In recent years, more and more people are using the Dark Web. The increase in popularity is mainly due to the fact that anonymity and privacy are offered to users. If someone wants to access the Dark Web, they can use Onion Routing (TOR). This is an anonymous network. However, while users may think that their network is fully covered, there is a new one research, which argues that there is no complete anonymity in the Tor network when someone enters the Dark Web.
However, there are some limitations on this research. Initially, the results came from two dark web search engines: Onion City and Ahimia. The second restriction concerns the fact that researchers considered Tor users as a representative sample of dark web users. They ignored other anonymous ones networkssuch as Freenet and I2P.
Anonymity in the Dark Web
Networks, such as the TOR, are trying to give anonymity to users so that their online activities are not perceived. On the other hand, experts are trying to develop tools that aim at identifying and identifying individuals or services. In short, they try to "break" anonymity.
2013, the FBI took control of Freedom Host, a Tor web hosting service and infected it with a malicious software, which was created to identify visitors to the service.
Virtually this malicious software was used as an "address verifier" in Freedom Hosting. With this program, the FBI was able to identify people involved in suspicious activities. They could also locate their location using a proxy server or anonymous services such as TOR.
How to identify Tor network users?
Researchers used directory requests to estimate the number of Tor users. Directory requests "disassemble" IP addresses according to country codes.
The editors identified IP addresses via ISPs that identify Tor network connections via an up-to-date Tor relay list.
In addition, a number is given in the directory requests. These numbers, together, indirectly represent the number of Dark Web users.
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