Dark Web Sites Selling Alleged Western Weapons Sent to Ukraine
Several weapon marketplaces on the dark web have listed military-grade firearms allegedly coming from Western countries that sent them to support the Ukrainian army in its fight against the Russian invaders.
Supposedly, these weapons were somehow put aside from the received supplies and are now being made available to terrorists looking to buy rocket launchers and other high-impact attack systems.
While the listings appear genuine and the offered weapons are priced realistically, the chances of them being created by pro-Russian actors for propaganda purposes are high.
Israeli cyber-intelligence specialist KELA shared the results of its investigation on this matter exclusively with BleepingComputer, and their findings point in that direction.
Dark web listings
KELA has found gun listings supposedly posted by Ukrainians on several darknet markets, some specialized in firearms.
One of them is “Thief,” which has a total of 9 listings associated with Ukraine, offered from three vendors.
The first vendor, “Weapons Ukraine,” lists rifles, grenades, and bulletproof vests at a price range between $1,100 and $3600, promising delivery on the territory of Ukraine.
While no users have left a review on this particular store, 32 completed a purchase, according to the marketplace’s stats.
Another vendor on “Thief” is “Big Discounts on Weapons,” which offers a U.S.-supplied Javelin ATGM anti-tank missile system for $30,000. The seller has set their location as Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.
Another market that lists weapons supplied to Ukraine by NATO countries is the “Black Market Guns,” which offers NLAW anti-tank missiles for $15,000 and the U.S.-made Switchblade 600 Kamikaze Drone for $7,000.
Real or fake?
KELA has confirmed that many of these listings are posted on pro-Russian Telegram channels and even Russian media outlets shortly after publication on the darknet markets.
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In some cases, the claims made on these channels are that the weapons are smuggled through Moldova by trucks carrying “classified” cargo, implying that the state of Ukraine has knowledge of the matter.
However, the coordinated publication on multiple platforms increases the likelihood of this being part of a disinformation campaign aiming to present Ukrainians as unethical and untrustworthy.
Finally, there’s always the possibility these listings are added by scammers wanting to take advantage of the situation and make a profit out of thin air.
If that is the case, pro-Russian outlets could be simply picking them up, assuming they’re real, or using them to promote their narrative.
At this stage, the authenticity of weapon listings from Ukraine on the dark web cannot be verified, but judging from available information and accompanying clues, most seem to be fake.