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Silk Road Pledges to Pay Back Users After $2.6 Million Bitcoin Hack

<p>To all Silk Road users who lost money in the $2.6 million bitcoin cyberheist: The admin says he's trying to make you whole.</p>
Image: Silk Road interface
The Silk Road online interface, showing drugs and other illegal goods for sale.Silk Road

Silk Road 2.0, the reincarnated Internet black market for drugs and other illicit goods, is promising to pay back customers and vendors who were victimized by a hack that drained the site of millions of dollars in bitcoins.

“This leadership and this community will not stop until you are completely repaid,” the Silk Road moderator who goes by the name Defcon wrote in an open post.

Defcon also refuted rumors that the cybertheft was an inside job.

"We are deep into the investigation of data surrounding the attacks, and there is absolutely zero evidence of any staff member being involved," Defcon wrote. "We will publish more information as we determine its accuracy, thank you to all who have contributed tips on the attackers' identities."

Defcon revealed last week that someone exploited a “transaction malleability” flaw in the bitcoin protocol to withdraw all the cybercurrency belonging to Silk Road staff and users.

Computer security researchers Nicholas Weaver calculated that nearly 4,500 bitcoins, worth about $2.6 million, were taken.

Defcon said Silk Road 2.0 administrators "will not earn any commissions until everyone is completely paid back."

Going forward, the marketplace will no longer use a centralized escrow account to hold funds. The escrow funds were the target of last week's heist.

Also, a 5 percent flat fee will be tacked on to all transactions, with the funds going to pay back victims of the cybertheft.

The FBI last year shut down the original Silk Road, an underground web bazaar that some had dubbed "the of illegal drugs." The site was only acessible through Tor, an anonymity network that makes its users difficult to trace. A little more than a month later, Silk Road 2.0 came online.