Cannazon Does Not Return After DDoS Attack - A Recap

01/18/2022Uncategorized

Cannazon was one of the biggest marketplaces on the dark web. Any frequent visitor to this side of the web knows a thing or two about Cannazon. That’s why when it was recently hit by a DDoS ( distributed denial-of-service) attack, it became very hard for the market to re-adjust.

The attack hit Cannazon so bad that their website crashed at long last. For any cannabis lover who operates on the dark web, Cannazon has always been the way to go. It’s the biggest cannabis marketplace on the dark web, and that’s actually what it’s known for. Due to the DDoS attack however, the operators of this marketplace decided to retire officially. They however assured their clients that they won’t experience any losses due to an exit scam or anything related to that.

Exit scams

It has always been the trend that dark web marketplaces pull an exit scam in the event of stopping operations. For example, in 2019, Wall Street Market scammed its users more than $30 million. All this drama began after Dream market announced it was stopping operations. Wall Street Market then started claiming it was having issues with its Bitcoin server. Both buyers and sellers couldn’t get access to their funds. When users of the forum traced movements of their funds, they discovered all the money had been transferred to an external. The operators then went ahead to split the funds.

And as if running away with the funds wasn’t evil enough, some users of the forum even reported harassment and blackmail by the site’s operators. They claimed that Wall Street customer support staff started sending texts to them demanding payment of 0.05 Bitcoin.

Cannazon however decided to clear the waves and promised its customers that all will be well. The exit message was posted on their website on November 23, 2021, almost 2 months ago. They went offline afterwards and claimed not to be returning.

In the official message dated 23 November, 2021, the market was to be accessible until november 28th.

Below is the full statement by Cannazon admin.

Dear community,

TL;DR: We are retiring. No exit scam. All orders finalized. All vendors got their money. Everyone knew that this day would come. No market will be here forever. We are officially retiring.

Since our first days it was pretty clear for us that we will never do an exit scam like some other markets.
We prepared a strategy to minimize the risk of vendors exit scamming and buyers loosing money.
The massive DDOS attack was a very good chance to lower the number of orders and we decided to keep the market partially offline afterwards.

This is the reason why the market was not reachable and not fully functional in the last days. By this, we could ensure that the number of orders was minimized and all paid orders were shipped.

We are very sorry that we had to keep you in the dark for the last days. In our opinion this was the best way to prevent some vendors from trying to exit scam, harming you and the community.

All open orders have been finalized now, disputes have been settled and refunded eventually. All vendors are able to withdraw their money.

If your most recent order is delayed, you can still contact your vendor on the market regarding this.
Important: If some vendor did not manage to get all his signed Bitcoin multisig transactions, he can get them from an encrypted message which will be published on Dread later this week. The market will be accessible at least until November 28th.

From the first day we tried to offer our buyers and vendors a better experience than other markets. According to the feedback we have received over time, we did quite a good job.

However, the best job did someone else: You, our community, all the vendors and buyers. You support us since the beginning and put your trust in our platform. We would like to thank you for that.

We hope that everyone of you finds some good alternative for buying or selling cannabis products. Moreover, we hope that other markets will follow this path and consider retiring gracefully.

Please stay safe and thanks again for everything.”

Your Cannazon Team

Two months after closure

This was the message that brought to an end a dark web operation that had lasted for more than 3 years. It was a big blow to drug traders, mostly those dealing with cannabis. Cannazon was the world’s largest underground cannabis marketplace.

Now, as we already said, it’s not strange for dark web marketplaces to be hit by massive DDos attacks just like what happened to Cannazon. And most of the markets, when hit, resolve to transfer customers’ funds to untraceable accounts.

Upon learning of the attack, the market’s operators decided to reduce accepting orders from their clients. Going offline for a while as they fix the issues caused by the attack was also one of the resolutions. The users of the forum however feared that the move might have been an exit scam.

Later, the operators of the marketplace announced shutting down and even apologized for not being transparent about the incident. In the message, vendors who couldn’t get their Bitcoin multisig transactions were to check on Dread. Dread is a dark web discussion Forum. So the transactions were to be obtained from an encrypted message posted on the platform

According to security experts and dark web enthusiasts, other vendors have created clone sites using a new Tor address now that Cannazon has ceased operations. There is however still no surety whether the market will keep shut forever or the operators will provide another alternative.

It has become a usual thing in the dark web landscape that fake clones appear after the closure of a giant market. The clones are usually run by scammers who attempt to deceive members of the original site that they cloned.

How it all began

The Cannazon website allegedly began its operations in 2015. By then, it was a very soft website without any serious operations. The website for sure was made by reliable programmers who understood and knew what role privacy would play in the business they were about to undertake.

In 2017, Cannazon went big and ever since, it has continuously grown to be what it is. At the moment of its closure, the marketplace had thousands of users (buyers and sellers). Again, in terms of anonymity and protection from hacking, the site was top notch.

Also, being one of the biggest cannabis suppliers, vendors claim that the market was so friendly. It was easy to browse through the different forums and listings on the market. This means the structure of the market was simple and easy to understand.

A giant has rested and it’s only a matter of time before we see more of its very many clones. So far, there’s no exit scam cases reported, so it means the operators of this marketplace are made of nothing, but honesty. It will take the customers of this marketplace some time to find some good replacement. There are still other cannabis markets on the dark web, but Cannazon, as most vendors claim, was outstanding.