Dread is a critical source of truth in an anonymous community proliferated with scams. The popular Tor freedom of speech forum went offline on November 30th, 2022 and has yet to return. Typically the Dread admin team posts status updates on Reddit at /r/DreadAlert but communication has been sparse.
Dread is not dead yet. #
Darkdot received the following verified PGP statement from Hugbunter, who privately confirmed to our team on December 29th, 2022 that Dread will return.
Unfamiliar with PGP? Learning to verify messages is essential for your safety. Until then you can use our PGP verification tool.
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA512 I, HugBunter, am alive and free as of Thursday, December 29th, 2022 and in full control of Dread and all related services. This canary is signed as part of a conversation with "Darkdot.com", to serve as verification of my identity and proof-of-life. Restoration of Dread Network services is still in progress as of the time of writing. -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- iQIzBAEBCgAdFiEEYTOs4fS4fFHb8/6l6GEFEPmm6SIFAmOt3rgACgkQ6GEFEPmm 6SITuw/9Em0WS2xP8Ptjvw6QGdwIu841hkk7O1DkPyrpyeAhj3cH1kFCR9jF1CIw SuEdbXHcW1yLJt/kXTuB2thE/XVckIILkA9wPmAK25L5UNwOrdLm0A69zb9zVURz n8JwZ3NEjQWCxuuIc0pvNf9+tBYm6Ty+VxQY5O5uzLMyzNmEvHFfYhjV9asyX4WR +cPIQpgdsMdDrkXs54+qvnCCF3pWhEt0TlqpTqkpaQH3S9chG4a723mc5JNQ+/6K CIy7LTr48rWC+C0Q4oPzbRMXC6d+JrJ6Amu+U7z8PPdKDappb/8eD3anxTWjrMmY 5/ZuB3MsbV1Qt+Bk9kDKrZXlSyvBCS5ibCCfFHaHEzAb2PI9VEOxrNdL3blRFaZv BE95LOTITWy5UN3ILvo6Md4cYaLUDPavs23UoTkXUVE00hWogfmn8xatfsuFV55I yu/i2hZMl4X4vwAvwyCBX3kW/S4INJM1v/4Q3Igv5bqLhq1GGg5h2S5V8m6a6L35 OI2JSD4Tct83X34RKDr2KBV4qlDL4YzSjlRAA0oUAkQzkSMTcC+Wu/KeDdqe5uyi ycSegvSfD5BKnAer4V7aEOPKw3mIfbgOmGUY4kwTYAY6sZHh3dD0AeV5KqIhrgkt 678/sRthkGraROJnmczghQK8iwHNokD24bt5syQvx1dJ2tcj3rs= =thiH -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
Hugbunter’s co-admin Paris also recently posted the following verified update publicly, confirming that they are in control of their PGP cryptographic identity. [Unverified due to formatting issues - this post will be edited shortly once verified]
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA512 I, Paris am alive and free as of Tuesday, December 27th, 2022 and in full control of the Dread Network and related services. Still having troubles getting the updated networking fully working within the cluster. Looking at after the new year right now. Emergency updates are available here or at reddit via r/DreadAlert if our onion becomes unavailable. Next canary is due Monday, January 2nd, 2023. -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- iQIzBAEBCgAdFiEEbfleES3oPdbct1q5DE1JcU+sN9gFAmOrDlEACgkQDE1JcU+s N9iwtA/9G79HIGaEkAWug5hPjuJ6fLoHLo9WeOtvBpH6iwvuBHiGo14JADR3mRbR WQDwB1L1Wj1TjSwcUx+euC75aag607DY3ayMW9RL62VdMXKxkt/t3u06JbDnJtAR 1mhMOSBFb829pn2qKB7zAgNadBKE2pwbs6XYvEvWWoZ5qGWCCEibxfi9C+xUUEiC 5bmHYh60a9hBQ05g63/q1bfJ9ysQykVfr0B7jPfs40LWeoKlYU/v+LGbl39IO/sk 7evSWN1DDAsrEBsRH1eph4fShz32EkcGoO1PFz4797WT4sQwL9rl+ctyxqc1VFEp 8bmlT11PNgtOhAV37ebRwSbGoCwIGNAp3xlufOiyDwwFISk2eeEUUktGTJfk1TsQ AeQU1d6q46BBn8qHeBgx6LBVt3fbChocddlFnX2lpDpvFN6za6ILeHV/mXwjdDT6 2NxO9trIMT2Zrhq847TfUopCI0Rek5EZOPwO0DEPFu+HF1uMw/9VRs6MZfBJS/w8 A4ZiHUeqIKbZrNJnhZaf8EiaiumxOjvhd+Y73Y/8F4N9XIQf7/F93wmFzVxItM7k HKKMGxSUO3qxcdwtN4NFn+DnX8LROvlQbfdsqzZEVTzBggRzYfibs2HyXCx0xgxz SZciBn2opbqhR8FsnE/h68eVyGKEufPwpNdxAInXsDCsq6Bmb2M= =ifKf -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
This is normal. #
“This downtime is my fault.” - Paris in their December 20th canary update.
Dread is the most DDoS-attacked site in Tor history. It is the longest-standing source of reliable information on the Tor cryptomarket ecosystem, very much “critical safety infrastructure” to these communities.
Hugbunter and Paris, the admin team, have a reputation for disappearing for weeks, even months on end - with downtime occasionally coinciding.
In 2020, struggles with keeping Dread online led their team to develop Endgame, their open source Tor DDoS mitigation framework. It was publicly released and quickly became the standard used by all major Tor hidden services to stay online. Endgame v2 was released a year later with various updates.
Recent widespread Tor DDoS attacks have forced many Tor hidden service operators to rework their servers and code to better withstand the attacks. Some operators, including Dread, now host secondary mirrors of their sites using other privacy technologies like I2P. Is Endgame v3 on the way?
Where is everyone? #
The team behind Incognito Market opportunistically developed and launched Libre Forum during Dread’s downtime. It has a modest but growing userbase.
CryptBB has been around longer but remains largely undiscovered by Dread refugees.
The Hub was the primary “town square” of the cryptomarket ecosystem until Dread’s 2017 launch, but this author was unable to solve its CAPTCHA for this article.
Dread downtime has happened many, many times before. All we can do is keep calm, if a bit bored, while we wait for their admins to finalize upgrades.
Hugbunter’s Downtime Announcement #
For the sake of archival, here’s what Hugbunter posted on November 30th, 2022 at /r/DreadAlert regarding the downtime.
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA512 Hi, I'll try to keep this brief. As many of you are aware, we've been hit with the largest scale DoS attack yet which has been able to mostly hold Dread offline over the past couple of months. Everything has been stable on our alternative private onion links as well as the I2P gateway and we actually restored full service for the past few days on the main onion link. Unfortunately we are now completely down on all access points, which also affects Recon and the DNM Bible. I'd like to apologize for the inconvenience, however we have had to take urgent action in moving to the new server cluster we have been working on. Paris is completing the restructure, which will increase our ability to expand resources towards countering DoS attacks and there are a too many legacy systems we had in place that would be far too difficult to change around if we were online right now. We had intended for this to be a smooth migration but sped up the process. Within the next day or so, we'll place temporary holding pages live on our onions and I2P gateway explaining this and additionally publishing brief updates or any emergency alerts there in the meantime. Personally, I will be working on on-going projects to get them to completion during this time, as well as following through with the launch of a new platform concept which should mitigate the effects of DoS attacks in the future, hopefully rendering them fairly useless. This will also involve restoring some of Dread's API systems which I rewrote over the past week, but any functionality for Dread will be unavailable at this time. Please bare with us and we'll be back to full service in no time and DoS attacks will become a thing of the past, not just for us, but for any affected service. I'll also publish any further announcements here on Reddit when needed. Stay safe everyone and once again I apologize, we've been working non-stop on solving everything. -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- iQIzBAEBCgAdFiEEYTOs4fS4fFHb8/6l6GEFEPmm6SIFAmOHsK8ACgkQ6GEFEPmm 6SJP+A/+Plndli0GXe1O+umRTYZVPEn0AWxtGns4rl+pPvAT1fScwp+iJZfhjw2t 0tMno1uS7Ka1vRDUe+zdHZJo84nhhrawj7R0d5Mh5DohcrtUoW8t+G0jIufSGzfs LhxtcGyuCFA3vchJ7tFznl2dJoKNBraBPdXW47cTGckeyoCGx+WmWMUPGMTuYRm+ vewtjepVq77f5A4mnhv1lBdbijr6RIntM3m5srcCdd+GhM6PLAKDDi31a3CqMwly OI5ubTRKCKOnULRe/pKeQjH3jMadC6TlG2TLWm62FZ3kqNPxQbV+jL596b4vr3no h1RJD1LkLRP+nS0m+NPeOhC1qLaxm4NqwsjanFAL1SiFhUHg3ks3/EmrBtQIruJY aER57E3uVM2pBYSGooU9BNuTXSo45N3wf2fJinlqPTNFR3uCem6y+AszMuerrZci QratMMNKdCNkPDRwQKcak9KA60GctGXCOJVYugHBxaC1nVlvSGmS1TMyPYG20JZB VDGSluDSu+8OfJAf2EB4b/LBV81NZiU3Br4DZW7uLqhUBQFx2uIXKmSbwcNi2wHn l+ShfwoZ2iazzRu4uV7m3c9IREaDeMNLQaNcd5bfECg7ameWMUNR7S2W8yCs2TFS xdGOvUNf9AEVk2YJr4du7K9ICfUn9vg9JgK8cXFOCg+x1vmVnHo= =+6AA -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
Archival of Paris’ December 20th canary update: [Unverified due to formatting issues - this post will be edited shortly once verified]
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA512 I, Paris, am alive and free as of Tuesday, December 20th, 2022 and in full control of all Dread Network services. This downtime is my fault. We should be up within the week. Next canary is due Tuesday, December 27th, 2022. Bitcoin hash: 0000000000000000000531a7b9cdf96051144d535ea70f1b8d787ce51cd30ef1 -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- iQIzBAEBCgAdFiEEbfleES3oPdbct1q5DE1JcU+sN9gFAmOiDQsACgkQDE1JcU+s N9jDOBAAhBy0WOMyYxNt8SPQkH+aUzaleB/kHPCorbS0fg46C+9tOJpgXuGRsR/y GSQHczSCbi8EH/iYhhHQa3SniWmLeSwTTNx/E7kXyQ56XTx/7tj1Jou2Awl3gTgV rFZ2/Q8s0/dCfa+uBmGThDVdQA1wfLHVbNp9MdBmG0YPc8ep7UM9D3UFN42pFZCF Nwq5P82g6x8nB6af26EgqCkzYJ08qbg5HO/jjNbeMbH51GZVprN+DSkmXpE0XtNK tTJktUq8UdXB4KYEL0bj/JUKlObngo/p8/OlAjw2QdJj43jgUQp70UuR7uG6I/7z 4VKeY/CEYxl8Ke1de0g8/Pwj9nQ+TBllZAvdxxYJGZixi3rjgDl0+6UqexOsCJzh GR8Eo3sTQxAWl3NwRsa+5RK2JJsazWWbqFuy3yIwtJM0a6EAMJmDinfrEYSjVyLc RvuIW9eB/2kOzlzKBs1sK1ZmElVfDl6TAXn8nTvpTvI8xjjWOAzVfYC7c/k5yoMm RVGHZuBYrZCLaZIQWvB9mckoWRtzdRoZQ/vmzUsmRIKPkFGknzVZ+iBodeq5I4oI g0ZhySgchgHj1S4d3BBeQGlqOQfVRpbJ85VFB3FJSSILl3ELHw0gS3oeOFewe8Sv lx3EN1b3keuC8etYG8RXlXKU1mZRFL+s3i9GVi0ok/GvDPRU+5g= =YtO9 -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----