Why did the “Torigon” dark web forum fail so badly?

  • The Torigon entered an explosive existence and quickly vanished through abandonment.
  • The creators of the new platform have done everything wrong, ignoring all the key elements of success in this area.
  • Torigon is an example of how things work in the dark web and how much work it takes to keep a platform performing well.

“Torigon” was a new English-speaking cybercrime forum that entered the dark web scene with impetus in October 2019. The fact that it no longer exists is a prime example of how this field works. Digital Shadows delves deeper into the details of ‘why’ and ‘how’, trying to decode the self-regulating nature of the dark web, who determines who should stay, who is quickly devalued, and who is excluded from the cybercrime community . This is especially complicated for dark web platforms that have to deal with DDoS attacks and various other interacting factors.

Almost from the very beginning of Torigon’s operation, the platform was listed on “dark.fail” as a rising force in the field. On top of that, Torigon has partnered with the Envoy community to help get people in quickly. Soon, around 650 users signed up as members on Torigon, enjoying a clean, contemporary design, and prospecting for the promise of something qualitatively different. After a few months, the forum’s development stopped, no new subscribers were interested in joining, and the forums went completely silent. The admins tried to convince people that the platform was still alive by posting to Torum and Envoy, but that wasn’t enough to rekindle interest.

Source: Digital Shadows

Digital Shadows believes this failure is due to a combination of factors. First, the lack of user traffic is the biggest problem that a forum of this type has to face. A large audience means having many offers, buyers, discussions, guides, etc. Having 650 users is far from sufficient to be able to support economic activity and information exchange. One of the causes could be the “Russian factor” that all English speaking forums have to contend with in their humble beginnings. Russians are a big part of the cybercrime scene and they prefer to use Russian speaking forums, both for ideological reasons and because of the language barrier. That said, starting strong is essential, and Torigon’s start wasn’t that powerful.

dead torigon
Source: Digital Shadows

And then there was the lack of investment in DDoS protection which resulted in downtime from the very beginning. Torigon users, as well as potential members, saw this as an indication that they could not trust the platform. This is directly related to the law enforcement factor that is involved in the equation for the success of a dark web project. Convincing users that they can trust the platform with their data against the FBI and Europol takes time, dedication, consistency, and covering all financial burdens. Torigon’s admins may have achieved all of this along the way when they were already overwhelmed with having to maintain a big project for little or no reward.

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