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Messages - Defcon

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Off Topic / Re: Fuck the new SR Forum mods
« on: January 03, 2014, 09:06:59 am »
If they offered, I'd accept so we could have at least ONE honest mod

Cloquet. Staff deeply admires your unifying personality.

We are desperately seeking to recruit at least ONE honest mod.

Your positive-to-negative karma ratio has qualified you without a doubt.

We can only guess what incredible personal sacrifices you must be making on a daily basis to be so effective as a peacemaker in this community. You are truly Silk Road's greatest asset. Though we are neglecting ourselves pay until the Pending Wallets are restored, we would like to offer you full remuneration.

As our ONE honest mod, your role will be to hold our members' Bitcoins.

I'm sure you have many other offers on the table - and I must admit that we're nowhere near as notable as TorMarket or "that one site on i2p which is finally run by competent honest admins" - but I do hope that you support the underdog and accept our meager offer.

Most sincerely,
Defcon's inner Loki

Team is working through a large backlog. This process is being automated but is early. All users who have purchased vendor bonds have been upgraded as of now, but expect delays as we continue to strengthen our team.

Silk Road Discussion / Subcategory Counts Fixed, Roadmap Updated
« on: January 01, 2014, 01:36:21 am »
We just pushed out a few bugfixes including a fix to the inaccurate category counts. You will notice that several parent categories are now reflecting the correct number of listings across all of their subcategories.

Security hardening on this week's new features is still ongoing, the roadmap dates have been pushed back slightly to allow for a safer rollout of these features.

The staff deeply appreciates your support - here's to a strong New Year for the Road!

Bug Reports / Re: anyone been able to deposit after the break?
« on: December 29, 2013, 09:27:56 pm »
Many people are refreshing their balances simultaneously. The development team just threw more coal into the fire, try manually refreshing your balance now and update us here if it does not work.

Moving to bug reports.

If you have had no contact with DPR2, how can you be sure that he has not been arrested?

Every public word we post is closely monitored by our oppressors.

Some information will always need to be kept confidential in the interest of playing it safe, protecting this community, and protecting those of us in hiding.

We are positive that he has not been arrested. We cannot elaborate further without risking everything we are fighting for.

Off Topic / Re: PONZI SCHEME!!!!!! You were warned!!!!!!!
« on: December 29, 2013, 02:59:12 am »
an investment swindle in which some early investors are paid off with money put up by later ones in order to encourage more and bigger risks.

If the plan were to never completely repay the Pending Wallet, or to repay the Pending Wallet using debt, then yes, that's a Ponzi scheme.

Time is the only way to truly gauge our honesty. Hold us to our word. If the Pending Wallet is never completely repaid, especially by May, then get out of here fast.

Silk Road Discussion / Re: HEY DEFCON - HOW ABOUT AN UPDATE
« on: December 29, 2013, 02:10:41 am »

I have never once seen my tor browser freeze up like this.

Is this just because of heavy traffic?

This was our DDoS protection going crazy, apologies for that. It was leaving all connections in an open state without sending anything, which TorBrowser was not too happy about.

Silk Road Discussion / Re: New Feature Rollout Plan
« on: December 28, 2013, 11:41:07 pm »
Fantastic news. Like everybody else, I find it very infuriating that the feds had access to thousands upon thousands of plaintext addresses when they captured the old servers.

Our goal is that a server should be able to be compromised and everything be fine. Worst case they find a few grams of something inside the server enclosure. They won't find data.

Silk Road Discussion / New Feature Rollout Plan (Updated: Jan 17)
« on: December 28, 2013, 11:05:00 pm »
UPDATE Jan 17: It's been two and a half weeks since our stressful Christmas incident. The pending wallet system was developed, deployed, then refunded. This caused a huge spike in traffic as the word spread that we are a trustworthy staff. Unfortunately this resulted in a very slow market, near-downtime, and postponed new features while developer time was focused on keeping everything running.

We are going to try something new. For the next thirty days, we will not be communicating exact release dates for anything past the next immediate release. We will keep a public list of the priorities we can safely disclose, and we will post Planned Maintenance notices before launching the completed new features.

When you hear an exact launch date communicated from us, know that our underlying tone will always be "this is when we hope to launch it, if nothing more urgent appears". Unfortunately the past two weeks' target launch dates have been missed due to several very unexpected urgent tasks appearing:

1. DPR2 returning cold storage, while great news, required many dev hours to unwind the "Pending Wallet" system safely and refund the correct people, while still maintaining escrow order status.
2. Site Unresponsiveness - unresolved this would have turned into downtime. The fast page load times you're seeing now are due to us dropping everything to work on investigating this issue and making the appropriate upgrades.
3. Slow Deposits and Withdrawals - unresolved, the delay times would have only continued to increase rapidly. That was obviously not acceptable. Redesigning our accounting architecture to be more robust took more developer hours than anything else on this list, but it made you stop calling us terrible things.
4. Patching Possible Vulnerabilities - None were successfully exploited, we discovered them ourselves and patched them quickly.
5. BTC Conversion Rates Inaccurate - our system uses a weighted average based on several top exchanges. Unfortunately one of those top exchanges started returning very inaccurate values, causing our approach to fail and get "stuck". Rewriting this safely in parallel with #2 and #3 above took more time than it should have, but the site remained online.

As of today, Jan 17, there are no known bugs or performance issues which are more pressing than getting the staff's Support platform and the community's Dispute Resolution platform online.

From my perspective I trust that the dev team will be ready soon with both of these, but we will always drop what we are doing if a more urgent issue appears or if downtime is imminent due to performance degradation. Keeping this market secure from hackers/LE, and keeping this market online are our top goals.

Support issues are taking much longer to resolve than our team is content with. We have a massive backlog and are doing our best to work through it, while also hiring more behind-the-scenes staff to assist. This will take time to improve, but we have a concrete plan for resolving these issues very quickly and we will be posting about it shortly.

To the loyal among you who speak positively despite the hard times: you make a massive impact our morale. Thank you.

SR1 was not built in a day. SR2 is three months in. We are very excited about what month four is bringing.

For transparency's sake, here's a TL;DR of the action plan recently communicated to our Development Team:
1. Ignore demoralizing forum posts and keep your head down, work.
2. Drop all other tasks if you notice a vulnerability or server downtime. Security+Uptime over all else.
3. Get support system implemented and moving fast, give staff rigidly-audited access to key market admin tools
4. Re-enable Auto-Finalize intelligently, launch Dispute Resolution platform
5. Get outstanding disputes resolved fast with the new support system
6. Work towards finishing in-progress features from the list below

If the server infrastructure continues to stay stable after this week's improvements, expect new features to be implemented much quicker than the past two weeks.

We will be updating the rollout schedule with a more accurate outlook and retiring this thread soon. Do not reference anything below this line as being the latest source of truth.

UPDATE Jan 15: It's been an onslaught of resolving urgent issues as the marketplace's traffic has doubled. Thankfully the market is online, and bitcoins are flowing much faster after these hotfixes. Unfortuately, it's resulted in these feature releases being delayed. Staff is meeting today to decide more realistic launch dates, expect an update within 24hr.

UPDATE Jan 10: The development team has been spending a lot of time troubleshooting the transaction delays. Staff has also been battling illness. Releases will be delayed as the problem continues to be reviewed.

UPDATE Jan 5: Fixing yesterday's withdrawal delays sank a lot of the developers' time. Expect delays with this release, likely in the 12-24hrs range.

IMPORTANT: In case you do not read the itemized items below, as of Jan 5th 2014, all order addresses will require PGP encryption! You will not be able to place an order if you do not know how to use PGP. Wake up and start being safe!

Auto-finalization is disabled until the Dispute Center opens. Details on the new auto-finalize process will be released then as well.

This is a huge week for our marketplace, ringing in a fresh new year for our movement.

As you have learned by now (perhaps too well), we never rush new features to market. Security comes first. New features are undergoing security tests to ensure there are no vulnerabilities. As they are hardened, they will be rolled out on this schedule unless major problems are found.

Rollout schedule:

Dec 28th at 23:45:00 UTC - Released!

Open Vendor Registration
New Vendors can now pay bonds through the marketplace, there is no longer a need to message a staff member.

Old messages have been purged
As per the Security Precautions thread. If you notice messages missing, that is because we place your security above all else.

Users can now delete messages and threads
Each message has a delete link. Each thread has a "Delete all contained messages" link. When both users in a conversation delete all of the messages inside of it, the entire thread is deleted. Until then, deleted messages display with a content of "(deleted)"

Simple Bitcoin Mixer
We have implemented a basic bitcoin mixer which will be constantly rotating user balances and escrow balances. Do not trust this as your primary mixer. Never completely trust a darknet marketplace. Work will continue on making this more advanced, having it peer-reviewed, and eventually a separate product.

Vendors can post Stealth Listings
This should eventually replace the cluttered Custom Orders category. A vendor can create a listing which is only accessible by a custom link. The vendor can share this link at will.

Vendors can enter Vacation Mode
Temporarily disables all listings without deleting them.

Upcoming Release #1
(Delayed due to fixing withdrawal problems, preventing a riot)

Opt-out of Escrow with No-Escrow Listings
Don't want to use the escrow system? You don't have to.

Bulk Reply to Messages
Vendors, this one goes out to you.

Option to mandate PGP for inbound messages
If you enable this, all users sending you messages will be required to encrypt their messages.

Launch of new Support System
Too much to explain here, but it is incredible and almost complete. This will allow us to respond much quicker, we realize that support turnaround time has been a huge pain point.

Upcoming Release #2

Address Field will require PGP Encryption
This will force our community to be responsible. If it hurts sales in the short term but teaches buyers how to be safe - that's fine with me.

Users can transfer BTC Between accounts
Direct account-to-account transfers with no fees, outside of escrow. PGP authentication is required for this.

Upcoming Release #3

Dispute Resolution Center
Too much to explain, this will get its own post. This has been in testing for weeks, and we are thrilled to release it to the community.

Buyer Stats Page
Vendors can now view buyer stats

Buyer Feedback
Vendors can now update buyers' feedback, just as buyers leave feedback for Vendors.

It's a big week for Silk Road, here's to smooth security testing across a Happy New Year.

Hash: SHA512

Silk Road Community,

Merely three months have passed since our marketplace's first incarnation was captured by our oppressors. This was a brutal blow, but we are very proud that such a devastating compromise only resulted in one month of downtime. I chalk it up to an incredible crew surrounded by a fiercely passionate and supportive community.

Our movement's strength has been tested more in the recent months than across our previous two years combined. I am deeply honored to fight alongside thousands of determined warriors, and fight we will.

This past week our ship suffered major damage.

Three of our crew were lost, and our Captain was forced into exile.

Unfortunately as contingency plans were engaged, an even graver situation reared its head below deck.

Will this be the end of everything we've fought for? Will our movement be remembered as a cypherpunk fad, or as an unstoppable force?

I'm here to fight.

But I recommend that you take a deep breath.


The market will reopen on schedule today, at 23:00:00 UTC. Your patience has been appreciated.

Our team has worked tirelessly through the Christmas break, and you’ll be pleased to see several new features implemented when you log back into the market. More features will be rolled out on a daily basis, check the Silk Road Discussion forum for daily updates.

But in order for this community to grow it is important that I remain as transparent as possible.

There is a pressing issue I want to make you all aware of. And I won’t play it down – it will affect many of you.

This is a very hard announcement for me to write. It would be far easier for me to follow in the footsteps of dishonest market owners, and blame this issue on a fictional bug. I now understand the inner conflict they were feeling when they decided to lie to their own communities.

I must be honest. Silk Road was built with integrity, and that means continuing to be honest with the community even if it will trigger severe backlash.

So, here is the issue, followed by our plans to resolve it.

The Issue

As you know, DPR has been absent for several days now. The good news is that the contingency plan has been followed precisely, and is mostly on track. I hoped to never need to play more than a silent role in this movement, and I am distraught that we needed the contingency plan so early on: roughly forty-five days after relaunch. But let’s be glad the plan was there.

When we began building the Silk Road's second iteration, we decided that our servers should store as few Bitcoins as possible to minimize risk. The list of marketplaces on the darknet which have been hacked for Bitcoins is far longer than it should be. Lessons haven't been learned by many administrators.

We implemented a cold storage system similar to systems used at many banks and Bitcoin exchanges. This system stored the majority of user and escrow balances on computers completely disconnected from the internet. Throughout the week, we would transfer funds to/from cold storage to ensure enough balance on on each server for projected daily operations.

It was an attempt to learn from the mistakes made on SR1, to protect your funds in the event of a catastrophic hack or server seizure.

Unfortunately this week we learned that this approach was not perfect, and we again find ourselves in the humiliating position of learning from a fresh mistake.

When DPR disappeared, Cirrus wisely encouraged everyone to withdraw all coins from the marketplace. In the aftermath, I ensured that the servers stayed online for an extra day, and deposited the majority of my personal funds into the server to prevent the balance from going negative as orders were finalized in the withdrawal rush.

The contingency plan worked flawlessly except for one critical failure: When DPR hit his killswitch, I was to receive an encrypted message with the keys to access the escrow cold storage. I am still waiting for it.

I cannot elaborate on the specifics of the killswitch mechanism or the Captain's present situation, as it will cause more harm than good. We do know for a fact that he has not been compromised or detained by our oppressors, and that he does not hold any information which would threaten any within this community.

After last week's mayhem, it is now apparent that we have lost ability to unlock the Escrow wallet's cold storage mechanism which contains over 90% of user escrow funds.

All Bitcoins in users’ balances are available and safe.

But all Bitcoins that were left in Escrow over the Christmas period will be temporarily unavailable.

In other words, if you have funds in escrow, you will not be able to access them yet even once they are released/refunded to you.

I take full responsibility for allowing this foolish single point of failure, and will personally commit to repaying all escrow balances within the next four months by working unpaid. All staff is on the same page with me on this.

To be clear: This does NOT apply to your Silk Road account balance, and it does NOT apply to any funds you deposit to the market (or place in escrow) from now onwards – it applies ONLY to funds that were left in escrow before Christmas.

What Will Happen In The Short-Term

For the time being, coins released to vendors or refunded to sellers from pre-Christmas escrow will be placed in a separate wallet on your account, which we will name your ‘Pending Wallet’.

Balances in your Pending Wallet will be temporarily unavailable for withdrawal until we are able to unlock the cold storage mechanism.

I want to be clear here that this restriction of coins will only be temporary – the moment DPR returns to us, escrow coins will be returned immediately. In the event that he does not return (and I am confident he will), we will be refunding coins on a bi-weekly basis from the commission the market makes.

For every two weeks that pass, we will split our market commission earnings between all users with Pending Wallets until everyone is completely repaid. Vendors and Buyers will receive payouts on the 1st and 15th of each month, starting January 15th.

In the worst-case scenario of DPR not returning, ALL coins will be returned by no later than May 1st, 2014. Until ALL coins are made available once more, ALL staff (myself included) have agreed to forfeit all compensation and commission they would normally receive, instead choosing to offer their salaries back to the community for as long as it takes for all users to receive access to the coins in their Pending Wallets.

A Longer-Term Solution

Two new features have been designed to help prevent this loss from happening again:

1. 'No-Escrow' Listings – Vendors will be able to opt-out of the Escrow system by listing items as "No Escrow". This completely bypasses our escrow system and is a truly free market.

This will allow you to bypass Silk Road fees, and forfeit the safety of escrow to deal with other users directly. PLEASE USE THIS WITH EXTREME CARE AND CAUTION – although this option will waive the Silk Road fee and therefore be cheaper for buyers, it should be approached in the same way as finalizing early.

Vendors: be aware that refusing to offer escrow will most likely drive customers away.
Buyers: please be aware that selecting this option puts you at greater risk – only ever deal directly with vendors you have complete confidence in, and even then, only choose this if you can accept the possibility of losing the money.

NOTE: We will be temporarily charging fees on No-Escrow listings until all Pending Wallets are completely refunded, then this will become no-fee option. Our top priority as a staff is to get the Pending Wallets refunded as quickly as possible, and charging fees on No-Escrow listings may help accomplish this before May.

2. Multi-Signature Bitcoin Cold Storage - We have rebuilt our cold storage process to use multi-signature transactions to make it much more difficult for Bitcoins to ever be lost again. This revolves around a voting system, where multiple admins hold the keys to the wallets. Many other improvements have been made operationally, which we will never disclose. We will also never disclose the size of the admin staff.

No-Escrow will be launching over the weekend, with a vendor-specific announcement. Cold Storage improvements have already been implemented.

A whole new set of features will be announced in a separate thread in the hours to come.

This has been a very difficult two weeks for staff, from the DDoS to our fallen crew. We are growing from our mistakes, and know there will be many justifiably-harsh words directed towards us. To the many out there defending our motives and standing by our side: we will not fail you.

Thank you for sticking together, and welcome back to Silk Road. I wish you all the best for 2014. May it be nothing at all like the last quarter of 2013.

On a personal note: I realize that many of you do not know me.

Trust in the darknet is more volatile than any currency, and it cannot be exchanged. It must be earned personally.

I intend to prove to you that leading this movement forward is my top priority in life, and that I will pour any time and energy necessary into ensuring its success.

You may not always see me here under this name but I am completely committed to ensuring this movement's immortality.

I take this responsibility very seriously, but don't trust my words alone. Over the next months, ask buyers and vendors with Pending Wallets if they are getting paid and watch for yourself if I am a man of my word.

While other admins may run away when calamities strike - I'm ready to fight right here alongside you.

May our past mistakes stay fresh in our mind. As often as the sword is sharpened, may we also refine our approach.



Silk Road Discussion / Re: **** NEW SCAM ALERT****
« on: December 28, 2013, 08:53:25 pm »
This account has been banned, thank you for sharing with the community.

how many decades until we stop getting Breaking Bad references?

Silk Road Discussion / Promotion: Stealth
« on: December 28, 2013, 08:48:41 pm »
I am delighted to announce that a long-respected member of our community has finally accepted our invitation to join staff.

I regret that I am unable to give him a fitting introduction, for he has requested that he remain Stealth.

So, "Stealth" he is. If hiding his true name tempts you to doubt him, you're a fool. Doubt everyone!

Welcome, Stealth.

Silk Road Discussion / Re: Promotion: Tang
« on: December 28, 2013, 04:20:54 pm »
Tang have you ever seen the inside of a federal prison?

Always the voice of positivity.

Silk Road Discussion / Promotion: Tang
« on: December 28, 2013, 02:17:31 pm »
Staff is excited to welcome our latest Newbie Guide to the team. Tang has shown dedication to helping our newer members navigate darknet trade.

Other markets may fall, and we will suffer setbacks, but we are a movement and new members are the lifeblood of this cause. Improving a new user's first experience is a key priority. We will continue to grow our guide team over the next months, promoting helpful members of the community.

Welcome Tang!

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