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Darknet Market Admin Dissapears: AlphaBay Vendors Locked Out

DeSnake Dissapears as AlphaBay Vendors Get Locked Out.
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AlphaBay is one of the largest and most popular darknet markets in 2023. However, over the last few days, we’ve seen multiple reports of vendors and users who aren’t able to access their accounts. At this stage, it seems that AlphaGuard has shut down, locking all vendors out. 

DeSnake Is Out Of Office Right Now

Since Alphabays original website opened in 2014, the head admin u/DeSnake has always been active on forums and quick to respond to any issues regarding the website. He is seen as the most active and responsive darknet market admin out there. The last time u/DeSnake went quiet for more than a week days was when AlphaBay was seized back in July 2017.

It took him nearly four years to pop up in the darknet community again, and he somehow managed to rebuild the AlphaBay empire again. Naturally, his silence over the last few days has caused havoc in the AlphaBay community. But this isn’t the first time since his return that AlphaGuard kicked in. About four months ago, many experienced the same thing. So what’s happening?

AlphaGuard Kicks In

Users who do not use 2FA can still access the Darknet Market. However, any customer who uses 2FA, and all AlphaBay Vendors (all vendors are required to use 2FA) can not log into the website at this moment. This could cause major issues for vendors who can’t fulfill any orders, and can not access the funds locked up in their account wallets. 

When users try login, they’re given the following error

  • ERROR: data signing failed

It’s been five days since the first users started complaining about the issue on Reddit. The post quickly picked up over 80 comments. Many who are concerned about the situation

Having the same thing, really hoping it gets fixed because I have an escrow to extend so I don’t get scammed


The main belief is that DeSnake has not refilled his Canary, but there’s some evidence to say otherwise. 

One helpful AlphaBay vendor tried to mitigate the frustration by explaining the issue. 

At this point it seems as if the Canary is not up-to-date. Whatever that means. DeSnake has to login supposedly to renew/correct this. AFAIK, No one is able to fully use the site right now until the admin logs in. This seems to happen every 3-4 months. There’s even another reddit thread still up from a few months ago when this last happened.

I guess there’s a small minority of people who can still access it with no problems when using either i2p domain or the private mirror link that’s provided (need to spend a certain amount of $ to be sent a private mirror link I believe); and it seems that having 2-fa enabled will make it more difficult to be able to access the site during this time, when this “Expired Canary Event” happens – & there’s no hope of accessing the site if you’re only using the main/public .onion domain.

Trust me, I’m frustrated & on a time crunch right now myself.


Unfortunately, we can confirm that the canary is up to date; this is not the issue at hand, as thought before. According to AlphaBay staff, there is a security protocol issue where they don’t have his clearance level to sign off on it.

“we can only hope he decided to go to Disney world/camping trip for the week & turned his phone off” – AlphaBay Staff members.

What is AlphaGuard?

A system that ensures customers would still be able to withdraw their funds, and the authorities seize can’t access any website data. The system has been active for nearly two years. This claim seems counterintuitive, as vendors can not access accounts to withdraw their funds due to AlphaGuard.

Is AlphaBay Exit Scamming?

It’s hard to gauge at this point, but with DeSnake going silent for more than a week. As the AlphaBay vendor explained, this same issue happened a few months ago. 

It seems DeSnake needs to return to the top of his game or needs to rework the AlphaGuard system. The good news is that not all withdrawals have been deactivated. All non-2FA accounts can still log in, deposit, make orders, and withdraw funds (as of Feb 10th.)

Reddit User Shares His Concerns Over Darknet Market Alphabay
Reddit User Shares His Concerns Over Darknet Market Alphabay

Many are worried about the situation, and given AlphaBay’s sketchy past, there is a serious worry that AlphaBay could be in the process of an Exit Scam. So it’s hard to say what is going on here. We are talking about the Darknet here, and every market is an opportunity for an exit scam. For now, we recommend sticking to other darknet markets. We will provide an update if AlphaBay returns to life. 

8 thoughts on “Darknet Market Admin Dissapears: AlphaBay Vendors Locked Out

    Hash: SHA512

    I am peke, staff at AB. I am confident that it’s not LE as withdraws are still working.
    Logically, if LE took the market, they would want to leave it up and gather information- not lock everyone out.
    I expect TheCypriot to take over or DeSnake to come back soon.


  2. Just wondering if someone use this market because they have only monero payment available.

  3. “I am in control of my PGP key. 2023-01-25
    I will update this canary within 14 days.”

    so its expired.

    Desnake Mia since febuary 3rd

  4. It appears DeSnake may have been living in Turkey and may have been affected by the recent events there

    1. Yes,it is a clear case of the Kansas City Shuffle Scam. Everyone looks one way, for DeSnake, in Turkey when he is bleeding the market wallets dry and selling the monero.

  5. Unlikely, this uncertainty from Desnake dates back to early November. It started off with him not answering tickets to delaying those tickets and then to stop any form of communication on Forums. This outbreak of AlphaBay could only be a coincidence to the event in Turkey.

  6. does anyone know how to look up a certain vendor or other sites that actually work? Seems so many are down

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