Project Aboveground

Part 1: China’s date rape drug dealers embrace Twitter as a virtual billboard

Project Aboveground was born out of initial research into Chinese influence operation during the fall of 2019. During that research, we frequently stumbled upon Chinese language Twitter accounts employing the #香港 or #hongKong hashtags to hawk products and services  such as money laundering, carding, counterfeit documents, hacking, sex trafficking/prostitution[i], child pornography[ii] and a significant number of tweets advertising the sale of date rape drugs in the open and clear on twitter as depicted below[iii].  With the recent seizure of 13 pounds (6.05 kilograms) of the date rape drug GBL (Gamma-ButyroLactone) in international mail from China at Washington Dulles International Airport by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers[iv], and 600[v] percent increase in date rape drug seizures by New Zealand’s customs, I thought it time to give some visibility to this foul commerce. 

While most readers frequently think of dark and deep web marketplaces as the home of illicit drug sales, their appearance on clear or surface web platforms is nothing new.   As far back as 2012, we observed Japanese language advertising on platforms such as Yahoo and Twitter for  Crystal Methamphetamine or ice (シャブ) and cannabis (お野菜),  favorites amongst Japan consumers, along with other offerings such as Ketamine and MDNA.  Interestingly enough, the Japan-based surface web, narcotics market is frequently a competition between China produced (中国産) Crystal Meth and North Korean produced (北朝鮮産) Crystal Meth. With North Korean Crystal Meth considered the premium product and commanding 43% price increase over the Chinese made product for one gram of Crystal Meth.         

What makes the current set of twitter dealers different is their nearly exclusive focus on date rape drugs and the accompanying hardcore marketing media. This includes the Twitter dealers (毒枭) posting images and videos of incapacitated victims in real or depicted acts of rape and sexual assault,[vi] [vii] demonstrating the efficacy of their products.  In addition to the aforementioned content, some twitter-based dealers also employ small mammals.  This vile content includes video demonstrations of product efficacy on rats[viii] and even alleged testing of an aerosol version of a date rape incapacitant on a house pet[ix] [x].

While the vast majority of accounts only tweet in Chinese, using both simplified and traditional characters. The products are offered for sale globally via mail delivery, with dealers often adding “Global order acceptable. Specially for you” in English.   One delivery exception is Hubei Province[xi]( 除中国湖北外,全部可以发货).  Where apparently due to COVID-19 pandemic, dealers will ship to anywhere in China, except for Hubei province.  Twitter remains, for the most part, a virtual billboard to drive potential clients to other channels of communications both China-based such as WeChat (VX/WX, 微信), Tencent’s QQ messaging platform and Tudou (aka Potato 土豆), along with all the more common international messaging platforms such as Skype, LINE, WhatsApp, telegram (TG, 电报) and even Signal.  And while the main focus of the accounts and posts appears to function as advertising and marketing, some accounts support communications via Twitter DM (还可以推特私信我[xii]) as well. The majority of Twitter advertised date rape products appear locally sourced from China, with some also originating from Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan, and India.   

TERMS – Frequently seen as hashtags

TERMROMANIZATIONDEFINITION
fing霸Fing bàGHB
FM2Rohypnol/Flunitrazepam
GAY水GAY shuǐGHB
GHBGHB
G毒G dúGHB
G水G shuǐGHB
G水迷药G shuǐ mí yàoRape Water
G霸G bàGHB
KTV捡尸Jiǎn shīKTV Zombie
K仔K zǐKetamine
K他命K tā mìngKetamine
γ-羟基丁酸G-qiǎngjī dīng suānGHB
七氟烷Qī fú wánSevoflurane – Inhalational anesthetic
三唑仑Sān zuò lúnTriazolam (Halcion)
下药Xiàyàoto Slip a drug into somebody’s drink
东莨菪碱DōnglàngdàngjiǎnScopolamine (Devils Breath)
乖乖水Guāiguāi shuǐObedience Water (GHB/Rohypnol)
使蒂诺斯Shǐ dì nuò sīStilnox
催情CuīqíngAphrodisiac
催情水Cuīqíng shuǐAphrodisiac water
催情药Cuīqíng yàoAphrodisiac
催淫药Cuīyín yàoAmor Medicine
全裸水Quánluǒ shuǐGHB – Nude Water
力月西Lì yuè xīMidazolam
卡門KǎménKetamine
发浪Fā làngDebauchery – Qingdao Dialect
听话水Tīnghuà shuǐObedience Water (GHB)
咪达唑仑Mī dá zuò lúnMidazolam
唑吡坦Zuò bǐ tǎnZolpidem
喷水Pēn shuǐSpray
回春之夜Huíchūn zhī yèPassion Night
壮阳ZhuàngyángAphrodisiac
壮阳药Zhuàngyáng yàoAphrodisiac Drug for Male
夢遊水Mèngyóu shuǐSleep walking water
失忆ShīyìAmnesia
失忆水Shīyì shuǐAmnesia water
失憶水Shīyì shuǐAmnesia Water
失身水Shīshēn shuǐGHB
媚药Mèi yàoLove Medicine
媚药Mèi yàoLove Medicine
安眠药ĀnmiányàoSleeping Pills
弥漫之夜Mímàn zhī yèFulfilled Night
快活液Kuàihuó yèGHB
性藥局Xìng yào júSex Drug Pharmacy
恶魔丘比特Èmó qiūbǐtèDevils Cupid
无记忆Wú jìyìNo Memory
春阳素Chūn yáng sùUNK”PGYCHEDELIC“
母猪水Mǔ zhū shuǐThailand Sow water
氟硝安定Fú xiāo āndìngRohypnol/Flunitrazepam
氟硝西泮Fú xiāo xī pànRohypnol/Flunitrazepam
海乐神Hǎi lè shénTriazolam (Halcion
液体迷魂药Yètǐ mí hún yàoGHB
液态快乐丸Yètài kuàilè wánGHB
狄乐液Dí lè yèUnknown, possible antibiotic Dilox
猫女迷情Māo nǚ míqíngCatwoman infatuation (Cathinone) [xiii]
直男迷药Zhí nán mí yàoStraight Male date rape drug
神仙水Shénxiān shuǐGHB
約會強暴Yuēhuì qiángbàoDate Rape
红颜HóngyánBrand
约会强暴药Yuēhuì qiángbào yàoRohypnol/Flunitrazepam
羅眠樂Luó mián lèRohypnol/Flunitrazepam
肛交神水Gāngjiāo shén shuǐAnal god water (惡魔丘比特/DevilsCupid)
蒙汗药MénghànyàoTriazolam (Halcion
蒼蠅水Cāngyíng shuǐSpanish Fly (Fly Water)
西班牙苍蝇水Xībānyá cāngyíng shuǐSpanish Fly
诱奸片Yòujiān piànRohypnol/Flunitrazepam
迷奸水Míjiān shuǐRape Water/GHB
迷姦藥Míjiān yàoRohypnol/Flunitrazepam
迷情药Míqíng yàoD-R Drug/Ecstasy
迷暈藥Mí yūn yàoDizzy, Stun medicine
迷药Mí yàoTriazolam (Halcion)
迷药之王Mí yào zhī wángGHB King
迷魂药Mí hún yàoTriazolam (Halcion)
酣乐欣Hān lè xīnTriazolam (Halcion)
金蝙幅Jīn biānfúGolden Bat
非诚勿扰FēichéngwùrǎoYou are the one

[i] Sex Trafficking/Prostitution

[ii] “hXXps://www.thepostmillennial.com/exclusive-pedophiles-are-using-twitter-to-share-child-porn/”

[iii]Translation  “#迷药 #春药 #催情 #捡尸 #下药 #玩弄女神  产品下酒里的效果演示,夜店必备,联系方式在主页” (Demonstration of the effects of the product in alcohol, a must-have at the nightclub, contact information on the homepage) “hXXps://twitter[.]com/OnsSoluti/status/1160783701187420160”.

[iv] “Dulles CBP Officers Seize 13 Pounds of LA-bound GBL”.  “hXXps://www.cbp[.]gov/newsroom/local-media-release/dulles-cbp-officers-seize-13-pounds-la-bound-gbl”.   Mar 5, 2020.  “U.S. Customs and Border Protection”.

[v] “Customs sees 600 percent increase in MDMA seizures at New Zealand’s border”.  “Michael Morrah”. “hXXps://www.newshub[.]co[.]nz/home/new-zealand/2020/02/customs-sees-600-percent-increase-in-mdma-seizures-at-new-zealand-s-border.html”. Feb 24, 2020. “News Hub”.

[vi] “@rofeeva1”.  “hXXps://twitter[.]com/rofeeva1/status/1223110358845378560”.  Jan 30, 2020.

[vii] “[快速暈倒拍肩粉【貨到付款】https://bertwi.weebly[.]com美國限量進口!外用快速起效!

特別聲明】本快速暈倒型拍肩粉,是最新到的新貨,每天僅售2份,#迷药 #催情药 #三唑仑 #听话水 #迷魂药 #迷晕 #直男迷药 #催情药  #迷情药   #媚药 #催情水 #香港催情水 #澳门催情水 #台湾催情水 #马来催情水]”.

[viii] “迷药迷奸 (Slang for Rape Drug)@p4nSdcakJhJB5mz”. “hXXps://twitter[.]com/p4nSdcakJhJB5mz/status/1227824952151179264”. Feb 12, 2020. “Twitter”.

[ix] “迷药春药催情药壮阳药 全球接单 @nUwRpzsVcrteKYG”. “hXXps://twitter[.]com/nUwRpzsVcrteKYG/status/1235015279140163584” Mar 3, 2020. “Twitter”

[x] 迷药春药催情药壮阳药 全球接单 @nUwRpzsVcrteKYG”. “hXXps://twitter[.]com/nUwRpzsVcrteKYG/status/1235015590366121986” Mar 3, 2020. “Twitter”

[xi] “成人保健品.5年诚信 @WX1152364730”.  “hXXps://twitter[.]com/WX1152364730/status/1233986176270225409”. Feb 29, 2020. “Twitter”.

[xii] “杰克世家 @Sm6999”. “hXXps://twitter[.]com/Sm6999/status/1238825984377237509”.  Mar 14, 2020,  “Twitter”.

[xiii]  “癡情男網購「貓女迷情水」 驗出毒品反應遭逮”. “hXXtps://www.luzhou.police.ntpc[.]gov[.]tw/cp-630-43261-23.html”.   Mar, 20 2018.  “Luzhou Precinct, New Taipei City Police Department”. 

China classifies software as Violent Terrorism (暴力恐怖软件)

screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-17-40-00Global Voices reported today on a leaked document indicating  in China, certain software is classified as violent terrorist software.   In the cast of the leaked document, the software is classified as grade two violent terrorist software (二级暴力恐怖软件). While the software is not named in the document, the Ministry of Public Security (MPS/公安部) document does provide the software’s  MD5 hash;

c4a22435b4e78d81d568b95482b675fb

The hash correlates to a piece of software developed for use with the Android operating system as an APK (Android Application Package) called fqrouter.  fqrouter is an open source project, hosted on github (https://github.com/fqrouter/fqrouter).   Based on the project comments the app appears aimed at Chinese speaking users and useful for defeating the controls imposed by the GFWC (Great Firewall of China or 防火长城).  In Chinese this type is software is frequently known as 翻墙软件 or climbing over the wall software.

screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-21-25-16The MPS’s classification of grade two or second degree  violent terrorist software (二级暴力恐怖软件) is new and interesting as I’ve never seen it before and there does not appear to be any public instances of a definition of this term or what would constitute a 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree or grade “violent terrorist software”.  The classification of software into these levels, and association of these types of  software with a major crime category, such as terrorism, should be considered disturbing not only for those that are seeking to freely view information but also to to the any travelers to the PRC.

UPDATE: In my initial analysis, I worked under the assumption that the MPS and other PRC entities may actually have some manifest of software or tools categorized by political/criminal threat level, in this case “violent terrorism”. China’s government already employs a multitude of similar lists for software and internet services for use by government Internet monitors, but I hadn’t ever seen these categories.  Further investigation indicates that in this event the grading is linked to a reporting bonus and not a specific categorized list of “evil” software.

It appears the phrase or term “second degree violent terrorist software” (二级暴力恐怖软件) may be a bit of a misnomer.  The second degree (二级) may be part of an evidence or citizen’s report bonus (奖励) system known as the “Incentives for citizen’s reporting  violence, involving terrorism-related criminal activities” (群众举报涉恐涉暴违法犯罪活动奖励办法)[1] scheme that some municipalities in the China are advertising in order to develop a “Popular Front” (人民战线) against terrorism.  The four tier system offers a reward or incentive, cash values are enumerated below,  for different types of clues reported to the local MPS.  At this point the actual definition of what constitutes level 1 clue bonus as opposed to a level 2 clue bonus remains elusive other than some level of participation in the “prevention or detection of a violent terrorism incident” (指为防范或侦破暴力恐怖事件).

Clue Reward Payout Scheme[2]

  • 一级线索 (Level 1) Not to exceed ¥40,000 CNY (≈$5900 USD)
  • 二级线索(Level 2) ¥20,000 CNY to ¥30,000 CNY
  • 三级线索(Level 3) ¥1,000 CNY to ¥10,000 CNY
  • 四级线索(Level 4) ¥50 CNY to ¥1,000 CNY

[1] “新疆出台上交涉恐涉暴物品奖励办法”.  http://news.qq.com/a/20130707/003171.htm  Jul 07, 2013.

[2] “群众举报涉恐涉暴违法犯罪 一级线索奖励不少于4万”. http://www.cncn.gov.cn/art/2016/8/9/art_3276_236954.html Aug 9, 2016