General News

Incognito Says “April Fools”; Exit Includes Libre forum, Darknetlive, SecTor.City and Antinalysis Exchange.

Incognitos April Fools Joke
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Over the past month, the darknet has shaken up as Darknet Market Incognito went down in one of the dirtiest exit scams in Darknet history; From millions made in an exit scam, to extreme extortion tactics, to removing some of the most used darknet websites. This is the end of an era for the darknet, and it will shift how darknet markets are used going forwards.

Catching up

  • On 28th February, Incognito vendors and buyers started making claims that they couldn’t get withdrawals.
  • For many vendors, withdrawals were marked as “complete” but in reality, funds were only moved to Pharoah’s personal wallets instead.
  • Incognito admin was tasked to address the issues, claiming “Funds are spread too thin since we implemented unique permanent addresses” and that it had something to do with blockchain fees, too.
  • To keep the mirage that they were looking to build even more, Incognito announced DAI and ETH deposits. 
  • On 4th March, the key features of Incognito stopped working, including withdraws, sending messages, editing listings, and editing vendor profiles.
  • Once again, staff reported alternative reasoning behind issues, and Pharoah posted on Dread “Noted, and working on it. Not exit scamming. Pinky Swear”
  • Finally on March 5th, head Dread admin HugBunt3r officially announced Incognito’s exit scam with proof.

But there’s more to the story, and this will change how the Darknet is used going forward.

“It is well known that Incognito purchased DarkNetLive, and previously, I have mentioned to Pharoah that if and when he decides to shut down, it would be great if he could hand over the domain in the process to ensure it isn’t used maliciously. 

I’ve been talking to him back and forth the past few hours and got to the point where I told him a warning is going live, to which his response was to try and bribe me to take Dread down or wipe all posts regarding Incognito, in return he will hand over DNL. 

Big mistake, he of all people should know I can’t be bought, and I won’t hesitate to confirm the exit.”

Pharoah’s Plan Plays Out

SpecTor Emailing Goes Down

Over the last few years, Incognito has cemented itself as one of the most eligible and trustable darknet markets. It’s managed to turn into the largest darknet market out there, and the empire stretched even wider than that. Pharoah started his own Darknet Forum during Dread’s downtime, offering a service where people could report on various markets. He offered a mailing system with SecTor.City, and even bought over Antinalysis, a dark web service that allowed criminals to launder money with cryptocurrency by analysing their risk of being flagged by law enforcement. 

Most recently, Pharoah bought Darknetlive, a notorious Darknet news website with various scam links. However, in hindsight, he was gearing up to steer the narrative and prolong his exit scamming opportunity as long as possible.

With control over emails, exchanges, forums, news, and the largest darknet marketplace, Pharoah was able to control the narrative of his exit scam. He made an article quickly accusing HugBunt3r, one of the most trusted people in the Darknet place, of trying to “smear to birds with one stone.” The claim was that HugBunt3r wanted DarknetLive, or wanted it gone as it affected his business. The article claimed that “Hugbunter and the team behind DrugsHub (formerly exit scammed White House Market) has decided to launch a joint smear campaign on both Incognito Market and Darknetlive. “

To deter any more information from spreading, he disabled all comments on everything run by the incognito market. But as one final middle finger to the community, he came out with his extortion list. Promising all vendors that should they not pay up, he would release both their customer’s details as well the vendor’s details. He claimed that all PGP on the site was fake and he had everything.

Vendors would have to pay between $100 and $10,000. Then… April 1st came:

Incognito Extortion Made Into Joke

If you log in on the website and add “/records” you’re met with Pharoah’s final message. “April Fool! We were just trolling, your data were actually deleted as specified.” Calling this all an April Fools joke and returning the site to its usual look. The exit scam is not fully complete yet, but this is the end of an era.

A Change In Darknet Market Usage

While Archetyp and Abacus have cemented themselves as the longest-standing and most reliable markets, this entire situation has caused major issues for all Darknet users. While it’s opened the eyes of many to improve their OpSec, it’s put into question the trust that a user has to have in the market admins.

One Dread user has already suggested that markets that offer “Auto-encrypt” should no longer be allowed. But this opens doors for Darknet Markets to follow suite on Pharoah’s extortion list. It drove fear into many, and he undoubtedly made a couple thousand dollars above his initial exit scam pay. I guess we can all hope Pharoah is captured and pays for this, but for now, it was a well-executed and orchestrated exit scam. One day, a solution needs to be found to fix these issues. Escrow is needed, exits could be avoided if escrow was decentralized. Whoever figures out how to set up a market that can do escrow without requiring being in possession of the transaction funds is going to be filthy rich, taking only 5% of each transaction. For now, this is goodbye to Incognito Market, Libre forum, Darknetlive, SecTor.City and Antinalysis Exchange.