According to the Recon Search engine onion website:
Recon is the largest Dark Net Market vendor archive service and multi marketplace search engine, providing up to date content from the majority of established markets all in one place. We strive to serve a fast and easy to use platform allowing you to cross reference vendor details, listings, statistics and marketplace addresses.
This is all accomplished through years of data archiving from past marketplaces and the integrating of an API system for active markets to easily share their public vendor and listing data to us on a regular basis.
As well as serving you with this useful data we also implement promotion tools for vendors, markets and other services through Advertising banners available across the Dread network and Ad Words style listing promotion in the product search.
Vendors can provide updates to their followers on Recon after claiming their profile and submitting a post. These posts are combined into a newsfeed where users can keep up to date with their favorite vendors.
|Launch Date||March 2020|
How is the archived data within Recon sourced?
Former/defunct marketplace data has been captured over time through web scrapes and provided privately/publicly for our use case. As well as carrying out our own scrapes over the past few years. We have tried to gather as many available data sources as possible to ensure the service is as accurate and useful as possible. Relevant data has been extracted and formatted into everything we output on the platform to give a good overview of the scale to past markets and vendors.
The main credit for this undoubtably goes to Gwern Branwen for his huge contributions of his own scrapes and the compiling of other sources, his public archive of 2013-2015 market data is available here: https://www.gwern.net/DNM-archives and includes many other data sets for marketplaces we do not list, whether that be due to lack of required information within the scrapes, the market being too small to consider, the scrape not being adequate (many failed requests) or other reasons relating directly to the market itself.
How are data imports handled for currently active markets?
Following a mutual decision my many market operators, they were all able to implement the Recon API class which has been developed to allow them to easily output their vendor and listing data into a format that we can easily collect in an automated fashion to ensure accuracy and efficiency without any further manual work going forward. This will ensure that any large market’s demise would allow vendors to bounce back with their reputation intact.
When is your data updated?
Our automated imports of active market data are conducted on scheduled days/times. Listing updates will be requested from every market once every 24 hours. Whereas vendor data and feedback are requested at a 72 hour interval.
Why do you not list X Market?
For past markets, there are many reasons as mentioned above. One I would specifically like to touch on is Tochka/Point marketplace. Whilst I do consider this market as a landmark for being the first market of its kind to be Open Source and their initial intentions along these routes were seemingly respectable – their disregard for the platform after a while, which lead to a lot of users losing their money and being locked out of their accounts, then also allowing an over-ruling by scamming vendors, allowed me to conclude that their data would not be of any use for Recon and would rather taint it with malicious vendor accounts.
As for currently active markets, at this moment in time, we will only be considering established markets with a considerable user base and meeting minimal quality criteria. This process will likely be invite-only for the forseeable future.
Your uptime statistics for X market seem incorrect/X market’s mirrors are showing as online/offline, which is not true
At the time of writing, uptime calculation and mirror checking may not be very accurate due to restrictions within the secure server setup. We will be looking to perform these look ups from external servers which will allow us to expand the mirror checking functionality to minimize false positives.
Why is X Vendor’s data incorrect or missing?
Whilst we tried to integrate as much verified data as possible from past market archives, they are only accurate to the date that they were recorded. Many market’s data is extremely outdated from the time the scrape was conducted, to the time the market closed its doors. Some information such as timestamps of when a vendor was first recorded on a market or feedback timestamps may be incorrect due to errors during data formatting or them not being provided on the market at the time the data was collected.
This has been remedied where possible by defaulting to the date of the scrape or the date the market closed. The automatic scrapes to some profiles may have also failed and were unable to be retried for one reason or another. It is possible that many will be updated/corrected at some point if we are able to gain access to further and more up to date scrapes, there are many we are aware of that are held privately by educational institutes for their research papers as an example, it may be possible to gain access to such datasets at some point.
Any issues that may have been caused during the import into our database, such as invalid formatting can be resolved if reported to us. Please make sure to use the report forms within vendor profiles and additionally open a support ticket through the account pages if more information would need to be provided.
Why do you have a vendor profile listed who was arrested/exit scammed?
Our data imports were all automatic scripts extracting relevant data and importing it into a formatted structure within our database and with millions of files scoured there would be no way for us to verify such issues per every vendor profile, so this will be extremely common. We have already been able to manually disable some profiles that we were aware of, but we will have to rely on profiles being reported by users with references/evidence of arrests/exit scams so we can amend the profiles when possible.
How do I login at Recon? Where do I get an authentication key?
Recon is the first service, along side Dread, as part of the wider Dread network which makes use of the account authentication API for Dread accounts. This means that you are able to login to Recon using your existing Dread account. To do this, make sure you are logged in over at Dread and then click on “Get Key” within Recon’s login screen. This should open your auth key generator. You will receive a one-time use code, which expires after 60 seconds. You can use this key to securely provide your basic account details to Recon in order to login. You will need to repeat this process whenever you want to login at Recon.
As a vendor, am I able to edit details on my Recon profile?
After claiming your vendor profile, you are able to edit basic details on your profile and gain access to promotion tools for your listings within the search. To claim your profile, you must first login to Recon using an existing Dread account, which already has your PGP Key attached to it. Following this, you should be able to click “Claim” above your vendor profile or from within the Recon account page.
There is a $50 claimant fee that will need to be made to take control of your profile, which is charged to assist with funding across the Dread network. This is currently only payable using Bitcoin, however Monero will be integrated within the coming weeks. Small time vendors who have some record of sales, with positive feedback are eligible for a fee waiver to assist them in their growth.