Incognito darknet marketplace blackmails its own users

Renowned cybersecurity journalist Brian Krebs noticed that the administration of the darknet marketplace Incognito is attempting to extort money from its users. Administrator, known as Pharoah, demands payments ranging from $100 to $20,000 from sellers and buyers, threatening to expose their information otherwise.

The extortion and blackmail attempts began shortly after the Incognito administrators seemingly committed an exit scam, attempting to disappear with the money, leaving users unable to withdraw their funds from the platform.

According to Krebs, during this time, the main page of Incognito was updated several times, followed by the appearance of the following message:

“We have one last unpleasant surprise for you. Over the years, we have accumulated a list of personal messages, transaction information, and order details. You will be surprised how many people relied on our ‘auto-encryption’ feature. And, by the way, your messages and transaction IDs were never actually deleted after the ‘expiration date’… SURPRISE-SURPRISE!!!”

Incognito darknet marketplace blackmails its own users

Incognito administrators have announced their intention to publish the entire dump of 557,000 orders and 862,000 cryptocurrency transaction IDs at the end of May this year. “Whether there will be information about you and your clients in this list depends solely on you. And yes, this is extortion!!!” they write.

The extortion message is accompanied by a page listing “Payment Statuses,” which lists marketplace sellers with their aliases and states that “here you can see which sellers care about their clients.” People’s nicknames highlighted in green on the list are presumably users who have already agreed to pay.

Incognito darknet marketplace blackmails its own users

The ransom amount depends on the seller’s level. For instance, first-level sellers can delete their information by paying just $100. However, higher-level sellers, like level 5, are asked to pay up to $20,000.

Since Incognito mainly specialized in drug trading, many users are now concerned that they may be seen as drug dealers. Krebs notes that when creating a new account on Incognito, the user received a gift of an advertisement for the sale of 5 grams of heroin for $450.

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