July 31, 2013
Cyber Pranksters Mail Heroin To Web Security Blogger
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Security researcher Brian Krebs from the popular blog Krebs On Security received a surprising package at his home this week: 13 small bags of heroin.
The administrator of an online forum for cybercriminals meant to frame Krebs and have him arrested on possession charges. The administrator, known online as "Fly" or "Flycracker," runs a Russian forum called "thecc(dot)bz" and worked with forum members to raise money, buy the drugs and arrange a phone call to local police once the drugs arrived at Krebs' home.
The entire scenario took place in a portion of the world wide web rarely seen by law-abiding surfers, complete with exclusive forums, networks and websites. The gram of heroin delivered to Krebs was purchased with Bitcoins on a website known as the Silk Road, an encrypted black market site named with a nod to the ancient trade routes which connected Asia with the Western world.
In an ironic twist, Krebs had actually been watching the entire plan unfold as an undercover member of the forum and alerted the FBI days before the heroin ever arrived. Once at his home, Krebs called local police and had them take away the drugs.
In a blog post detailing his adventures, Krebs says Flycracker's original plan was to raise money to buy the heroin, have it delivered to Krebs home then place a phone call to alert the police about the drugs, hopefully leading to his arrest.
In a forum post on July 14, Flycracker wrote:
"Guys, it became known recently that Brian Krebs is a heroin addict and he desperately needs the smack, so we have started the "Helping Brian Fund," and shortly we will create a bitcoin wallet called "Drugs for Krebs" which we will use to buy him the purest heroin on the Silk Road."
Often called the Amazon or eBay of drugs, Silk Road is an underground website on the hidden Tor Network which allows people to sell contraband materials online, most often illegal drugs.
After raising nearly $200 in Bitcoin, Flycracker began talking with a Silk Road vendor operating under the name "10toes" to buy the heroin.
This deal fell through and Flycracker then began working with a vendor named "Maestro" to acquire the drugs. Maestro sold one gram of heroin to Flycracker for around $165 and had it shipped to Krebs' address.
Once he received the confirmation, Flycracker took to the forums and posted an update.
"12 sacks of heroin [the seller gives 2 free sacks for a 10-sacks order] are on the road, can anyone make a call [to the police] from neighbors, with a record?" wrote Flycracker.
"Seller said the package will be delivered after 3 days, on Tuesday. If anyone calls then please say that drugs are hidden well."
Krebs received the package one day earlier than expected through the regular mail courier service. A thin envelope was delivered containing a copy of the May 2013 issue of Chicago Confidential, a glossy magazine from the Chicago Tribune. This magazine was packaged inside a second envelope and taped to an advertisement were 13 bags of white powder, one more than expected, attached to the advertisement with tape that resembled Maestro's online ads.
Local police picked up the stash to have it tested in the lab, but in his blog post Krebs says he believes the heroin is the real deal.
He also made a second blog post to tell more of this story, saying: "Just who is this Flycracker mischief maker? That will have to wait for another post. Stay tuned."