Law/Justice

The epic story of a massive dark-web takedown

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01.22.23
WIRED has never done anything quite this big, quite this epic, before.

 

Any big story by Andy Greenberg is an event, whether it’s the definitive tale of the largest cyberattack ever loosed on the world, or of a heroic hacker’s darkest secret. But this one is different. For the past five years, Andy’s been researching the spectacular demise of AlphaBay—the largest dark-web drug market in history, taken down by the most head-spinningly massive and complex police operation ever to hit the internet’s underworld. The story is so headlong, and has so many twists and snowballing developments, that we had to let it unfurl at a scale as grand as the subject itself. And so we bring you a serialized work of narrative journalism, “The Rise and Fall of AlphaBay,” unspooled in six glorious parts.

 

Adapted from Andy’s new book, Tracers in the Dark: The Global Hunt for the Crime Lords of Cryptocurrency, this project is so great we’re even giving it its own newsletter: a space where Andy will dole out a bunch of behind-the-scenes notes on his reporting process.

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You won’t want to miss it, especially once you’ve read the series. Start with Part 1 now.

 

John Gravois | Features Editor

Start Here …
The Hunt for the Dark Web’s Biggest Kingpin, Part 1: The Shadow

BY ANDY GREENBERG | 14-MINUTE READ

AlphaBay was the largest online drug bazaar in history, run by a technological mastermind who seemed untouchable—until his tech was turned against him.
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Get exclusive commentary and behind-the-scenes notes and photos from Andy Greenberg’s reporting by signing up for The Rise and Fall of AlphaBay companion newsletter.

 

This newsletter is a limited series of six editions.

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Read the Whole Series
The Hunt for the Dark Web’s Biggest Kingpin, Part 2: Pimp_alex_91
On the trail of AlphaBay’s mastermind, a tip leads detectives to a suspect in Bangkok—and to the daunting task of tracing his millions in cryptocurrency.
The Hunt for the Dark Web’s Biggest Kingpin, Part 3: Alpha Male
As authorities discover their target’s online alter ego as a boastful womanizer, their operation takes on a double life of its own—and a bold new ambition.
The Hunt for the Dark Web’s Biggest Kingpin, Part 4: Face to Face
The team uses a secret technique to locate AlphaBay’s server. But just as the operation heats up, the agents have an unexpected run-in with their target.
The Hunt for the Dark Web’s Biggest Kingpin, Part 5: Takedown
After months of meticulous planning, investigators finally move in to catch AlphaBay’s mastermind red-handed. Then the case takes a tragic turn.
The Hunt for the Dark Web’s Biggest Kingpin, Part 6: Endgame
With AlphaBay shuttered, Operation Bayonet enters its final phase: driving the site’s refugees into a giant trap. But one refugee hatched his own plan.

 

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