Sophisticated New Store on the Dark-web
Online black markets are nothing new, but a new one, TheRealDeal, is taking illegal transactions to a new level of sophistication and professionalism.
TheRealDeal uses Tor, which enables anonymous web browsing, and transactions are paid in bitcoins, which also hides the identity of buyers and sellers. While plenty of other online black markets sell hacking tools and stolen credit cards, TheRealDeal focuses on zero-day exploits, which are vulnerabilities in software for which no patch exists.
The list of products and services available right now is not extensive, but one offering claims to be a way to hack any Apple iCloud account. It sells for 17,000 bitcoins, which, at the time of this writing, is $3,823,640 USD. There are also exploits for Android's native browser, Webview, as well as a WordPress multisite hack and an Internet Explorer attack that works on every version of Windows from XP to 7. These go for about 8,000 bitcoins, about $1.8 million USD.
Would someone actually pay millions of dollars for these exploits? What's to protect the buyer from getting ripped off? (Not that we'd feel sorry for them, considering what they would do with what they're trying to buy.) That is where TheRealDeal's sophistication comes in.
TheRealDeal does a lot to try to make its customers feel at ease. First off, it doesn't require its visitors to store their bitcoins in a proprietary wallet, so they can't just sit back and let people fill up the wallets then abscond with the stolen bitcoins. Secondly, for a transaction to be completed, two out of three of the buyer, the seller and TheRealDeal must approve a transaction, giving them a good bit of power is dealing with any disputes.
In a way, black market deals on the internet just got a bit more legit.