According to web portal darkdot.com and anonymous journalist Darkdotfail, popular darknet forum Dread has been down for a month. The well-known forum, which was a place where darknet market (DNM) customers discussed security of operations, rated specific vendors and discussed stealth delivery ideas, was absent for 30 days. However, the forum’s founder, “Hugbunter”, said it would be revived in the near future.
Dread Forum founder announces plans to relaunch
In the underworld of darknet markets (DNM), the Dread forum was known to be a go-to source of information. According to a January 1, 2023 update hosted on darkdot.com, the forum has been down for a month. “Dread is a critical source of truth in a proliferating anonymous scam community,” the update notes. “The popular Tor forum on freedom of expression went offline on November 30, 2022 and has not yet returned.” The update adds that while the Dread admin team usually posts status updates on Reddit at /r/dreadalert, communication has been sparse.
The anonymous reporter known as Darkdotfail wrote about the issue on Twitter, and his website, dark.fail, also reports that Dread is currently offline. According to a January 5, 2023 update on the website, Dread is offline due to a DDOS attack and readers should follow /r/dreadalert for updates. On January 2, 2023, DNM and Tor researcher wrote that Dread founder Hugbunter had privately confirmed that the forum would return. “Dread has now been offline for a month, Hugbunter has privately confirmed to us that it will be back,” Darkdotfail wrote. Two days later, Darkdotfail shared an update to Reddit forum /r/dreadalert.
Privacy advocate and anonymous journalist said:
Hugbunter posted an update regarding Dread downtime at /r/dreadalert. Meanwhile, the team behind Incognito Market opportunistically coded and launched a competing forum, Libre, during Dread’s downtime. Never boring here.
Hugbunter’s post, which includes the founder’s PGP signature, explains that the team has “worked extremely hard to restore service.” In the post, the Dread founder estimates that the team is about a week away from a solid estimated time of arrival (ETA).
“Right now we’re about a week away from being able to give a solid ETA on a Dread comeback, but I will say hopefully next week,” Hugbunter said. detailed. “It depends on there being no other issues as we finalize everything on the server side and also if I manage to work on some code base rewrites in a timely manner, however, this is not an easy or small task – So no extra pressure please.”
This isn’t the first time Dread has had a very long downtime. On September 30, 2019, Bitcoin.com News reported on the forum’s first major outage. At that time Hugbunter’s dead man’s switch was sets off, resulting in a temporary loss of control over the forum. However, Hugbunter returned soon after and validated the identity of the forum owner through PGP keys associated with the Dread founder. The forum remained active, with some exceptions due to DDOS attacks, until Nov 2022. In addition to Dread’s outage due to DDOS attacks, the Tor Project reported that the Tor network itself had slowed down by almost 50%.
In the January 3 post, Hugbunter, the founder of Dread, clarified that the forum’s DDOS issues would be resolved upon his return and “any other service that needs help.” Hugbunter promised that Dread would be relaunched with a revamped user experience and proper DDOS protection, stating that “the plans I have with the relaunch and also for the near future will allow us all to move forward significantly and we will continue to innovate this space. We’re not going anywhere and I still have a lot to contribute and share.
What do you think of the current Dread and Hugbunter downtime explaining that the forum will be back soon? Let us know what you think about this topic in the comments section below.
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