Mona Social Network: More Dark Web Friends

Continuing my fascination with dark web social networks, I just discovered one called Mona Social Network. At the moment, it doesn’t seem to have many members.

It uses a UI that’s almost identical to Facebook’s. This isn’t that surprising, as many of the other social networks I’ve joined (e.g. Blackbook) also borrow from Facebook’s design. Looks pretty similar, doesn’t it?

mona_social_edited

On a side note, I discovered that Blackbook is testing a new beta design at http://blkbook3fxhcsn3u.onion/beta/. Feel free to check it out if that interests you. Just be careful about buying or selling anything on that site (I’ve heard through the grapevine that they’re all scams).

There isn’t a whole lot to say about Mona yet, as it seems very new and hasn’t attracted that many members. More or less, it’s quite similar to Facebook: photos, followers, followings, notifications, etc. It even has a “Messenger” like Facebook’s, for (you guessed it) sending private messages!

One advantage I would say that a social network like Mona has over Facebook is privacy (as with any Tor social site). As on any Tor hidden service, you are visiting it via your Tor IP, so unless you do something to leak that IP address, that already gives you an advantage.

If anonymity is your concern, I wouldn’t suggest using your real picture or real name (most don’t).

Out of curiosity, I decided to take a look at Mona’s “privacy policy,” and it looks like they don’t have one:

mona_privacy_policy_edited

It’s not uncommon to see “unfinished” pages on the dark web, to be honest, so I kind of expected this. I’m not really sharing any personal information with Mona, except my username.

Still, I’m curious to see how this site develops, and if it attracts more users.

Oh, alright – I’m just waiting to see if I can play Candy Crush on it.

 

 

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Red Rooms and Hitmen and Scams, Oh My!

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Given that there are some disturbing things on the dark web, I could see how it would be easy to believe in the mythological stuff as well – and I know I’ll never convince everyone otherwise.

Still, I thought I’d take another trek onto Tor and see if I could find a few of these sites, in order to analyze their claims. Hopefully, no one else comes after me! (wink)

The Red Rooms of Pain

So, there are a plethora of sites on Tor that claim to be red rooms, as I’ve said on other posts. I’ve received a lot of comments saying that I’m incorrect about this, but if that’s the case, I want you to prove it to me!

The first few of these that I clicked on resulted in the ubiquitous “…connection has timed out” message. You know, like this one:

tor_connection_has_timed_out_edited

Well, that’s Tor for you! I have heard the conjecture before that red rooms will stick around briefly, and then the operators will just “close up shop” and move to a different link, but that seems only partially true.

Finally, after exploring a little while, I did find one red room site that “worked,” so to speak:

redroom_edited

Of course, I didn’t join, nor did I contact them. All the other ones I’ve come across recently look the same, or similar, which is one of the reasons I believe that these are all fake. They look as though they could’ve been made very quickly and easily, and setting up a Tor hidden service, in the grand scheme of things, is not that difficult. Anyway, if you click “join,” the second page looks like this:

redroom_2ndpage_edited

One of the things that makes me curious is that on the second page, it reads:

red_room_download_edited

If you click that, it takes you to a “payment” page where, supposedly, if you pay 0.005 BTC, you can download a video of the previous show. (I’m highly dubious about this.)

redroom-pay_edited

If one of you feels comfortable paying this and downloading the video, go ahead – but as I’ve said before, you’re taking a chance of downloading malware or simply losing your bitcoin. I’m not willing to do either, to be honest.

Oh, But Wait a Moment…

On the other hand, someone I talked to recently questioned my belief about the non-existence of red rooms. He also seemed to be someone who was knowledgeable about these sorts of things (e.g. darknets and online crime). The person in question worked for a private security firm doing internet surveillance.

I don’t know this person well, but he asked if I had come across any sites on Tor that looked vague and mysterious, and required a username and password to enter. In fact, I have, many times.

A few of these sites did not even say what they were about; they simply had a login page. Most of these I found by hunting around – they weren’t catalogued in the popular link lists (such as The Hidden Wiki, for instance).

When I visited the sites, they looked somewhat like this:

loginpage_10

There were no other details or descriptions, simply a login form like that. Of course, I was very curious as to what these sites could be. The person I was talking to suggested that these sites could be red rooms. He also suggested that streaming video over Tor isn’t as difficult as people make it out to be. (Hmm…)

As I mentioned on PsychoTube: The YouTube of Tor?, it is possible to watch videos over the network, but I haven’t tried streaming anything live. Maybe it would be a good experiment for someone to try (albeit without the murder part). Granted, I don’t have proof that the above sites were red rooms, but I do have to wonder why they were so secretive.

They may also have been similar to Dark0de, which was a former cybercrime forum. I encountered its Tor hidden service early on in my dark web “travels.” Their login page, likewise, looked very vague and nondescript:

dark0de_login

So…what’s your take on this, readers? Are some of these “mysterious” sites actually red rooms? Or are they just boring forums and chat rooms?

A Shadow Web Request?

shadowweb_3

Oh, Shadow Web – it’s been an interesting few years, hasn’t it? When I first started writing this blog, I wrote a post entitled Is the Shadow Web a Reality? (Updated); at present, it’s still one of my most popular posts!

I received a comment from a reader today asking how to “join” the Shadow Web, and she sounded very genuine about it. I’ll repeat what I said earlier – it’s a scam, definitely. I’m sure of it.

Let’s trace the history of this “shadow web” thing. To my knowledge, it all started with this creepypasta on Reddit: A warning to those thinking about accessing the shadow web.

shadow_web_reddit_edited

That was published three years ago, and it spawned all kinds of rumors and urban legends!

Eventually, people also started narrating the story on YouTube, which probably added to its intrigue. While it was a very creepy story, and well written, it was not true. If you listen to the technical details, there’s no way something like that would work (on Tor, at least).

Afterward, someone else wrote a “sequel” to the original, entitled 1) The shadow web is real. 2) Stay the hell away from it. I think it was supposed to be from the point-of-view of a cop, which lent some “credence” to it.

Somewhere along the line, a person on Tor picked up on the popularity of the stories, and decided to create some scam sites that claimed to offer “access” to the Shadow Web, and this is where I first got the idea that it might be real – but boy, was I wrong. This was what the original site looked like, I believe:

shadowweb_ss

I was a n00b to Tor back then, and couldn’t tell the difference between scams and non-scams. We’ve all been there.

So I contacted the “admin” of the Shadow Web, and we had a back-and-forth conversation about it – at the time, his email address was shadow-web@sigaint.org. (SIGAINT no longer exists, unfortunately.) It later came to my attention that this had all the features of other scams: pay now, watch later; no information; the details are vague.

The person I talked to claimed that you had to download a “special browser” just for “Shadow Web sites.” I don’t think any such browser exists, to be honest. There are numerous forks of Firefox (the Tor Browser being one of them), and all of them can be used with the clearnet – but sometimes with a proxy of sorts (like Freenet’s FProxy), you can connect to other networks. It would be amusing if the Shadow Web used one called “SProxy.” Someone should make that as a joke.

Anyhow, the admin told me that I had to pay an extravagant amount of bitcoin to gain access to the so-called Shadow Web, which I didn’t have. Ironically, I probably have enough now, but I know better than to pay it. Since then, there have been numerous other “shadow web” sites popping up:

shadow_web I think it’s the same guy creating all of them, and if I were you, I wouldn’t pay him a cent; it’s all bullshit. As a matter of fact, someone later commented on one of these posts and said that he knew the admin of these sites, and that he was “…a big troll.” Another commenter told me that he had been scammed out of a large amount of bitcoin on another one of the “red room” sites. For me, that confirmed what I had been thinking all along – that these sites were fake. I don’t know if they’ll give you malware or anything like that, but hopefully not.

Nonetheless, if you want to find sick things on the dark web, I don’t think you have to look very far. It’s just a matter of opinion what you consider “sick.”

Well, that’s the last I’d heard about the Shadow Web, but I’m willing to bet that any new sites going by that name are scams too. If you want my advice, don’t pay them any money – you’ll be out several bitcoins, at the very least.

Exposing A Scam: V3RDAD

For the record: I don’t like scammers (who does?), but I have encountered many of them, especially on Tor and other darknets. I suppose that’s all par for the course.

My most recent scam encounter has been with a fellow who calls himself (or herself?) V3RDAD.

He has a profile on ask.fm, which is a question and answer site along the lines of Quora or Yahoo! Answers. On this profile, he links to a Tor hidden service at http://dafynex6ytjnpeo4.onion/ Fine – there’s nothing wrong with that, except that I find all of his answers to be sketchy in nature.

Here’s one example:

ask_fm_scam

In the screenshot above, someone asks “Why does taur node open a listening connection? My antivirus blocked it.”

His answer:

“Taur Node creates a listener to handle up-to-date information coming from the network itself. The only purpose of it is to display pop-up information about the network, like network status, node availability, login information, etc. Just disable your antivirus software before starting the node. If you are too paranoid about it, you can simply just kill it’s process after you are done / disconnected from the network and re-enable your antivirus again. Killing the process of the node will disable any incoming activity and kill the listener.. you will basically not be able to receive any information about the network anymore.”

OK – does that sound suspicious to anyone? He’s asking some random person to disable their antivirus program after the program blocked this so-called “taur” software. I realize that on occasion, antivirus programs will block software that isn’t malicious, but why should I trust you, V3RDAD?

The Tor hidden service that he links to is entitled “whoami,” and looks like this:

dafy_node_scam

The links with the purple text have various downloads, all of which (as I said before) look very sketchy. The operator of this site claims that you need the downloads to connect to a so-called “taur node” (in other words, nodes on his “private network”).

Again, this sounds like a scam to me. If you really want to try it (which I don’t recommend), use a virtual machine (e.g. Qubes or Tails) so that the file can’t potentially harm your computer.

If you look at some of his other answers, they also sound like bullshit:

Q. What is vbs0rkxc.dafy?

A. The answer to Level 7.

Um…OK, if you say so. If you’ve read any of my earlier posts (or RationalWiki, for that matter), you should know that there are no “deep web levels,” as intriguing as that might sound.

It’s possible that the same person may also have written this blog post, although I’m not sure: Darkfantasy Network. Why do I say this? It has a list of so-called “dafy links” (where have I heard that before?)

dafy_links

In addition, it has a list of “Nept Links,” “Life Links,” “Taur Links,” and “Elen Links,” accompanied by mysterious descriptions. Here are a few examples:

http://girogahary5arofeideidegivoly.nept/ – Dark Babylon City (hidden marketplace)

G94dkElc.dafy – Conspiration Forum

http://ekkhgiskagfrawahulatriaottyx.nept/ – How the Universe was Created

You get the idea. And to try to lend credence to his links, he throws in a few real ones, including ChaosVPN and Freenet. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen something like this. Remember The Shadow Web? (*cough cough*)

Anyhow, I don’t suggest downloading anything from these sites, as it may potentially harm your computer. And of course, don’t give this person any money. Want some real darknet links, though? Here:

http://rrbm3jiflz3euxhp.onion/wordpress/

http://zfq7tgxed245jpdz.onion/ – The Darknet Project 0ffSecurity

bdtq4shqkbb3yy7b.onion – DARKWEB LEGION (yes, that’s how they wrote it)

ZeroNet Links:

http://127.0.0.1:43110/kaffiene.bit/

127.0.0.1:43110/138R53t3ZW7KDfSfxVpWUsMXgwUnsDNXLP/

http://127.0.0.1:43110/zerochatrooms.bit/

Freenet Links:

http://localhost:8888/freenet:USK@tiYrPDh~fDeH5V7NZjpp~QuubaHwgks88iwlRXXLLWA,yboLMwX1dChz8fWKjmbdtl38HR5uiCOdIUT86ohUyRg,AQACAAE/nerdageddon/247/ – Nerdageddon

http://localhost:8888/USK@XJZAi25dd5y7lrxE3cHMmM-xZ-c-hlPpKLYeLC0YG5I,8XTbR1bd9RBXlX6j-OZNednsJ8Cl6EAeBBebC3jtMFU,AQACAAE/index/711/ – Enzo’s Index

http://localhost:8888/freenet:USK@2u8eFaTHrvLzeHeq9vXFV8wzivgTG1ExY6v1cM8Zblo,eDLofzubExKX5A8TK0SqdQb3jrI0fDlgw-iaxXUEHVQ,AQACAAE/ttipdocs/5/ – Greenpeace TTIP Leaks

http://localhost:8888/USK@1ORdIvjL2H1bZblJcP8hu2LjjKtVB-rVzp8mLty~5N4,8hL85otZBbq0geDsSKkBK4sKESL2SrNVecFZz9NxGVQ,AQACAAE/bluishcoder/21/ – Bluish Coder

I also recently found a site that maps the Hyperboria Network, which uses the cjdns protocol: fc00 – these I really haven’t checked out yet, so maybe you can fill me in!

I guarantee that these are all real links (although I can’t guarantee that the information on them is accurate). Check those out, and let me know if you find anything of interest. If you don’t, keep searching!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The “Shadow Web” Cited Me? Awesome!

Given that I’ve written a few past posts about the so-called “Shadow Web,” I was flattered when I came across a more recent site by that name, and they had quoted something I had written a while back when, ironically, I was less familiar with the dark web.

“The reason it’s so difficult to access the shadow web is that first, you would need a browser (such as Tor) that provides easier access to hidden sites (like .onion URLs). Then, you would most likely be given the specific URL by someone in the know, or use a search engine geared toward searching the deep web.”

I find this funny for several reasons: the statements I made at the time were not entirely accurate. Tor doesn’t really “provide easier access to hidden sites,” although at one time it was the only way you could access .onion URLs. Since there are now Tor2web proxies (like onion.to and onion.link), through which you can access Tor hidden services from the clearnet, you don’t necessarily have to have the Tor browser to reach them.

However, using the proxies is not a safe way to do so, because there’s a far greater chance that someone could spy on your web traffic in the process. They even warn you about this on some of the sites:

onionto

Also, at the time that I wrote the original post, I didn’t distinguish between “deep web” and “dark web” (which are still confusing terms for most people). I meant to say dark web, honest!!

tor2web

Regardless of my errors, thanks for citing me as a source, Mr. Shadow Web! The “new” Shadow Web site is located at http://shadowznwuibgi7w.onion, and looks somewhat similar to the previous ones. I attempted to take a screenshot of it, but that function was disabled (of course). In essence, it’s a black background with this picture at the top:

access the shadow web

The landing page of the so-called “Shadow Web” site

The only difference between my picture and theirs is that theirs says “Access The Shadow Web” at the top. This time around, they feature an FAQ of sorts, to try to “debunk” some of the “myths” about the Shadow Web…

And I quote…

# 1 Shadow Web is a myth or true

ANSWER: IT IS TRUE

# 2 Is Shadow Web somewhere deep hidden under something unbelievable?

ANSWER: NO. THAT WAS A MISSUNDERSTANDING [sic]. ITS [sic] NOT DEEP UNDER, OR SOME MAGIC PROTECTED. IS JUST A SPECIAL INTERNET, SEPERATE [sic], UNACCESSIBLE AND FOR THIS INVISIBLE TO GUYS THAT DO NOT HAVE THE ACCESS-KEYS TO ENCRYPT THE URL AND INFORMATIONS. IN OUR PACKET WE GIVE YOU 1000+ DIFFERENT KEYS. ON SOME SHADOW WEB SITES YOU CAN GET MORE FORE FREE. THERE ARE SOME SPECIAL ONES YOU HAVE TO PAY. THIS DEPEND ON WHAT YOU WANT TO GET. MOST ARE FREE.

# 3 Do I need a Super Computer for Access

ANSWER: NO. THAT IS JUST A STORY FOR STOP [sic] KIDS AND IDIOTS TO TRY.

Aw, man! And I just bought a new super computer! I won’t list all of the “FAQ” section here, but you get the basic idea. Anyhow, according to them, in order to access the site, you need to pay $295 in bitcoin, which seems a bit extravagant.

How to Create Your Own Shadow Web!

OpenVPN-Setup-on-Linux

In response to this, I thought I’d explain how you could actually create a “shadow web.” Just as there are a number of different ways to accomplish anonymity online, so are there many different networks that use these methods.

It might be something like the network dn42, which is a large VPN using various internet technologies, such as BGP, whois database, and DNS. Participants in dn42 connect to one another via network tunnels like OpenVPN and Tinc – however, dn42 is not technically part of the internet, because it doesn’t use the internet protocol (IP). Confused yet?

In other words, you could create a VPN-based hidden network, using a network tunnel. ChaosVPN, which I mentioned in some earlier posts, is also a VPN-based network. For full details on how to join dn42, click the link above.

Or it could be something like The Darknet Project – as they describe it, “A Darknet is a portion of routed, allocated IP space in which no active services or servers reside. These are “dark” because there is, seemingly, nothing within these networks.”

A third method might be to create a wireless mesh network, as I’d mentioned a couple of posts ago, but one that only you and a small number of people had access to – something like goTenna Mesh (as one example). Or, perhaps it would be something like a Freifunk network. Of course, you would need the right hardware for this, and you would have to find others to join, but that would just take a bit of time and effort.

So, in theory, a “shadow web” might be a private network that uses protocols other than the internet protocol, a darknet of some kind, or a wireless mesh network with a select few participants.

This, however, does not mean there actually is a Shadow Web – I just thought it was fun to consider how you could create one.

Will you be the first to do it? I dare you!

shadow-people

Red Rooms Don’t Exist (Here’s Why)

welcome-to-the-game-red-room

by Ciphas

In an effort to get more connected with you, my readers, I’ve decided to do a little how-to here. So I thought that, rather than just say “all red rooms are fake,” I’m going to go through how to spot a fake red room on the dark web.

What prompted this? Well, on my previous post, I received this comment:

redroomcomment

In case that’s hard to read, here it is in slightly larger text:

“there are many red rooms its [sic] just a matter of finding them although I wouldn’t suggest it, i posted a link below. http://222222222kjhiqzb.onion/”

I actually checked out that link, and it looked all too familiar. Why’s that? Well, Mutahar (a.k.a. SomeOrdinaryGamers) featured it on his “Deep Web Browsing” series: THE “REAL” RED ROOM!?!

darkredroom

I watch those videos purely for entertainment, but yes, Muta does visit some real sites on the Tor network. (And a few on the clearnet too.)

That does not mean, however, that any of these are real red rooms. In fact, he even says so in the same video!!

The experts say they’re all fake (and I’m inclined to believe them), but let’s just play devil’s advocate and say that there are a few real ones.

paniq-room

I have come across more than my fair share of sites on Tor (and elsewhere) that claim to be red rooms. Most of them have a few things in common:

  1. They claim to show video streams of live torture, murder, and other acts.
  2. They require you to pay – usually large amounts of bitcoin or other cryptocurrency.
  3. They often ask you to download “special software,” like an alternative browser.
  4. They sometimes will link you to an alternate site to do the transactions.
  5. They almost always use a Tor-based email service – a common one is SIGAINT.
  6. They sometimes have a graphic image on the main site, usually taken from a horror film, to symbolize the acts of violence that would take place in the red room.
  7. They sometimes have a login page, which you can supposedly access after you pay.
  8. They won’t show you any sort of sample content beforehand.

That’s all I can think of at the moment.

Anyhow, if any of you have really used Tor, you probably have some idea of how slow it is. If you don’t understand why it’s slow, then allow me to direct you to their FAQ: Why is Tor so slow?

Part of the answer is: “Before we answer, though, you should realize that Tor is never going to be blazing fast. Your traffic is bouncing through volunteers’ computers in various parts of the world, and some bottlenecks and network latency will always be present. You shouldn’t expect to see university-style bandwidth through Tor.”

OK…but the red room sites say that I have download a special browser to watch the show!

Why is this? Because, in all likelihood, if these sites are asking you to download and install special software, the software in question probably has some kind of malware embedded in it.

Do you know what a RAT (remote access trojan) is? Allow me to direct you to TechTarget: What is RAT (remote access trojan)? Essentially, it’s a type of malware program that includes a back door to allow remote access to the victim’s computer.

I don’t know this from personal experience, but it’s my best educated guess. And a lot of these sites started popping up on Tor after the creepypastas and YouTube videos about red rooms became more popular – are you really that surprised?

The Shadow Web – Re-Re-Visited!!

shadow_web

I’ve done several previous posts about the so-called Shadow Web, an urban legend which I believe became popular after the creepypasta “A Warning To Those Accessing The Shadow Web” passed around.

After this, a plethora of sites popped up on the Tor network (and other networks, like Freenet) claiming to offer access to the Shadow Web.

In a similar manner to the red room sites, the Shadow Web sites claim that this is a special portion of the dark web only accessible through “special software” that you need to pay to download.

Again, not to repeat myself too much – I’ve never gone so far as to actually download the software, but I suspect that it’s infected with some kind of malware – what, I couldn’t say. I’m glad that I haven’t fallen victim to this, to be honest.

I have actually corresponded with the admin in charge of some of these Shadow Web sites, and he basically told me what I said on the “fact list” above – it’s a live torture show, you need to pay, and you need download a special browser to view it.

And yes, I know that lots of the creepypastas on Reddit and YouTube talk about the “shadow web”; I assume that they’re all bullshit. I still find them entertaining anyway. But I also find The Texas Chainsaw Massacre entertaining!

If any of you want to take the risk of paying for this and viewing it, go right ahead. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I imagine there are other sites like this, too – but I have my doubts that any of them are genuine.

Questions? Comments? Please! Let me know!

redroom

A Chat With the Directors of The Darkest Alley!

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Those who know me in person probably also know that I’m a big film buff. In fact, I happen to be a fan of dark and disturbing films like The Bunny GameIrreversible, and Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, so it doesn’t seem like that much of a surprise that I would be intrigued by the dark web.

I had been tweeting one of my blog posts related to red rooms (i.e. alleged dark web sites in which someone is tortured to death on a live stream), and a guy by the name of Rohit Kumar (@Raw_Heat420) tweeted back, “I see you are interested in red rooms hahaha.”

34550d

Do you like the red room?

This sparked a brief conversation between us, and in the process, I learned that Kumar and his cousin, Mayank Kaushal, are making a film about the dark web (including red rooms) called The Darkest Alley.

Apparently, the catalyst for making this film was a story (or some would say creepypasta) told by YouTuber Corpse Husband, entitled Horrifying Deep Web Stories: “Why I Quit Hacking”.  I, too, had heard this story, and regardless of whether it’s true or not, I found it to be one of the scariest and most convincing dark web stories on YouTube.  (Actually, in his words, it is true – who am I to say otherwise?) 

It’s told from the point-of-view of a former hacker who ghost hacks into a heavily protected dark web site, and discovers some things that he ends up truly regretting.

whyiquithacking

Fast forward: I decided to interview Kumar and Kaushal about their film, as well as their experiences on the dark web. The interview took place over Twitter.  Oddly enough, it turned out we had had many common experiences in the process of exploring the dark web.

Secrets of the Dark: How long have you been into filmmaking? (either of you) In other words, is this a recent thing or have you been doing it for quite some time?

Mayank Kaushal: We’ve always been into making and editing movies for fun for years on YouTube. After a while we began perfecting our craft and slowly we got requests from clients for custom work. Just recently we came to the the conclusion that it was time to see our full potential, exactly what we could accomplish with our skills from over the years.

SotD: I saw on your fundraiser page that you were inspired to make this film by the short story that Corpse Husband told (“Why I Quit Being A Hacker”). Do you think that story is true? Some people say it’s just a creepypasta, is why I ask.

MK: We believe some parts of the story might have been true, but we do think stuff like this happens on the deep web when the user isn’t careful.  This story gave us the idea that there is something about the unknown that is very creepy.  Red rooms being one of those mysterious aspects.  Also, I thought this particular story was magnificently detailed, to the point that I was feeling the same thoughts that the [protagonist] was going through.  That alone got me excited to think what a movie on this would be like.

SotD: I agree!  It was one of the best stories about that subject matter.  In that same vein, are you willing to give a brief summary of what your film is about (without spoiling it, of course)?

paniq-room

Rohit Kumar: Keep in mind that this movie was inspired by one 20 minute scene which we have adapted into a feature film.  The film [is set] in Houston, Texas, where a college-typical student is struggling to pay his way through college.  He turns to drugs and eventually finds himself on the deep web selling his product.  Everything looks great until he ends up on the wrong site and suddenly his life gets turned upside down.

SotD: Oh, OK – so the film story really is directly influenced by the Corpse Husband story then!  I would still like to see it if I have the chance.

RK: That is correct; we feel like if we leave anything out we aren’t doing the story any justice.

SotD: Gotcha, that makes sense.  Have you already cast all of the actors yet for the film?

MK: We have casted [sic] all of the main actors; we just need to confirm our extras.

SotD: I see, so you’re getting there!  I’ve also been curious about the research you did for the film.  Did you actually visit the deep web/dark web a lot, and did you come across any real red rooms?

ALICIAredroom

Note: This is not a real red room!

RK: Yes, since this [is] our very first dab at this we are finding out that there is a whole lot of work involved behind the scenes [for] a film of this caliber.

SotD: What kinds of things have you seen on Tor that you’d be willing to talk about?  Or on other parts of the dark web, that is.  (If you’re not comfortable sharing it, then don’t, of course!)

MK: Hold on, this is a long one haha!

SoTD: OK, no problem!! Just trying to clarify.

RK: In order to prepare thoroughly for [the] film and each character we did extensive research in real world scenarios.  I spent around 6-8 months surfing the deep web using Tor until my personal security was compromised due to carelessness.  We studied many documentaries on the production and distribution of narcotics and witnessed real transactions in order to play each part as genuine as possible.

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MK: As for Tor, we were using Skype to screen share some of our sessions, in retrospect a terrible idea, and came across a plethora of underage pornography, many bitcoin scam sites and 2 red room sites.  The red room sites turned out to be fake, but did a good job of showing how one would actually work.  In actuality a red room site [would] not be able to stream in HD the type of content that has been rumored on the clearnet.  It would also be very difficult to find such a website as it would more [than] likely be password protected. We even tried multiple chat rooms for many hours trying to find more information on the subject, but all we found were other curious minds and hackers/trolls.  All in all, the deep web is a great resource; [the] dark side of it is where it has its bad points.  The worst thing we saw were pictures of dismemberment, but we’ve already seen too much so it didn’t really faze us.

SoTD: Hahaha!  I get it – I’ve experienced almost all of the same things.  What experience do you have with special effects that would help you create some of the screen violence?

RK: I am trained with 3D modeling, and visual effects, and…Mayank is a graphics designer.  With these qualities teamed up with practical effects and great cinematography, we will bring this story to life on the big screen.

SoTD: Sounds very exciting!  And you’ve mentioned The Silk Road on Twitter and Instagram…did you visit any real darknet markets in the process?  (Like Alphabay, Silk Road 3, Agora [since closed])?

AlphaBay-Home-e1440639625779

AlphaBay Market

 

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Login page for Silk Road 3.0

MK: We used Grams to search particular products and we got return results from the Silk Road, Agora and Pandora.  We also used various directories to lookup [sic] sites, and some of those sites were offering drugs, but those didn’t look as trustworthy as the marketplaces aforementioned.

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The Grams darknet market search engine

SoTD: Trust me, I know what you mean.  Well, how soon do you think we’ll be able to actually see the movie?  You’ve got me anticipating it now!  I didn’t see an official release date…

RK: This…sounds absolutely crazy to me, trying to wrap my mind around [the] fact that this entire [thing] will be shot in under 12 days.  After the shoot, which is in late July, we are hoping to have it edited by February 2017 and will begin early screening in March.  The official release was being debated as a date in May or October 31st.  We ultimately came to the conclusion that the end of May 2017 will be better suited.

SoTD: That’s great to hear!  I really look forward to it.  Those were all the questions I had written for the moment…I’ll make a donation if I get a chance, too.

RK: Those were some great questions man, once again thanks for the opportunity!  Feel free to ask any questions here, as Mayank and I will be monitoring this account in order to build our following :).  Peace and love from the team at #TheDarkestAlley!

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Well, my fellow dark web enthusiasts, I hope you enjoyed the interview.  If the film sounds like something you’d want to see, and you want to help Rohit and Mayank raise some of the remaining funds they need, go to Indiegogo: The Darkest Alley, and make a donation!

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At the time of this writing, they’ve raised $311 of their $1450 goal.  (You get some swag in return for donating, by the way!)

As for me, I hope to see the film soon – best of luck in getting it out there, guys.