It just became a little harder to buy drugs online. After launching this past April, the drug market Atlantis became one of the most popular places to buy and sell illegal drugs on the Dark Net. Today Atlantis announced it's shutting down because of "security reasons," which should freak out a lot of inhabitants of the shadier places of the internet.
Like the notorious Silk Road, Atlantis was a sort of eBay for illegal substances. After launching in April, it reached over $500,000 in sales this past June and, with a slick marketing campaign and an active social media presence, was hoping to surpass the Silk Road as the biggest Bitcoin-powered drug den on the anonymous Tor Network.
That's come to an end with this Facebook from Atlantis' official page:
Dear all users,
We have some terrible news. Regrettably it has come time for Atlantis to close its doors. Due to security reasons outside of our control we have no choice but to cease operation of the Atlantis Market marketplace. Believe us when we say we wouldn't be doing this if it weren't 100% necessary.
Due to the urgency we are allowing all users to withdrawal all their coins for one week before the site, and forum, are shut down permanently. Please remove all of your coins, these will not be recoverable after one week from now. Anything remaining in your accounts will be donated to a drug related charity of our choosing.
We wish to thank all of you for making Atlantis a great and memorable place to trade on. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors.
The Atlantis team
It's been a turbulent few weeks for the collection of websites hosted on the anonymity-protecting Tor Network, known as the Dark Net. Atlantis' shutdown comes just over a month after the FBI took down the web hosting company Freedom Hosting, a major player on the Dark Net, for child porn distribution by using specially-designed malware. And a popular seller on another underground marketplace, Black Market Reloaded, was apparently busted as well.
Three months ago, the anonymous CEO of Atlantis responded to concerns that they were becoming too public in an Ask Me Anything thread on Reddit, writing:
We want to bring attention to the site and bring our vendors more buyers. Law enforcement is going to be aware of us (and probably already is) regardless of the way we choose to put our product out there.
It appears Atlantis received more attention than they could handle. Silk Road, meanwhile, is still booming