Treasure Hunting with Russian Drug Vendors

What if treasure hunting between drug dealers and buyers was commonplace? Well in Russia, facilitated by RAMP, the Russian Anonymous Marketplace, it is.

Treasure hunts are reminiscent of a playful childhood. Parents hiding treasures around the house, or perhaps the garden, giving clues to gleeful children on how best to find treats in their hidey holes.

We’ve seen adult treasure hunting explode across the world through geocaching, where people use GPS coordinates to leave small treasures, where others then locate the treasure and mark it off an online list.

And now there’s a new form of treasure hunting exploding in Russia: scoring drugs, by way of tricky GPS locations, pictures, and clues, facilitated by RAMP, a Russian deep web drug market.

Russia and drugs

In Russia, drug use and distribution is taken very seriously. While in other places around the world, drug policy may focus on user rehabilitation, this is not so in Russia.

Drug cases account for over 1 in 5 prisoners in the prison system, and possession, even of very small amounts of marijuana, can land you an extended stay in prison.

However, as we all know, this system doesn’t deter drug dealers and drug users from spreading and consuming drugs: it only makes them more clever in the ways that they go about trading.

RAMP the Russian Anonymous Marketplace

This Russian language market mainly deals in drugs and is structured as a message board.

Deep web marketplaces are nothing new. It has been over five years since the rise of these black markets, places online where illegal (as well as legal) goods and services like drugs, counterfeits, and hacked accounts are traded, all anonymously, via the Tor browser.

RAMP is the Russian Anonymous Marketplace, the most popular deep web market in all of Russia.

This Russian language market mainly deals in drugs and is structured as a message board, where dealers advertise their wares, and potential buyers message them to arrange a trade.

RAMP transactions are either conducted in either Bitcoin or via phone transfer.

However, unlike online marketplaces in other parts of the world, which typically send drug packages via the postal system, RAMP generally operates as a drug drop system or a treasure hunt.

Treasure hunting with RAMP

Drug drops are done in a very discrete way with RAMP. After funds have been transferred to a RAMP seller (a treasure man), the treasure’s GPS coordinates and a picture of the pickup spot are sent to the RAMP buyer.

This treasure is often placed by the seller days, weeks, or even months in advance, where it awaits a buyer requesting that exact substance and amount.

What it means for buyers is that they might be sent on a mad treasure hunt in a far-flung location within the city.

Sometimes RAMP drugs are hidden a little too well, or even not well at all, which can result in a buyer not finding the package, or even discovering that the package is not there.

A feedback system for RAMP

This is all detailed in public feedback to the seller on RAMP. Customers will detail whether they had a good experience in their RAMP treasure hunt, one that involved far more effort than should be necessary or one that resulted in them going home empty handed if they weren’t able to locate their treasure.

Some treasure hunts may result in customers searching for treasure for hours, especially if they are in a strange area like abandoned buildings, rubbish dumps, or even in the woods.

Searching for RAMP hidden treasure on private property can also draw the eye of others.

One customer’s feedback berated the seller for hiding a package on university property, when the buyer was not a student of the university, and required getting their details recorded in a guest register, simply to gain proper access to the grounds.

Will treasure hunting for drugs become a common practice in other parts of the world, too? It seems logical that a less risky method of delivery than the postal system would become a regular practice.

Perhaps in the years to come, we will see people hunting around areas, seemingly looking for something. Perhaps these people could even pass off their strange behavior under the guise of geocaching.

If RAMP can make treasure hunting popular in Russia, then it stands to make sense that another marketplace could do the same in other countries. Only time will tell.

7 Good To Know Facts About The Deep Web

deep webWe hear about the “Deep Web” and our minds immediately turn to the suspicious, opaque, cyberspace underworld where malicious hackers and darknet market drug smugglers mingle to discuss privately and securely with an air of anonymity through technological methods that are as obscure as their pseudonyms suggest. But the deep web is so much more for those who have the willpower and acumen to traverse its surreptitious expanse. To help the willing and able below is a list of 7 key adages about the deep web that you probably didn’t know.

1. The terms deep web and dark net have different distinct meanings

deep web and dark netMany use the words “deep web” and “dark net” interchangeably but they actually reference two different concepts. Deep web refers to any part of the internet that is not indexed or retrievable via a search engine, including both dark net sites and benign content such as corporate intranet sites. The dark net is an overlay network of the Internet that is part of the anonymous encrypted network. These sites cannot be retrieved by the search engine and are hidden, blocking access from standard web browsers such as Chrome. This is where the darknet markets for drugs, weapons, and other goods exist. To access the dark net, Tor, the anonymous browsing software must be used.

2. It’s not all criminal in nature

It might shock some people who have never been on the dark web to know that most sites visited, and goods sold are also available on the Clearnet. According to Tor, only 1.5% of the overall traffic on Tor is affiliated with hidden sites. Often the assumption about the deep web is that its visitors are only there for the illegal goods such as drugs. However, the majority of its users find its ultimate utility in protecting their regular browsing habits to ensure their online activity remains private.

3. It’s widely used in countries that are infamous for their repressive policies towards online information

Citizens of countries that limit access to the Internet are more likely to utilize the the Tor network on the deep web for anonymous browsing and communication hidden from government monitoring. Activists and political dissidents in Russia, China, and elsewhere heavily use Tor to escape limits on free speech and then media as well as to ensure the freedom of their ideas through anonymity and security from government persecution.

4. The deep web is not invulnerable- OPSEC still matters

Just because your browsing is anonymous, your identity can still be discovered and any illegal activity, such as purchasing illegal goods on darknet market sites, can be investigated if you practice poor OPSEC. Case in point; Ross Ulbricht, creator of Silk Road, was busted as are the result of blatantly poor OPSEC by posting his private email address online. He is not the only one to be caught. According to Gwern Branwen, over 300 people affiliated with the Dark Web for have been arrested for things like sex trafficking, gun running, and drug dealing since 2011. This should be warning enough for those of you too smug to think that you will not get caught on darknet markets. So be vigilant and deliberate in all your perusing and always think with the mindset of taking as many security precautions as possible. One of the most obvious is you doubling your encryption and security with a VPN.

5. The community is not as user-hostile as one might assume

There are plenty of blogs posts similar to this one and online forums that help novices navigate the deep and sometimes intimidating waters of the deep web. In terms of purchasing, people are usually helpful with providing vender recommendations and product reviews on darknet market site forums. As long as you are vigilant and willing to put in the effort, the user-friendly manuals and advice blogs will help you overcome the learning curve that intrinsically exists with any new endeavor a person takes on.

6. The deep web has search engines and secure email browsers

The deep web is much like the Clearnet in this aspect in that it has search engines and email clients. Popular search engines include Search Tor Hidden Services, not Evil, Candle, and TORCH, although each is vastly different and as a result, has its advantages and disadvantages, depending on what you want to search. For email services, there are several options, including Sigaint, ProtonMail, Tutanota, Lavaboom, and Lelantos to name a few. If you’re unsure which email browser you should use, there are several places featuring blogs that explain the pros and cons for each (thus reinforcing Point #4 about user-friendly guides to help you navigate around).

7. There’s a code of “Deep Web Etiquette” to adhere to

From even a cursory perusal of deep web forums, it’s clearly obvious how users interact. Those who respect the system and its technique find the deep web is a community of similarly-minded people who want to help one another navigate the deep web. Most are willing to help out anyone with questions, so long as the question shows you did some research first. Those who do not respect the system will inevitably get called out by others as lazy and ignorant. So do your fair share of due diligence before posting anything to ensure against sounding like a newbie who lacks the self-initiative to do their research. A question with an answer that can be obtained from a simple browser search is a bad question and should be avoided at all costs. In short, the deep web community is characterized very much by “you give what you get,” the more you put into your research, the more you will get when you do ask for help.

Drug Education Site “Erowid” Was Blocked But RAMP Is Thriving Fast

RAMP

In Russia, there are plenty of drugs; you’re just not allowed to talk about them. Internet censorship runs rife – except on the dark web. With RAMP, the Russian Anonymous Marketplace, still thriving, the underground community embraces drug culture away from prying eyes. RAMP is a forum-based dark web site.

Internet Censorship by region

internet-censorshipMany regions around the world put various blocks on their internet access so that citizens can no longer access various domains. In Singapore, trying to access a porn site will likely result on you landing on a boring placeholder page saying the site you are trying to access is no allowed. In Indonesia, you can’t even access Reddit.

This form of internet censorship varies from geo-blocking, whereby the site locks you out based on where you live. For instance, you may have noticed this geo-blocking when you’ve tried to browse to a video site in the US if you live in Australia, for example.

Some countries are also a little more ruthless in their blocking of information. China is notorious for their internet censorship, banning citizens from accessing not only Google, but Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and even the New York Times – alongside many others. Other countries have varying degrees of censorship, and often the rules can ramp up and change swiftly, seemingly without rhyme or reason.

Censorship and Russia

imrsBack in November 2012, Russia, reputably one of the world’s biggest hotspots for illegal trading, enacted their internet censorship bill that was based around protecting children from harmful information. This includes information related to child pornography, suicide, and drug use. Additions to the law were added at a later date to include references to extremism.

The law is enforced by the Roskomnadzor, or the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media. The agency has been ruthless in their blocks, with everything ranging from torrenting sites, to online gambling. The agency has even put temporary blocks on sites such as Wikipedia and Github. They are particularly judicious when it comes to things such as attempts to rally protests and anti-government chatter.

The drug website blockings in Russia

Swiftly after the first set of blocking, which involved the vast majority of .ru drug sites, they made moves to blocking other drug related sites hosted in other areas of the world. One such site that fell victim to the Roskomnadzor was Erowid, in February of 2013.

For those who aren’t familiar with Erowid, it is a not for profit organization set up to educate people about illicit and non-illicit drugs. The website contains a wealth of information from scientific papers and journalistic articles, to large scale survey results, to user experiences, and other sources. It is perhaps the most well-known and well respected large scale source of information on drugs that exists online.

The factual site provides a beacon of hope for people wanting to find real information regarding drugs amidst a sea of misinformation that exists outside it. As one Reddit user so cleverly put it “I use Erowid as a harm reduction site.” The site is extremely useful for people who do use drugs to use them more safely. In Russia, removing this site from the web may have actually made drug use more risky.

And the real irony of the situation (and where RAMP fits in)?

While the Roskomnadzor are busying themselves to ramp up blocking websites left, right, and center, the irony of the situation is that the dark web is flourishing in Russia with sites such as RAMP. Many sites developed in other nations around the world are choosing to obtain hosting in the country, because in Russia they steadfastly refused to release information to other countries or cooperate with worldwide investigations, and hosts ask for no identifying information.

RAMP (Russian Anonymous Marketplace)

The oldest existing dark web marketplace, RAMP, is growing daily, too. RAMP is a Russian language drug marketplace that allows for private interactions between buyer and seller. RAMP operates as a forum where people come to buy and sell drugs. And it’s getting bigger, too. Has anyone benefitted more from the swift exits of other dark web marketplaces more than RAMP? It’s a debatable topic. RAMP features many thousands of users and the RAMP site is popular all over Russia, particularly in the larger cities.

RAMP on the Dark Web

While the Roskomnadzor concentrate on the Clearnet, drug culture is thriving in Russia on the dark web, particularly on RAMP. If you are travelling to Russia at any point, there’s always the option to download Tor and jump on the dark web to circumvent the censorship laws. Grab a Russian speaking friend and have a browse on RAMP, too. You might be surprised with what you find on RAMP!

Top 10 Most Popular Sites On The Deep Web

Darknet-Markets-300x209Getting familiar with the deep web? Looking to explore the top .onion links around the world?

We’ve put together this list of the most popular deep web sites for you to check out – and it’s not just all darknet markets and drugs – although there are plenty of them, too!

1. The Hidden Wikilogo2The starting point of most people’s journey on the deep web is the Hidden Wiki. The Hidden Wiki contains links to all of the most popular sites on the deep web and is a great jump off point for those looking to explore. They also have a site on the clear net

The list is regularly updated and has been a stalwart of the deep web for years and years.

The Hidden Wiki onion URL: http://zqktlwi4fecvo6ri.onion

We did find an even better resource if you are just after Deep Web links, it has categories, descriptions and even screen shots of all active links.
https://darkwebnews.com/deep-web-links/

2. AlphaBay

Alphabaylogo

The number one darknet market at the moment is AlphaBay. Although darknet markets come and go, AlphaBay has been reigning supreme for around a year now. The site contains the most listings of any marketplace on the deep web, with items ranging from hacked accounts, electronics, fraudulent identity documents, and, of course, the ever popular drugs category which contains items like methamphetamine, MDMA, and various nootropics like Modafinil.

The marketplace operates with an escrow system, and transactions are conducted using the default currency on the deep web – Bitcoin.

AlphaBay Onion URL: http://pwoah7foa6au2pul.onion/

Find out everything you about AlphaBay here: https://alphabaymarket.com/

3. Grams

grams31Not sure which marketplace you want to use but know that you want to score some drugs? Know exactly what you want? Grams is your ideal search engine. Grams crawls all of the darknet market listings so when you type in what you want into the search field you obtain the most relevant listings, from all marketplaces.
It is a clever tool to use if you aren’t already a member of a darknet marketplace or if you’re looking for something highly specific.

Grams: http://grams7enufi7jmdl.onion (only works in Tor Browser)

4. Silk Road 3.0

SRWelcome
Yep, Silk Rod is back with a 3.0. It was down for a couple of month where they did a big security overhaul and a slight re-design. It is created and run by the same team that own and run CryptoMarket. They are growing FAST and have a massive selection of goods for sale.

Silk Road 3.0 onion URL: http://reloadedudjtjvxr.onion/

Silk road 3.0 Guide: http://silkroaddrugs.org/guide-on-how-to-access-the-silk-road-3-0/

4. Torch

Torch-Browser
Search engines aren’t as big on the deep web as they are on the Clearnet, for obvious reasons – many sites wish to remain hidden, available only to those who know the .onion address and credentials to login successfully!

Torch is one of the biggest search engines available that provides search results from the deep web. Type your query into the search field and start your research journey.

Torch onion URL: http://www.xmh57jrzrnw6insl.onion/

5. RAMP (Russian Anonymous Marketplace)

Russian-Anonymous-MarketPlace-300x82

Another darknet market, RAMP is the oldest running marketplace on the deep web. Oh, and it’s in Russian, too. The site is one of a handful of forum-based marketplaces operating, and most users are in Russia, but some also operate in other Eastern European countries.

The site allows buyers and sellers to organize drug deals one on one, with no middle man involved in the transactions. A common method of delivery is via “dead drops” where the buyer drops off cash in a certain spot, and then picks up the package at another, so buyer and seller don’t have to actually meet each other for transactions to take place and no Bitcoin is required.

RAMP onion URL: http://ramp2bombkadwvgz.onion

Find the full guide to RAMP HERE

6. Dream Market

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Dream Market is our third darknet market on the list. This site has been around since 2013 and has gained in popularity only recently, upon other marketplaces exiting the scene. It operates similar to AlphaBay, and is a traditional escrow market.

The market is rated very well among users, and although it’s not quite as popular yet as AlphaBay, it’s certainly on the rise. Expect to see this market continue on its upward trajectory for a while to come yet.

Dream Market onion URL: http://lchudifyeqm4ldjj.onion/?ai=1675

All the info on Dream Market: http://dreammarketdrugs.com/

7. The Hub

Forums have been a mainstay among computer enthusiasts since the inception of the internet, and in its early incarnation, newsgroups. The Hub is one of the biggest forums available on the deep web and focuses on deep web related topics such as security, cryptocurrencies, drug safety, and various darknet markets.

If you’re interested in chatting to like minded folks all about the deep web, then The Hub may be a good place to start.’

The Hub: http://thehub7dnl5nmcz5.onion (only works on Tor)

8. DuckDuckGo

duckduckgo-logo

Just recently, Tor has switched searching services from Google to privacy-oriented search engine DuckDuckGo, which is a coup for the burgeoning search engine. The search engine does not track users, unlike competitors Google and Bing, which makes it an easy choice for users concerned with privacy. This also means that searches are not served up according to your customer profiling, making it quite refreshing for users that are becoming increasingly annoyed with confounding search results from the other major players.
Although DuckDuckGo only searches Clearnet sites, it is a useful addition to your arsenal of privacy keeping tools.

DuckDuckGo: https://duckduckgo.com/

9. Wikileaks

rubon32

If you haven’t heard of Wikileaks by now, then you must have been living under a rock for the past 10 years. Created by Julian Assange who currently holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London as he has been since 2012 – the organization reports on secrets supplied by whistle-blowers, informants, and the general public that are deemed important in the interests of freedom of information.
Wikileaks has published vast reams of content over the past 10 years, including several high-profile government leaks. The .onion Wikileaks site provides a place to upload content directly to the organization, all anonymously if desired. The uploads are encrypted for added security, and the submission form asks questions like “What is the threat to the sources?” and “Necessary publication timeframe.”

WikiLeaks URL: https://wikileaks.org/

10. TorShops

For those who are interested in setting up their very own deep web shop, TorShops is the place to go. The site makes it simple to set up your very own .onion web store, whether you’re a budding online drug dealer or just interested in selling your homemade jewelry via the deep web.

Each site comes with an integrated Bitcoin wallet so payments are made easily, a secure a fast server for your site, inventory management systems, and order tracking. You can even get the guys at TorShops to set up your whole shop for you if coding isn’t your thing – a custom shop design comes in at $500USD.

TorShop URL: http://ww.shopsat2dotfotbs.onion/

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.