including wax, hash and hashish, cocaine, amphetamines, including methamphetamine, and MDMA (both crystals and pills).

There are also a number of other less popular drugs such as mephedrone, opium, PCP, 2C-B, 2C-I salvia, DMT, Nbome, A-PVP, mushrooms (psilocybin) and LSD.

Controlled substances available on RAMP include ketamine, modafinil, and methadone.

Heroin, a massive draw for sales on many of the other online darknet markets, is notably absent from the RAMP website.

Stores are labeled as to where they will distribute to, and what methods are available – for example via mail or pick up.

Some of the substances will be imported from other countries, e.g. hashish from Morocco, and others unlabeled for origin. Many stores will show the test results from the RAMP Marquise Test (a substance color-reactive test) which indicates the presence of MDMA/MDA/MDE, amphetamine, methamphetamine, heroin, morphine, codeine, methylone, mescaline, oxycodone, DXM, 2C-B, 2C-I, Ritalin, aspirin, and sugar. The results of these tests give the buyer somewhat of a guarantee of the quality of product that they are purchasing.

There are also rooms dedicated to particular regions such as Belarus if you are looking for something more specifically regional. As mentioned before, this is a Russian forum, so the vast majority of stores are Russian only; however, other Eastern European destinations are sometimes available, too.

What’s prohibited on RAMP?

Like many other darknet markets, RAMP puts exclusions and restrictions on the sale of various goods and services. Banned sales include pornography of any sort, carding and hacking techniques or tools, spam and malware techniques and tools, any form of weapons including explosives and general warfare, promotion of any violence (presumably including manpower for hire such as thugs and hitmen), and fake documents and banknotes.

It’s also against the rules to sell any form of synthetic cannabinoids on the market, and you may not advertise drugs by nickname without outlining the exact name for the substance.

Know Russian?

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As the marketplace is Russian language only, you will either need to know Russian yourself, have a friend handy who does, or make good use of Google Translate! If you are in another region of the world apart from Russia or Eastern Europe you will likely struggle to find a vendor who will send anything to you – or rather, they will sell it to you, but they will not deliver it!

For RAMP enthusiasts living in other regions of the world, you might be best leaving your shopping until you do some travelling up at the top end of the world.

If you’d like to get started with RAMP, head on over to their .onion address and sign up for an account. From there, you can browse through all the various stores and substances, to see what is available on this prolific darknet market.

If you don’t know Russian but need a good darknet market then you can check out Dark Web News as they have a massive list of all the darknet markets.

Cryptocurrency: Bitcoin And Litecoin

Bitcoin and Litecoin are the two biggest cryptocurrencies around. Today we give a bit of a primer on cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, Litecoin, and doing business on the deep web.

What are cryptocurrencies?

dollar-exchange-rate-544949_1920Cryptocurrencies are a form of online currency that has no physical representation. So while you can see dollars in your bank account online, you can also withdraw them to get yourself some cold, hard cash – the stuff you can keep in your wallet. This is not the case with cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrencies also use a different system of control – no one overarching body (such as a bank or government) is in control of the issuing system. They were designed to work independently of any country’s financial system, to be a truly fair global denomination.

They are called “cryptocurrencies” due to the cryptography involved in conducting these transactions online. Each transaction is done between exactly two people – the giver and the receiver – which means no financial institutions need to be involved in the process to skim fees. Each transaction is also anonymous – cryptocurrencies are not linked to a person, only a computer.

Each cryptocurrency uses a “blockchain ledger”, where every transaction is public and verified by multiple other sources. In fact, with each block (containing multiple transactions) that is “mined,” the source that manages to complete the block first is rewarded with an amount of the currency – which means that it is in the public’s (or the miners’, rather), best interests to complete the block as soon as possible.

Each cryptocurrency has a finite higher bound on the amount of the cryptocurrency that will ever be in circulation, which means the price can fluctuate depending on the popularity of the coin.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin is the world’s most well-known cryptocurrency. Released in 2009, the currency was spawned from an academic paper by Satoshi Nakamoto – a mysterious figure whose true identity has been allegedly identified as an Australian known as Craig Wright.

The upper limit on the amount of Bitcoin that will ever be in circulation is 21 million – and Satoshi owns over 1 million of these.

Bitcoin is now acceptable as a currency in many commercial enterprises and institutions around the world, including Amazon, WordPress, OkCupid, and Target. There is a huge community built up around Bitcoin, involving meetups and groups, various trading platforms, and Bitcoin mining conglomerates. There is now almost 700 Bitcoin ATMs installed worldwide, both one-way (turn cash into Bitcoin), and two-way (exchange your Bitcoin for cash, and turn cash into Bitcoin).

Bitcoin is now truly a legitimate currency, for those who doubted it in its infancy.

Litecoin

unnamedLitecoin is one of hundreds of altcoins that burst onto the market in the initial wake of Bitcoin. Litecoin operates in an almost identical fashion to Bitcoin, except confirmation on the block chain ledger is designed to be faster, and the upper limit on the amount of Litecoins that will ever be in circulation is 84 million.

In existence since 2011, Litecoin is now the second most widely used cryptocurrency online. While it initially followed the rise and fall of the value of Bitcoin quite closely (albeit at a much lower rate), the price has now decoupled, and Litecoin appears a less volatile currency overall.

Conducting transactions on the Deep Web

While there are plenty of uses of cryptocurrencies on the Clearnet, and in day to day merchant transactions like your Bitcoin accepting coffee shop around the corner, one of the most proliferative uses of cryptocurrencies is in performing transactions on the deep web.

In fact, in many places on the deep web, such as the darknet markets, cryptocurrency is the only acceptable form of payment – so that transactions can be performed completely anonymously. This is because on these markets many of the goods and services are highly illegal in most countries around the world – and sellers are not going to risk prosecution by using their own bank accounts or PayPal addresses!

While the majority of marketplaces accept Bitcoin only (such as Dream Market and AlphaBay), still others accept a combination of Bitcoin and Litecoin, along with other altcoins too (such as Tochka).

Many buyers and sellers will own a number of different altcoins and have profiles on a number of different marketplaces, so they can avoid the pitfalls of fluctuating currencies and the instability of marketplaces.

While Bitcoin remains strong, if you are looking to conduct business on the deep web, it simply makes sense to spread yourself around a bit – both with different cryptocurrencies, and different marketplaces.

What Is The Tor Network?

Tor-logo-2011-flat.svgTor is the name of the software that enables anonymous online browsing. It is the acronym of “The Onion Router,” which was how the project was named. Any online activity of an individual is traceable to his/her IP address. Any network is aware of the websites being accessed by the user. However, a Tor network is encrypted and routes the traffic through relays making it appear as if it is emanating from exit nodes. The exit node, however, does not know the user’s address. Therefore, when using Tor, it is difficult to trace back the internet activity of an individual.

What is Tor

The very first version of the onion routing software (so named because of the many layers of obscurity that is offered) was developed by the employees of the US Naval Research Laboratory, mathematicians and a computer scientist in the mid-1990s. This project was constituted to protect online communications among intelligence agencies. It was further developed by DARPA and many others later that make up the Tor project today. Though many non-profit organizations were involved in funding the project in its earliest stages, the US government made up the majority of the funding sources in its later stages. The Tor is free to use and consists of a voluntary network that consists of over 7,000 relays (computers) worldwide. The encryption is implemented in the application layer of the communications protocol. The data and the destination IP address are encrypted a number of times and are sent through many Tor relays that are randomly selected. One relay’s job is merely to decrypt the information to reveal to the next relay and send the entire packet of encrypted data to the next one. It is the job of the last relay to decrypt the layer that is innermost and send it to the destination IP address. The source IP address is not visible to the relay. At every hop in the circuit, the routing information is only incompletely visible with no knowledge of the source and destination. It, therefore, becomes difficult to track the information through the Tor circuit. All traffic that moves within the Tor network is encrypted.

How to Use Tor

The safest way to use Tor is by downloading and using the Tor Browser Bundle (customized for FireFox). This is a portable and customized version that is available for Windows, Linux and Mac platforms. This standalone version can be used whenever a user wants to browse anonymously. One can switch back to the regular browser when the browsing is over.

This bundle is available in a preconfigured version with settings and extensions that can be used for Tor. Using Tor with other browsers may not make it very safe as usage of some of the other browser plugins may reveal the user’s IP address. This browser bundle disables all plug-ins and makes it safe for use. The Tor Browser bundle also includes extensions that enable HTTPS with websites that have the matching support. HTTPS provides encryption of the last node and the target website.

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The Tor Browser Bundle need not be installed for it to work. It can easily be loaded onto a USB drive and run from there. The downloaded .EXE file is double clicked to extract it to the hard drive or USB. A Tor Browser folder is created and the next step is to click on the Start Tor Browser icon in the folder. The .EXE launches Vidalia that helps to connect to the Tor network. Thereafter, Vidalia automatically opens the customized Firefox browser for Tor. After the browsing is over, Vidalia automatically disconnects Tor and the browser is closed. The browsing is done as one would with a normal browser.

It is a good idea to check the installer’s GPG signature before working the bundle. This ensures that the version that the user has downloaded is not a tampered version. It is important to note that this check requires that some additional software be downloaded. It is also not recommended that you download PDF and DOC files or open them in other applications when using Tor. The external application may connect to the Internet for additional resources and this action may reveal the user’s IP address. It is a known fact that the Tor browsing experience is a slower one when compared to the normal browsing experience. However, users understand that the slow speed is the price paid for the relative obscurity that the network offers.

The Deep Web, Dark Web, and Darknet Markets

The deep web refers to web pages and contents that are not indexed by regular search engines and accessible only with special software such as Tor,whiledark web is just a small part of the deep web. Darknet markets are sites operating on the dark web. They function as online black markets dealing with licit and illicit goods and services.

Deep Web – The Hidden Part Of The Internet

The Deep Web

icebergdeepweb-1The first distinction to make when defining the “deep web” is the difference between the deep web and the surface web. The surface web consists of all content that can be crawled and indexed; the content a search engine can retrieve. This includes typical news sites, social media pages, etc. The deep web includes any content not indexed or retrievable via search engine. This includes not only the illegal darknet markets but also benign content such as corporate intranet sites.

Many use the terms deep web and dark web/dark net interchangeably, but there is a distinction. The dark net is an overlay network of the Internet in which the content is part of an anonymous encrypted network. In addition to not being retrievable by search engines, the content on these sites has been intentionally hidden and cannot be accessed via standard web browsers such as Chrome or Firefox. The identities and locations of site operators are also concealed. Like the well-known geometry adage that “every square is a rhombus, but not every rhombus is a square,” all sites on dark net are part of the deep web, but not all content on the deep web is part of the dark net.

Sites on dark net are concealed through methods such as Tor’s hidden services. Tor’s hidden services remove the need to provide an IP address to the user by configuring a server that obfuscates the host’s IP. Instead, to access the site, users enter a 16 character code called an “onion address,” most distinctly marked by the .onion domain. These hidden pages are what make up the dark net- the sites that most often are associated with illegal goods trafficking and nefarious activity. One of the most famous darknet markets and one that we are all familiar with is Silk Road – the sitethat law enforcement shut down in 2013.

6a00e54fce13cf88340148c6ab4213970c-800wiThe dark net’s anonymous browsing capabilities attract its users. It is used by a wide variety of individuals: journalists, whistleblowers, those seeking to avoid government censorship, as well as the infamous illegal goods vendors selling drugs, guns, counterfeit materials, child pornography, etc. While the dark net has a reputation of being a hub of illicit activity, many dark net users are simply privacy advocates who prefer their benign online activity hidden from government surveillance. Thus, content on the dark net ranges from news and information shared by journalists and whistle blowers to anonymous email clients, such as Sigaint, forums and online marketplaces that serve as a meeting place for illegal activity.

Accessing dark net sites requires either a network configuration or specific software, which the user installs onto their desktop. Most darknet users use Tor, a free anonymous software, but other options, such as I2P, FreeNet, RetroShare, GNUnet, Zeronet, Syndie, OneSwarm, and Tribler also exist. Since Tor is the most popular, this guide will explain how to connect using Tor. First, the user downloads the Tor browser bundle and follows the installation instructions. Once Tor is installed and launched, the browser will automatically connect to the Tor network.

Tor implements a three-node model, termed onion routing, to conceal the user’s IP address. The user’s local computer connects to an entry node to access the Tor network. The entry node knows the IP address of the user since it directly communicates with the computer. The entry node then passes an encrypted request to the relay node, which, because it is communicating only with the entry node and not the user’s computer, does not know the original IP address. The relay node then communicates with the exit node, where the request is decrypted and sent to the Internet. The exit node only knows the IP address of the relay node, but not entry node or the user’s computer.  Once on the Tor network, the user then has access to dark net sites, provided they have the proper .onion domain addresses. For first time users or dark net newcomers, these addresses can be found on open net forums or index sites, such as Hidden Wiki and also Dark Net news sites such as DarkWebNews.com.

RAMP – Russian Anonymous Marketplace

Russian-Anonymous-MarketPlace-300x82When it comes to the corners of the deep dark web, the Russian Anonymous Marketplace (RAMP) is one darknet market that has occupied real estate for some many years. Escaping wreck and ruin when so many online black markets have crumbled and fallen, either due to the influence of law enforcement, or due to administrator theft, resignation, or incompetence, RAMP stands tall.

And hey, it’s a great place to hang out for all your underground market needs – if you know some Russian that is.

How does it operate?

Online since September of 2012, RAMP remains the longest running online darknet marketplace, and continues to thrive, offering users a stable platform and an alternative to the other darknet markets, on the proviso that you (or your associate/translator) and able to communicate in Russian.

RAMP is more of a forum than a traditional deep web market, eschewing the Amazon-like system preferred by other sites, and instead operating in a manner similar to Craigslist. RAMP offers a private messaging system for users to communicate, takes a hands-off approach to payments, with users generally conducting payment transfers offsite, and admins are quick to ban scammers.  It’s simple, it works, and it avoids putting too put power in the hands of RAMP administrators, or, indeed, potential hackers.

What’s available on Russian Anonymous Marketplace (RAMP)?

RAMP-HomeWhen most people think of what sort of things would be dabbled in for those in certain circles in Russia, they think of a ton of vodka and lots and lots of drugs. Well – RAMP certainly doesn’t disappoint. RAMP offers a similar range of uppers, downers, and psychoactives to markets like AlphaBay and Nucleus. The forum bans all forms of pornography, weapons, hacking, carding, violence, and fake documents, and also bans any talk of politics – making it a market used (in the most part) for drug deals alone.

Strangely enough, there is a distinct lack of many opiates on the site, which is a little odd considering the demand for these types of drugs.

How can I buy stuff/sell stuff on RAMP?

RAMP accepts both Bitcoin and Litecoin in a bid to bring their customers more market options. Most of the “drops” are made in person, where the seller hides the goods in a public area for the buyer to pick up. This means that the vast majority of trades are done in Russia alone – with the majority in the capital, Moscow.

For sellers, you’ll have to foot a seller’s fee equal to a few hundred US dollars to set up shop on RAMP. You’ve also got the option to pay more for advertising on the site if you feel like your sales need a boost or you’d like to get off to a good start on the market.

At the moment, it appears that RAMP isn’t open for new registrations – so if you want an in then you’re going to have to find someone already involved to vouch for you.

Who’s behind RAMP?

The person at the helm of Russia’s biggest darknet market goes by the name of “Darkside,” has an Ed Norton avatar, and is thought to be a Russian. In 2014, he put the estimates of his income for the year from the site at $250,000 – nowhere near the astronomical accumulations of other darknet market site admins (due to the transactions on RAMP being fee-less), but more than enough for a comfortable existence.

He likens RAMP to the actual black markets in Russia, and follows a similar business model. He articulates that the avoidance of discussion of politics on RAMP is to avoid unwanted attention – something that can be a serious matter in Russia, with the government not known for their leniency towards those with opposing views.

What else?

As always, RAMP is a target of unknown DDoS attacks, and must move servers and shut down facilities occasionally to protect the interests of users. Knowing this in advance can save you the headache associated with it if you have accounts across at least two online marketplaces – so that one will always be functioning.

How has it avoided the FBI’s attention?

The short answer to this is: It hasn’t. Russia and America are not known for playing nice together, and so despite the fact that the feds might like to chase up RAMP in Russia, it’s likely the authorities have told them they aren’t going to be helping out – much in the same way that Edward Snowden was available to escape extradition by gaining a safe haven in Russia.

If you’d like to check out RAMP, it’s best to brush up on your Russian skills and head over to some forums to try and get an in to the market.