Alphabay Shells out $46,000 to Extortionist


In February, Alphabay administrators shelled out 35 Bitcoin—approximately $46,000 US dollars—to an extortionist. The anonymous individuals first contacted the Alphabay staff in August of 2016 stating that they knew the identity of Alpha02—the founder of the market—along with the market’s operators.

The extortionist was paid back in August in hopes of preventing the DOX from being released. However, the individual requested more in February of this year, as the Alphabay team is said to have paid an additional 35 Bitcoin to the extortionist.


Once paid, the extortionist wrote, “You’ve shot yourself in the leg and dug your own hole by paying me.” He continued by demanding 179.92 BTC—the remaining Bitcoin held in the wallet that sent him the original ransom payment.

In a discussion with Motherboard, the Alphabay administrators stated, “The amount the attacker asked for was reasonable so we paid, but once we paid, he said he wanted more. We have a very strong policy of not paying an extortionist twice, so he is now making throwaway accounts and sending us proofs of his Jabber conversation with you in an effort to extort more coins from us. Now we are just ignoring him and we hope he will just get tired shortly.”