Red Rooms Don’t Exist (Here’s Why)

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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:

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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!?!

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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.

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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!!

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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!

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Red Room Response!

welcometothegame

by Ciphas

So, I received an interesting comment on one of my older posts today, specifically the one Red Rooms Finally Debunked Forever? The comment read as follows:

Are you crazy? Have you not even heard of the likes of people such as Peter Scully? People who have been put in jail for doing stuff EXACTLY like this?? What confuses you about these?? Just cuz it doesn’t fit under the perfect, stupid made-up “red room” criteria that a bunch of basement-dwelling, reddit and 4chan teen faggots created?? This stuff is very real.

Let me clarify something: in spite of the title of the post using the word “debunked,” I wasn’t necessarily saying that nothing like that exists. I was merely speculating about the possibility that it might or might not exist (which I’ve done a lot on this blog).

I am well aware of the case of Peter Scully and his torture/CP videos. I’m also aware of the case of Matthew David Graham (a.k.a. “Lux”), who ran the hurtcore sites “PedoEmpire,” “Hurt 2 The Core,” and “Love 2 the Core.” For more information about that case, read Deepdotweb: PedoEmpire’s “Lux”: Matthew David Graham Jailed for 15 Years.

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Trust me – I know that there is sick shit on the dark web, and have even seen a few things that made me want to throw up or go hide underground. What I was trying to debunk was the idea of live murder in which the audience could participate.

As I’ve said in other posts, the Tor network, Freenet, and some other darknets tend to load pages so slowly that it would be near-impossible to live stream video over them.

If the definition of a red room is: “A web site on the dark web that shows the live torture and/or murder of a victim, and is one in which audience members can pay to participate,” then these networks would barely be able to support that because of latency.

On the other hand, one of the things which does exist on certain sites is that dedicated members have special access to hidden sections of the site. In the case of Mr. Graham, some of his sites allowed members with special privileges to direct and film their own CP videos, which they then would upload on the sites.

The notorious Peter Scully was one such member, and he eventually started his own production company called No Limits Fun, which would produce such videos. Apparently, he also offered pay-per-view streams of these videos. (In case you haven’t heard, people are now calling for the death penalty in his case; he hasn’t officially been sentenced yet.)

As horrific as this all may be, I don’t think the audience members could participate in the videos; they were previously recorded.

That being said, there might be something of this nature that still exists, but if there is, I haven’t found it.

I’m not denying that there are sick things or sick people on the internet, but I was merely trying to look at it from a rational point of view.

I have read stories from a few people who say that they’ve seen such things, but I don’t have enough evidence to confirm or deny these stories. One of the stories you can find here: My visits to the darkest sites on the deep web. (Make of that what you will; I don’t know if it’s true or not.)

I also talked to a writer on Quora who wrote about such an experience, but again, I can’t verify whether it’s true or not – it just seemed very genuine, so judge for yourself: What is the worst thing you’ve seen on the deep web? (And yes, I know they said “deep web” and not “dark web.” They meant “dark web.” Cut them a little slack.)

Finally – if you are someone who has personal experience viewing a red room, then I stand corrected. I was only speaking from my experience, and what I had read and learned about how most darknets work.

If you have seen this and have the guts to comment on it, feel free.

Interview: Eileen Ormsby, Author of Silk Road & All Things VICE

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Photo credit: Philip Gao Photography

I must say, it’s always interesting (and enlightening) to meet people who actually know their stuff when it comes to the dark web. Not long ago, on Twitter, I had that opportunity.

Eileen Ormsby, the Melbourne-based author of Silk Road and All Things VICE, was the perfect person to talk to regarding the ins and outs of the dark web in all its shady glory. According to her, her interest in the dark web emerged as a result of doing research for the Silk Road book, and eventually led to the creation of the blog.

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Given that I, too, am aiming to find the truth about the dark web amongst all the disinformation, it seems that Ormsby and I have something in common.  We even touched on my “favorite” dark web myth, red rooms!

Secrets of the Dark: What were your initial experiences on the dark web? Did you use Tor or some other service?

Eileen Ormsby: Yes, started with Tor and, specifically, Silk Road. It was some time in 2011 when a friend who was using it showed it to me. Instant fascination!

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The original Silk Road Marketplace

SoTD: You have interviewed a number of individuals who are involved in various aspects of the dark web. Which interviews did you find to be the most informative or interesting?

EO: Probably the most interesting for me was my interview with the administrators of Atlantis when they were trying to break Silk Road’s stranglehold on the darknet markets. They contacted me and asked for the interview – in fact, several times before I agreed to do it.  They’d been asking whether I would carry their paid advertising (no) and then were always sending me snippets of news to put on my blog. They sent me previews of their infamous Youtube commercial before it was put on. They were really marketing hard, desperate to get some sort of good publicity because Silk Road monopolised the market and their customers were a really strong, loyal fanbase. Nobody trusted Atlantis, even though they offered a smoother interface, lower commissions and better customer service.

Eventually I agreed I would interview them provided it would be real-time, candid and I would not make it positive if I didn’t feel it should be. I agreed to give them a hearing and be fair. It was all done over real-time encrypted chat (I think it was cryptocat, which is now defunct after being proven to be not that crypto after all!) [actually, it’s back up again! – ed.].

It lasted several hours and I did, indeed, feel it was candid. I think they were trying to make a better market, but it failed because of distrust among DNM users and loyalty to Silk Road.

Other than that, I interviewed or engaged with most of the staff of Silk Road from time to time, including [Dread Pirate Roberts] 1&2 and still remain in contact with several of them to this day – the difference being that I now know the real identities of many of them!  I was in constant email contact with Peter Nash, the Australian moderator, during his time in prison in the US and served as his communication to the outside. He gave me an awesome interview when he got out.

SoTD: What are some of the urban legends and dubious information that, in your experience, continue to pass around about the dark web? (e.g. hitmen services, red rooms, bizarre things for sale)

EO: The one that is most persistent is the myth of the “Red Room” – live streaming of torture/rape that ends in the murder of the victim and which people can pay to watch, or even bid to type in commands for the torturer to carry out (highest bid wins!).  People have this idea of Hostel with webcams exist[ing] all over the dark web, but you just need an invite to get into them.  It’s ridiculous.  They don’t exist.  They certainly wouldn’t exist on Tor.  But people are desperate to believe and they always come back with “You can’t prove they don’t exist, people are crazy, therefore they must exist.”  Picture my eyes rolling here.

I don’t think many people are taken in by the hitmen sites anymore, though the press loves playing up the fact that there are sites offering up hitman services. And of course, after the Ross Ulbricht trial, people kept pointing to his alleged attempts to have hits carried out as pointing to him trying to use ‘hitman sites,’ which wasn’t the case at all.

People are always asking where they can find markets for exotic animals. Obviously the illegal trade in exotic animals exists, and some communications and transactions may well take place over Tor, but there are no markets like the drug markets where you can go and look at a picture and then put a tiger or ocelot or something into your basket and buy it with bitcoin.

SoTD: Have you used networks other than Tor to explore the dark web? (e.g. I2P, Freenet, GNUnet, Netsukuku)  If so, how did the experience compare?

nerdageddon_updated

Nerdageddon on Freenet

EO: I used I2P and Freenet back in the beginning when I was researching the dark web in general, but they just weren’t as user-friendly as Tor and didn’t have the user base.

SoTD: What kind of research did you do when writing your book Silk Road (beyond just visiting the website itself)?  What did you discover in the process?

EO: In a lot of ways, I didn’t do any research at all.  I was in there from the early days, an active part of the community.  I spent part of pretty much every single day in there for two years.  I got involved in stuff.  I spoke to people, sometimes they came to me with their stories.  It was totally organic.

As well as the ground-level stuff, I got involved with a lot of the academics involved in researching cryptomarkets. Dr. Monica Barratt was one of the first – we’re still friends today – and she has probably done more rigorous academic analysis of the darknet markets than just about anyone in the world. Nicolas Cristin was another one who could be counted on for impartial analysis. There’s now a large circle of people involved in cryptomarket research and we have a very cool private forum where we share stuff.

SoTD: Have you found that you needed to increase your knowledge of internet security in order to research networks like Tor (i.e. to protect yourself and your identity)?

EO: Well, I’ve always hidden in plain sight.  Once I came out on Silk Road, I used the name OzFreelancer everywhere on the dark web. Everyone knew who I was. I always thought being up front about who I was to be the best way. Of course I have second logins for everything under different names, but they are usually for lurking rather than contributing.

The one thing I’ve found invaluable and that everyone – not just journos or DNM users but everyone – should take the time to learn is PGP. It is the one thing we can still count on.

SoTD: On your blog All Things VICE, you seem to get a lot of comments from the owner(s) of the Besa Mafia website; do you have any inside information as to what the truth is about the site? Is it a scam, honeypot, or what?

EO: LOL, yes I have inside information which I can’t go into detail about at the moment, but it will all come out at some point. Yes, they are a scam, but a very successful one – they have stooged a lot of people out of money.

besa_mafia

Besa Mafia’s website

SoTD: In spite of the negative attention that darknet markets have received, do you think that they have any positive aspects?

EO: The drug markets certainly do. They offer a safer alternative for people who are going to do drugs anyway. There is no possibility of any violence. The vast majority of the time a buyer knows exactly what they are getting, because of the feedback and rating system – if someone is selling 25i as acid or pipes as ecstasy, they will very quickly be called out for it and their ratings will plummet. That’s not the case in a nightclub, or even friends-of-friends, where you just blindly accept that pill, powder or tab is what the seller says it is.

SoTD: Have you explored some of the darknet markets that are still in business, such as Alphabay, Dream Market, Valhalla, Python Market, or Hansa Market? If yes, what was the experience like?

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Apple Market

EO: Yes, all of them. And they are boring. Which is exactly what a market should be to stay in business. One of Ross Ulbricht’s biggest mistakes was being too damn interesting and developing a cult following. It really got up the nose of the TLAs and they threw a ridiculously disproportionate number of resources into tracking him down and prosecuting him. There’s been several markets far larger than Silk Road ever was, but law enforcement just don’t care (or at least don’t care enough) because they are quietly running as a commercial enterprise and don’t have any political or disruptive motivations. They certainly don’t have enigmatic leaders posting rousing calls to arms with devout followers drinking the Koolaid. None of us journos are writing about them much, so they are out of sight, out of mind for politicians.

I don’t mean to say that LE doesn’t still work on arresting DNM dealers and, where possible, closing the markets. It’s just that the political pressure to close them down is off.

Ulbricht_Passport

Ross Ulbricht, a.k.a. Dread Pirate Roberts

SoTD: There are many, many so-called “horror stories” that pass around about the dark web; do you have any of your own to share from your research?

EO: Haha, none! I did get bombarded by the owner of Besa Mafia (hitman site) after my article about them, with emails telling me he knows where I live and was sending people around to “beat and rape” me, but I was never really worried that he would go through with it. My partner on the other hand gets nervous about what I do sometimes.

Of course, there’s been disturbing things. I attended the court hearings of people involved in hurtcore sites. I heard and saw things that I need to put in little compartments of my brain that I lock away and rarely visit. But never any of the creepypasta stuff people love to boast about on Reddit.

SoTD: Do you think that Tor is still a good tool for journalists to use, or as a privacy tool for people living under repressive regimes? (e.g. North Korea, ISIL)

EO: Absolutely. Every journo should have a working knowledge of Tor, VPNs and PGP. Especially PGP.

SoTD: Given that darknets and other privacy tools are still being developed, do you think that something else may eventually replace Tor?

EO: Yes. I’m not clever enough to know what though.

SoTD: Answer this question once and for all: is it called the “deep web” or the “dark web”? Or are they two entirely different things?

EO: They are two different things. You know when you hear that stuff about the deep web being 500x larger than the surface web? That’s true (well, I don’t know the exact figure – nobody does – but it is massively larger). But that is all boring stuff, being anything that’s not indexed by search engines. So anything behind a paywall, or password protected, backend stuff for companies, etc. The dark web is a very small part of the deep web. Teeny tiny. It is just a media-friendly way of saying Hidden Services.
I have to admit, I hate seeing people use “deep web” when they mean “dark web.”

 

Me too, Eileen!  Me too.  Well, I encourage you to check out All Things VICE.

And next time you hear some crazy rumors about the dark web…check there first.

 

 

The So-Called *Shadow Web* is Fake!

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Yeah…this is probably another one of those “I told you so” moments, but according to one of my favorite YouTubers, namely SomeOrdinaryGamers, all the sites that call themselves “The Shadow Web” are fake: BEST CUSTOM POKEMON!! – Deep Web Browsing 45  (It’s the first site he reviews in the video.)

He backs up his claim by saying that people had specifically messaged him and told him that they had been ripped off by this specific site!

I really am not that surprised by this, because in my earlier post Dark Web Sites That *Claim* To Be Red Rooms, I corresponded with whomever the webmaster of this site was, and he refused to even show samples of his content unless you paid all the bitcoin up front.  (Geez, even legal porn sites usually show you a few pictures first.)

And I’ve come across several other sites that have also claimed to be red rooms (which I think I mentioned in some of my first few posts). Now that I have a bit more experience on the dark web, I’m guessing that those sites were fake too.

On the Other Hand…

Nevertheless (and you may find this surprising), it’s still my opinion that something like red rooms may exist, although not quite in the way that people think.

Yes, you heard that right. Despite the fact that many people make claims to the contrary, I still think that they could exist. Now, I don’t have definitive proof of this, but let me explain.

Given that there are already incredibly sick things on the dark web (and I don’t just mean Tor!), it’s not a huge stretch of the imagination to think that there could be snuff films. One of the main arguments that red rooms couldn’t exist on the “dark web” is that its routing tends to be so slow that it would be impossible to live-stream something.

While murder is obviously illegal (in most countries, to my knowledge), people have made videos of torture and murder before, and there’s also a market for it.  It must be the human fascination with death or something.

In the video Do Red Rooms Exist? 3 Deep Web Clues That Hint At the Existence of Red Rooms, YouTuber Be.Busta gives compelling evidence for their existence.  One of the cases he refers to is that of Peter Scully, the man behind the notorious Daisy’s Destruction and other child abuse films (made by his production company, No Limits Fun).

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Scully apparently did show videos of torture online through the dark web (although not necessarily over Tor).  This is one of the major misconceptions about the dark web: it’s comprised of many networks – Tor is just the most popular.  If you had the knowledge to create your own darknet, you probably could figure out how to stream video over it.

Is anyone familiar with the HORNET (high-speed onion-routing network) project?  I’m still working on understanding it, but it aims to create the same privacy as Tor, but at a much faster speed.  If you could have both the anonymity and the ability to stream video, I think that you could at least revise that part of the argument (that the dark is web too slow to live-stream anything.)

It definitely wouldn’t be advertised so blatantly.  Once you knew how to access it, you would probably also have to pay a fortune in bitcoin.  An operation like that would not be offered cheaply, and if it’s something that people have a genuine desire to see, I’m sure it would be lucrative.

Interestingly, I came across this article today while researching: Random Interviews: The Red Room Human Trafficker.  Now, before you jump all over me and say that it’s fake, I never claimed that I could verify it – but, at the very least, it’s convincing.

To sum it up: the author, Daclaud Lee, interviews a man who claims to be a “red room human trafficker.”  He describes how he got involved with a group who make “red room” videos, and that he’s one of the people who actually kidnaps the victims. I think the interview is fictitious, but it makes a compelling argument.

Are Snuff Films the Stuff of Legend?

Well, OK – it depends on your definition of “snuff film,” but The American Heritage Dictionary defines it as “a movie in a purported genre of movies in which an actor is actually murdered or commits suicide.”  Some would include in this definition that they must be made for profit, which isn’t always the case, but videos of real murders and suicides exist.

It’s worth noting.  Consider the fact that some serial killers like David Parker Ray, Luka Magnotta, Tsutomu Miyazaki, and the Dnepropetrovsk maniacs, Viktor Sayenko and Igor Suprunyuk (i.e. the creators of the video “3 Guys 1 Hammer”) have photographed and filmed the torture and murder of their victims.  Also, consider the fact that “3 Guys 1 Hammer” and “1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick” have gone viral, and it doesn’t seem so strange to imagine that people would want to watch live murder.

Just to clarify: I’m not saying that I support such a thing, or that I’d want to watch it, but just the mere fact that so many people deny the existence (or even the possibility) of red rooms makes me consider the opposite.

And were I ever to come across a real one, well…I wouldn’t be able to unsee it.  I can say that with absolute certainty.

I think I’ll go watch cat videos now.

 

 

 

Dark Web Sites That *Claim* To Be Red Rooms

 

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UPDATE: Apparently, this post was listed as a reference on RationalWiki – Red Room, but then someone put one of those little “look of disapproval faces” ಠ_ಠ next to it.  Just to clarify – the email exchange did take place (you can see it in the screenshots below), but I never claimed that any of the red room sites were real.  People have specifically said that they’ve lost money to some of these sites; so please don’t give your bitcoins to any of them!!

Unlimited Access to the Shadow Web

When I first started discussing the dark web, I did a post about red rooms entitled Are Deep Web Red Rooms Real?; of course, I was referencing that persistent urban legend that comes up on YouTube and elsewhere frequently.

I still have yet to find a genuine red room, but this time around, I thought I’d discuss the sites that call themselves red rooms, but are highly suspicious in nature.  I’m not including the so-called “ISIS Red Room” in this, because that one is clearly fake (and has been well-publicized as such).

The other well-publicized fake red room was the A.L.I.C.I.A. red room, which, although fake, was rather creepy: ALICIA Deep Web que oculta esta pagina.  You know, this one, with the recorded sounds?

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As far as I know, the A.L.I.C.I.A. onion site is no longer running.  So, onto the ones that are still up:

Fake Red Room #1

I’ve come across one site that is labeled “Shadow Web Red Rooms,” combining two different myths into one.  The myths in question are the so-called “Shadow Web,” which is probably based on A warning to those thinking of accessing the shadow web; and the general myth of red rooms, which are (supposedly) sites in which someone is tortured and murdered on a live stream.

The site I’m thinking of looks like this (This one’s also been referenced on YouTube): shadowweb_redrooms

For the average person, this probably sounds disgusting, right?  On the other hand, if you’re one who’s actually seeking out red rooms, it sounds too good to be true.  (“All the vivid details!”  “…red room shows are free for one year!”)

Supposedly, with this site, you have to download some kind of customized browser in order to watch the live streams (because, let’s face it – it’s near-impossible to live stream over the Tor network).  Most of the sites that claim to be red rooms ask you to download some special software…this is getting more dubious by the minute.

While, in theory, this is possible, I’m highly suspicious of any site that asks me to download “customized browsers” or “customized software” that I’m unfamiliar with, particularly if that software is designed to watch something like live murder.  My feeling about this one is that it’s an FBI honeypot site, or simply a scam (and we all know Tor is rampant with scams – those are the most common).

I have come across several other sites like this, where you basically had to do the same thing – send them an email, they would reply with a bitcoin address, and then they would give you the info on how to access it.  (Hmm…that doesn’t sound fishy at all!)

If anyone knows for sure whether or not this site has any validity to it, let me know. Perhaps my friends over at Stop Tor Scam | List of Possible Tor Scams With Proofs or Illegally downloaded blog can investigate this one.  (Not that I’m suggesting anyone watch snuff films, but…)

Shadow Web, Revisited!

In one of my earliest posts, Is the Shadow Web a Reality? (Updated), I discussed another well-publicized site that called itself “The Shadow Web,” that basically looked like this:

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One of the strange things about this site is the link at the bottom, which leads to a YouTube video of the aforementioned creepypasta. Now, this is highly suspicious, because why would someone running a genuine red room featuring torture and murder care about a stupid creepypasta (particularly if it were inaccurate)?

The same person (or people) maintain a site that looks like this:

shadowweb_2

The bitcoin address is different, but the email address is the same, leading me to the conclusion that it’s the same scammer.

So here’s the update: there’s yet another site that calls itself The Shadow Web, which looks very similar, except that there’s a large yellow logo at the top:

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This site, like its previous incarnation, has an oddity in the description (not shown in the above picture): they claim that “You can access free 100s of other websites with special extension like .LLL / .rdos” if you pay the bitcoin fee and join.  Personally, I’ve only just heard of these top-level domains, but I highly doubt that they exist, because I’ve looked at lists of all the existing TLDs, and never seen these names before.

If they’re not completely made up (and this “shadow web” thing works at all), then they may have been created exclusively for this network.  Still, it strange that I want to try this out just to see if it actually works?

It is, oddly enough, run by the same person (or people) as the previous site, because the contact email address at the bottom is the same (which also raises some red flags).  So this time around, I decided to correspond with the supposed person in charge:

sigaint_shadowweb

 

Me: Hi there – I’m interested in accessing the shadow web, but I’d like to know, can you show a sample of the content first?  Thanks.

Shadow: Hi, sorry for the delay. We got many many mails with many questions. Unfortunately your mail goes in our spam folder. We just discover it. To your question. outside the shadow web. If I do, I will loose access to several important pages. You can trust us. It works 100%. Its [sic] a software package with a special browser and a manual how to install and use it. Its very easy to install. Works on every OS. It comes with several key-files, you need this for getting access to these sites. If you have further questions let me know.

“You can trust us.  It works 100%.”  Where have I heard that before?  Only in every spy movie and crime show I’ve ever watched.  So I wrote back again, asking for some clarification on the matter.

 

sigaint_shadowweb2

Me: Hi – thanks for your reply.  I do have some other questions.  How do I know that the software you require doesn’t have malware embedded in it?

It’s not that I don’t trust you, but I have been infected with malware via Tor sites before, and I want to be careful.  Thank you for getting back to me, though.

And remind me, how many bitcoin do you charge again?

sigaint_shadowweb3

Shadow: Hi, it would make no sense to have a malware [sic] in the browser. The browser works for SW only.  Its not possible to open other websites like CW or Tor. [ok…hmm…]

You can run it in a VM.  You can scan it with all apps.

Its not useful to spy anything.  If you have access to the SW there is not more you need…

Just 0.5 BTC is ok.  It covers my expenses for my servers and websites.

Thanks for PGP.

I will use it if I sent you the links if you buy.

For the safe and totally anonymous way I do the payment with the satochibox [sic].  You can click on the link.  It will open a box where you get the wallet.  Its [sic] an anonymous wallet from satochibox.  The bitcoin will then sent from them to my wallet.  After payment you get the download links for the software, SW Browser and keyfiles for access the network.

If you don’t want to use the satochibox you can sent the BTC to my wallet

After receiving I sent [sic] you the files from this mail.

Up to you how you like.

Don’t worry everything is clear and safe.  I’m not a scammer. 

“I’m not a scammer.”  Ah, now I feel so reassured!  By the way, there are many reports of people getting scammed through Satoshi box as well: SatoshiBox.com Reviews and Ratings.  As they say, “A fool and his bitcoins are soon parted.”

Well, this is where we left it off, but I’m highly reluctant to trust anyone who wants me to send them bitcoin with no reassurance that they’ll give back what’s promised.  You know what would be hilarious?

If “Shadow” saw this blog post and tried to defend his (her?) position!

What I would like to know is if anyone else who has more experience with Tor than I do has corresponded any further with people offering similar “services.”

As a matter of fact, YouTuber Seek the Truth featured a video called Deep Web Red Rooms 2, examining the legend and investigating some of the sites that claimed to be red rooms.  In it, he has a very similar conversation to the one I had with the “shadow web” guy.  It just strikes me as odd – it can’t be a coincidence, can it?  For all I know, it’s the exact same person using a different email address.  Check the video out; it’s quite interesting!

So, my fellow dark web users – do you know if all of these instances are definitely scams?  Have they tried to pull other such ripoffs?

Besides, if this is anything like the “red room” in Fifty Shades of Grey, I’ll pass, thanks.  (*shudder*)

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