Blog > Podcasts > Collective Intelligence Podcast, Ronnie Tokazowski on AlphaBay Takedown

Collective Intelligence Podcast, Ronnie Tokazowski on AlphaBay Takedown

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The AlphaBay takedown last July was a massive victory for law enforcement in shuttering the largest illicit market on the Deep & Dark Web. AlphaBay was a centralized, sophisticated market hosting hundreds of thousands of listings from tens of thousands of vendors offering drugs, guns, malware and other illegal products and services.

Flashpoint Senior Malware Analyst Ronnie Tokazowski joins Editorial Director Mike Mimoso in this podcast where they discuss the impact AlphaBay had on the underground economy, as well as the days following the takedown and the chaos it caused vendors and buyers as they scrambled to other markets.

Ronnie also digs into the lack of a successor to AlphaBay and why a void still exists in terms of another market stepping in to take its place.

AlphaBay operated for more than two years before it was seized on July 20, 2017 in an operation governed by law enforcement in the Netherlands, Thailand, Lithuania, Canada, France, the United Kingdom and the United States.

AlphaBay creator and operator Alexandre Cazes, also known as Alpha02, was arrested in early July 2017 in Thailand on behalf of U.S. authorities; one week later, Cazes committed suicide while in custody. He was facing charges of conspiracy to engage in racketeering, one count of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, six counts of distribution of narcotics, one count of conspiracy to commit identity theft, four counts of unlawful transfer of false identification documents, one count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud, one count of trafficking in device making equipment, and one count of money laundering conspiracy, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Prior to the takedown, AlphaBay was a market that serviced 40,000 vendors and more than 200,000 buyers. By comparison, the infamous Silk Road 2.0 market, which fell to authorities in late 2013, had 14,000 listings for illicit goods. AlphaBay had at the time of its seizure more than 250,000 listings for illegal drugs and chemicals, and more than 100,000 listings for fraudulent identification documents, counterfeit goods, malware and hacking tools, firearms, and fraudulent services.

Get a direct download of the podcast here.  

The Collective Intelligence Podcast, presented by Flashpoint and hosted by Editorial Director Mike Mimoso, features regular interviews with a diverse set of industry experts and Flashpoint analysts on the latest information security news and industry trends.


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About the author: Mike Mimoso

Michael Mimoso brings over a decade of experience in IT security news reporting to Flashpoint. As Editorial Director, he collaborates with marketing, analyst, and leadership teams to share the company’s story. Prior to Flashpoint, Mike was as an Editor of Threatpost, where he covered security issues and cybercrime affecting businesses and end-users.

Prior to joining Threatpost, Mike was Editorial Director of the Security Media Group at TechTarget and Editor of Information Security magazine where he won several ASBPE national and regional writing awards. In addition, Information Security was a two-time finalist for national magazine of the year. He has been writing for business-to-business IT publications for 11 years, with a primary focus on information security.

Earlier in his career, Mike was an editor and reporter at several Boston-area newspapers. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Stonehill College in North Easton, Massachusetts.