How the FBI Found the Silk Road
How do you see something that's invisible? That's the question that hackers around the globe want to know when it come to the Silk Road. You see, the Silk Road could only be found through Tor, and all sites found through Tor are supposed to be relatively invisible – or hard for someone to find via the regular Internet, at least. So, how did the FBI do it? There are a few theories floating around right now, but the one put forth by the hacker community at large is particularly interesting.
How the FBI Found the Silk Road: How Physical Servers Matter
We've said it on this site before: where your server is located in the physical world matters. Well, locating that physical server was the one lead that the FBI seemed to have, and that might be how the bureau tracked down the Silk Road (and the site's owner, the Dread Pirate Robers – pleading not guilty, by the way). You see, the rumor goes that the FBI found the location of the actual server (possibly in Iceland), took images of that location, and then traced those images to the Silk Road site. Can they really do this? You bet. You'd be surprised at just how much information can be gathered from one single photograph or image (something to keep in mind when posting photos online).
How the FBI Found the Silk Road: Tracking Down More Connections
Not only is it something of a mystery how the FBI found the Silk Road site, but it's also interesting to point out that the FBI is currently in the process of arresting all of those drug dealers that were related to the site. How was this information found? Once the Silk Road was taken down, all private user data was mined, and now that data is being used to track dealers to various locations. So far, the arrest list is long and the FBI has its work cut out, but arrests are being made as you read this.
How the FBI Found the Silk Road: Interesting Data Too
In addition to the mysteries behind the Silk Road, Tor, and the FBI, various publications have started to pull information from the ceased Silk Road records too. Some of those details list the types of drugs that were the most purchased through the Silk Road site, and other details list the types of drugs that were the most expensive. All of these things are of interest to those that had nothing to do with the Silk Road – or, even further, had no idea that the Silk Road existed.
The FBI isn't likely to explain how the Silk Road was brought down, but we can continue to speculate. For now, you should be completely aware that nothing on the Internet is truly safe – even when it doesn't technically exist.
Got any curious details to add to the mix? Let us know in the comments below.