Silk Road Under Cyber Attack by Hackers

By Bryan Le 05/01/13

The anonymous online drug marketplace is under fire, putting conspiracy theorists on overdrive.

Who did it? Photo via

Silk Road, the of drugs, is under attack by unknown parties. For the past couple days, the hidden "dark net" site has sustained a denial-of-service (DoS) attack, which basically floods it with fake automated traffic until the servers are overloaded and the site crashes. “It is incredibly discouraging to have everything we've worked so hard for taken down by some anonymous and malevolent person, but your kind words of encouragement do wonders for our morale,” wrote site administrator Dread Pirate Roberts in an update on Monday. “We are on the cutting edge of anonymity technology here. The attacks being used against us MUST be overcome if Silk Road and any anonymous public sites are to have a future.” Since Monday, the site has been adjusting its servers in order to mitigate the attack and prevent similar future offensives. Various news sites and related forums have floated theories about who is attacking the site and why. Gawker suspects the US government or the DEA have something to do with it, considering the staggering traffic the anonymous online marketplace has had recently. News Australia thinks it has something to do with a ransom threat sent a few days before. BitCoin Magazine addresses the possibility that the hacker isn't just after Silk Road, but instead all Tor-based crypto-commerce funded by untraceable Bitcoins. Currently, the site is back up, in limited capacity: “Silk Road is open and accessible. As soon as the attacker finds out, he will likely change his tactics and try to take the site down again,” Dread Pirate Roberts writes in today's update. “Hopefully he won't be able to, but time will tell.”

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter