A 46-year-old resident of Missouri, USA is facing prison for 12 years, after being busted via an illicit Dark Web order. Earlier this week, Jason Siesser was given the sentence by a United States federal court, despite him having paid through cryptocurrencies and attempted to cover his tracks on the Dark Web. The crime, as it turns out, was fairly alarming – in three months between June and August, 2018, Siesser ordered five batches of cadmium arsenide, hydrochloric acid and other chemical compounds on a Dark Web portal. As per the sentence, three batches of this chemical concoction could have been enough to kill over 300 people.
The incident highlights the perils of the Dark Web and cryptocurrency transactions. The former, which is the bigger section of the internet that is not indexed by the public search engines, is a trove of storefronts that run largely unregulated. While crime and justice departments often keep a tab on Dark Web stores for individuals looking to place orders of illicit items, it is much more difficult to track than open web transactions. Cryptocurrency transactions, on this note, have a major benefit in that they cannot be tracked and hijacked midway – which is also why the same causes trouble on the Dark Web.
One of the bigger marketplaces on the Dark Web today are for malware – including commonplace tools that can help any individual with cryptocurrencies in their wallet to purchase stalkerware, spyware and other such tools. Cyber snooping, particularly those done at a more granular level, have become increasingly common, with the Dark Web marketplaces running flush with selling code snippets that can hijacking devices, and cyber attackers that offer hack for hire services including espionage, spear phishing, ransomware targeting and the likes.
For Siesser, the second count of grievance was his use of the identity of a minor in verifying the transaction that he had attempted to push through. As the case revealed, Siesser’s orders were motivated by the objective of taking revenge against a previous, unsuccessful romantic affair. The incident reflects the importance of cyber laws and regulations in every country today, which can then hold users accountable for their internet underworld businesses.