Performing a search on the Internet today is like dragging a net over the water. While much may make it through the net, a significant deal of detail remains buried and, so, unrecognized. Like a forgotten back alley, the Dark Web seems ideal for illegal investing activity. We’ve decided to investigate Dark Web insider trading today.
Tor is the only browser capable of accessing the Dark Web. The uniqueness of a Tor (The Onion Router) browser lies in the fact that it employs many layers of protection, analogous to the layers of an onion, to conceal the user’s IP address. It is quite easier to track individual users with their IP addresses.
By using the anonymous Tor browser, thousands were able to transact illegal business on underground marketplaces like “The Silk Road”. Which has been called “the e-bay for narcotics, firearms, and hit men.” To what end is insider trading not acceptable? What additional illegal businesses can flourish on the Dark Web now that anonymity is guaranteed?
In the thousands of dark websites, no one can be identified by what they publish. Each individual has a unique alias. With this setup, users can confidently and easily disseminate sensitive data. Insider information can be traded for Bitcoin or information on other public companies using the Tor browser, which provides users with access to a marketplace for such transactions. It’s possible for individuals to engage in illicit commerce using this information and to profit without leaving any traces.
Insider Trading Forums
RedOwl, a security firm, released a study in 2017. Claiming to have tracked the Dark Web activity of company insiders Employees. Those who betray their employers by selling trade secrets are nothing new. The proliferation of white-collar crime-centric websites, however, has made the activity more accessible than ever. Encouraging more insiders to engage in the practice of selling sensitive information.”
The story alludes to the KickAss market, an abandoned hacker site that once featured an insider trading section. Bitcoins were the entry fee. Soon after, the website was taken down, and our research into the community revealed that the KickAss marketplace had been nothing but a scam.
Another noteworthy contender is the Dread forum – a Reddit-like dark website where people can discuss numerous topics anonymously. Solicitations and offers for insider trading can occasionally be found there, but the only real danger of acting on them is having a conversation with a law enforcement officer.
The Stock Insiders
According to The Stock Insiders, “The world’s largest and most established underground trading community. The group of people who meet to discuss confidential information about publicly traded corporations “. The first stories on the website were published in RedOwl’s 2017 report. That’s why it stands out as a prime example of insider trading on the dark web. We can safely say that The Stock Insiders is the only legitimate insider trading website. We were unable to locate any other instances of insider trading on the dark web.
We wanted to find out how insider trading on the dark web still worked in 2022. We joined and contacted the administrator of The Stock Insiders forum to check how it works (EDIT: We succeeded and had an exclusive interview with the administrator of The Stock Insiders).
The Dark Web Marketplaces
Two notorious cases involve people who attempted to sell confidential information on Dark Web marketplaces. But they were foiled by careless security measures.
Apostolos Trovias sold his goods on various defunct dark web markets, such as AlphaBay, Dream Market, Nightmare Market, and ASAP Market. The SEC alleges that Trovias used the fact that all of his transactions were conducted in bitcoin to conceal an “insider trading scam.”
Although Trovias claimed that the stock tips he sold to his clients were based on nonpublic information obtained from a “third-party tipper,” it is still unclear whether or not this information was actually legitimate.
Ex-SpaceX engineer James Roland Jones faced legal action from the SEC and the U.S. Department of Justice after he was accused of selling confidential company information on the anonymous dark web. Mr. Jones pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud by selling substantial nonpublic information on March 18, 2021.
According to the SEC’s lawsuit, Mr. Jones fraudulently claimed to have insider knowledge about several publicly traded firms and then sold this knowledge on several underground markets.
It appears that the SEC has never dealt with a situation similar to the Jones case. Where someone claimed to be selling fake insider knowledge on the Dark Web. If something is fraudulent, it doesn’t matter if it’s done in the open or in the shadows, and the Dark Web is definitely the latter.
Sec’s Efforts To Combat Insider Trading On The Dark Web
Let’s go deeper into the SEC’s efforts to combat insider trading on the Dark Web and the tactics traders can use to profit from them. Simple lapses in operational security are likely how law enforcement officials learned about both situations.
- The potential for the other party to be an undercover agent was overlooked when they decided to sell the tips on the Dark Web.
- They paid for the intel with bitcoin, despite the fact that bitcoin is not (by any stretch of the imagination) an anonymous currency.
- While accessing the Dark Web may be legal (in most countries), doing so will leave a digital footprint that can be traced back to the user’s Internet service provider (ISP). Invisibility is simple with a reliable VPN. Thus, the ISP cannot access the contents of the user’s Internet traffic, protecting the user from potential legal repercussions.
It is not dishonest to conduct one’s business on the Dark Web so long as the user’s identity remains concealed. The criminals on the Dark Web are just as susceptible to having their identities revealed as they would be in any other situation where they would be acting similarly.
Disclaimer: This article and the information contained herein are not intended to be a source of legal advice. We don’t promote any illegal activities such as insider trading or any other crime.