The Search button on the dark web’s Dread forum has not been working for a while now. While it appears that some users have been unaware of the fact that it has been dysfunctional for some time (See screenshot), others have come out to plead with the forum admins to restore it.
Figure 1: A Dread user that was not aware of that Dread's search function has been offline.
User AuntKateLuv started a thread with a message that read:
“I only have a little request, please bring back the search function 🙁 it has been very hard to screen our bad vendors without it”.
Figure 2: this Dread user pleads with the Dread admins to bring back the Search functionality.
Well, this user is not alone.
Another user commented under the thread by saying:
“seriously doing any sort of current vendor product specific functioning is basically impossible. im trying to search a few things that generally aren't associated and so i don't know how to associate them. pls bring search back”
Why Was the Search Function Disabled?
A message posted 1 month ago by Dread co-moderator /u/Paris stated that the search function will be offline for some time. The reason for this was pegged on the ongoing Dread rewrite.
According to the Dread staff member, the decision to take the search function offline came about as a result of technical changes that are being made on the platform. He decried the difficulty that the Dread team was experiencing trying to scale the new design enough to ensure overall site performance with the search functionality (See below).
Figure 3: The Dread admin announcement about disabling the forum's search function.
It turns out that the search function was getting in the way of new updates by blocking critical processes and creating an ample entry point for load attacks by threat actors. The admin went on to intimate that the search function was intentionally disabled until such a time when the forum’s update will be able to rewrite the current database design into an optimally operational system.
In highlight, the upcoming Dread update is meant to be loaded with a new captcha system and a host of improvements that will go a long way to improve user experiences on the site. In addition, there will also be a time-code correction on the database adjustment as part of the Dread team’s ambition to satisfy the unique needs of Dread users.
Expectedly, a section of users responded by expressing their disappointment in the loss of the forum’s search function. One of them even wondered whether the Dread community was supposed to prepare for anything, including a potential exit.
In response, the Dread admin said:
“Nothing will be lost. It's just a code adjustment to be more efficient at the scale we are moving towards. The site should seem more consistently responsive now from this single change by removing the shitty search. The next update has some major performance improvements which will allow us to keep operating without frontpage loads taking 5 seconds to complete. After that comes a much needed rewrite which I hope will be simple enough to release to the public so they can understand how some of these things work.”
Check out Tape Forum
So far, it seems that Dread users are wondering about the available dark web forum alternatives.
One user even posed about the suitability of Recon as a potential replacement as Dread sorts out its issues. Another user, however, responded by pointing out Recon’s weakness (see below).
Figure 4: Users questioning the suitability of Recon forum as a Dread alternative.
At this point, we’d like to invite you to check out the Tape Forum, which is dedicated to serve as a way for our community members from Tape to communicate.