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Source: This article was Published in infoworld.com By Caroline Craig - Contributed by Member: Carol R. Venuti

The government agency that brought us the Internet has now developed a powerful new search engine that is shedding light on the contents of the so-called deep Web

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) began work on the Memex Deep Web Search Engine a year ago, and this week unveiled its tools to Scientific American and "60 Minutes." 

Memex, which is being developed by 17 different contractor teams, aims to build a better map of Internet content and uncover patterns in online data that could help law enforcement officers and others. While early trials have focused on mapping the movements of human traffickers, the technology could one day be applied to investigative efforts such as counterterrorism, missing persons, disease response, and disaster relief.

Dan Kaufman, director of the information innovation office at DARPA, says Memex is all about making the unseen seen. "The Internet is much, much bigger than people think," DARPA program manager Chris White told "60 Minutes." "By some estimates Google, Microsoft Bing, and Yahoo only give us access to around 5 percent of the content on the Web."

Google and Bing produce results based on popularity and ranking, but Memex searches content typically ignored by commercial search engines, such as unstructured data, unlinked content, temporary pages that are removed before commercial search engines can crawl them, and chat forums. Regular search engines ignore this deep Web data because Web advertisers -- where browser companies make their money -- have no interest in it.

Memex also automates the mechanism of crawling the dark, or anonymous, Web where criminals conduct business. These hidden services pages, accessible only through the TOR anonymizing browser, typically operate under the radar of law enforcement selling illicit drugs and other contraband. Where it was once thought that dark Web activity consisted of 1,000 or so pages, White told Scientific American that there could be between 30,000 and 40,000 dark Web pages.

Until now it was hard to look at these sites in any systemic way. But Memex -- which Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. calls "Google search on steroids" -- not only indexes their content but analyzes it to uncover hidden relationships that could be useful to law enforcement.

DARPA's search tools were introduced to select law enforcement agencies last year, including Manhattan's new Human Trafficking Response Unit. Memex is now used in every human trafficking case it pursues and has played a role in generating at least 20 sex trafficking investigations. The supercharged Web crawler can identify relationships among different pieces of data and produces data maps that help investigators detect patterns.

In a demo for "60 Minutes," White showed how Memex is able to track the movement of traffickers based on data related to online advertisements for sex. "Sometimes it's a function of IP address, but sometimes it's a function of a phone number or address in the ad or the geolocation of a device that posted the ad," White said. "There are sometimes other artifacts that contribute to location."

White emphasized that Memex does not resort to hacking in order to retrieve information. "If something is password protected, it is not public content and Memex does not search it," he told Scientific American. "We didn't want to cloud this work unnecessarily by dragging in the specter of snooping and surveillance" -- a touchy subject after Edward Snowden's NSA revelations.

Memex got its name (a combination of "memory" and "index") and inspiration from a hypothetical device described by Vannevar Bush in 1945 that presaged the invention of PCs, the Internet, and other major IT advances of the next 70 years. Now DARPA and Memex seem set to bring us one step closer to Philip Dick's futuristic police department depicted in "Minority Report."

A new round of testing, set to begin in a few weeks, will include federal and district prosecutors, regional and national law enforcement, and multiple NGOs. According to the Scientific American report, it aims to "test new image search capabilities that can analyze photos even when portions that might aid investigators -- including traffickers' faces or a television screen in the background -- are obfuscated."

By inventing better ways of interacting with and presenting information gathered from a larger pool of sources, "we want to improve search for everybody. Ease of use for nonprogrammers is essential," White said.

Published in Deep Web

Source: This article was Published in gizmodo.com By  David Nield - Contributed by Member: Corey Parker

The deep web and its inner recess, the dark web—those less well-trodden parts of the internet beyond the reach of Google and Bing—are not for the faint-hearted or untrained. With the right tools, however, there’s little to fear and plenty to discover. Here’s how you can start exploring the deep web without having to worry about your digital well-being.

There are a few ways to approach this, but we’re going to focus on one of the most straightforward and secure for simplicity’s sake. We’re going to be using Tails OS, a bootable operating system that includes everything you need to get down to those hidden parts of the web.

If you’re still unclear about what the deep web is, it’s any part of the internet that’s not indexed by search engines—anywhere you can’t get from just clicking links. A large part of the deep web is made up of onion sites (like the infamous Silk Road), which use a special top-level domain only reachable by a special browser called Tor. Technically, the dark web is a more illicit subsection of the deep web, though the terms are often confused.

For the curious or privacy-conscious internet explorer, it’s worth checking out to see what lies beyond the internet we interact with on a day to day basis. But please note: you should be extra careful when clicking links on the deep web as some can lead to illegal sites. Browse at your own risk

 

Downloading and installing Tails

Downloading and installing Tails

Fortunately Tails has an installation wizard that guides you step-by-step through the process of setting up the software—if you want to create a bootable USB copy of Tails (which we do) then you need a Windows machine and two 4GB+ USB sticks (the first is for an “intermediary” version of the OS).

You’re also going to require Firefox, the Tor Browser or a BitTorrent client in order to verify the initial download and confirm it is what it says it is. On top of that you need a Universal USB Installer utility, which the installation wizard directs you to, which will take care of creating the first USB stick using your downloaded Tails ISO.

Setup and installing Tails

After that’s done, boot from this newly created drive to configure the second one. This official guide takes you carefully through the process. Use the Install by cloning option in the Tails Installer to create your second USB stick, which includes some security enhancements and extras not built into the first one.

Finally, remove the first USB stick, keep the second in place, and boot from it. You’re now ready to start venturing out into the deep web. If you run into trouble (and we hit one or two obstacles along the way), then a general web search for your issue or the official Tails support portal should get you moving again.

Browsing the deep web

Browse the deep web

The Tor Browser is your gateway into the dark web—you can actually use it on Mac and Windows too, but Tails OS adds an extra few layers of security, and comes with Tor included. The browser is based on Firefox, so you shouldn’t have many problems finding your way around, and will open the Tails OS homepage by default.

As you might expect, browsing the deep web isn’t quite as simple as clicking on a few links or searching Google. The best way in is through ‘hidden’ wikis like this one (note you won’t be able to click through on any onion links without the Tor browser) and various others you can find via Reddit or with some clever web searching on sites like DuckDuckGo.

OnionDir Browser

Of course the whole point of the deep web is that casual internet users can’t simply fire up Google or read a guide like this to get started easily—so finding working, up-to-date links and directories can take some time. Forums, plenty of patience, and occasionally the Torch search engine are your best bets for finding a way into new communities.

The deep web has a reputation for shady activity, but it’s also a place for whistleblowing, bitcoin exchanges, and political discussion away from the glare of the public internet. It’s changed a lot in recent years as security agencies have become more aware of its presence, and it will continue to evolve in the future.

 

 

Published in Deep Web

Source: This article was Published in csoonline.com By  Darren Guccione - Contributed by Member: Carol R. Venuti

The dark web is part of the internet that isn't visible to search engines and requires the use of an anonymizing browser called Tor to be accessed.

Dark web definition

The dark web is a part of the internet that isn't indexed by search engines. You've no doubt heard talk of the “dark web” as a hotbed of criminal activity — and it is. Researchers Daniel Moore and Thomas Rid of King's College in London classified the contents of 2,723 live dark web sites over a five-week period a couple of years ago and found that 57 percent host illicit material. 

You can buy credit card numbers, all manner of drugs, guns, counterfeit money, stolen subscription credentials, hacked Netflix accounts and software that helps you break into other people’s computers. Buy login credentials to a $50,000 Bank of America account for $500. Get $3,000 in counterfeit $20 bills for $600. Buy seven prepaid debit cards, each with a $2,500 balance, for $500 (express shipping included). A “lifetime” Netflix premium account goes for $6. You can hire hackers to attack computers for you. You can buy usernames and passwords.

But not everything is illegal, the dark web also has a legitimate side. For example, you can join a chess club or BlackBook, a social network described as the “the Facebook of Tor.”

Note: This post contains links to dark web sites that can only be accessed with the Tor browser, which can be downloaded for free at https://www.torproject.org.   

Dark web browser

All of this activity, this vision of a bustling marketplace, might make you think that navigating the dark web is easy. It isn’t. The place is as messy and chaotic as you would expect when everyone is anonymous, and a substantial minority are out to scam others. 

Accessing the dark web requires the use of an anonymizing browser called Tor. The Tor browser routes your web page requests through a series of proxy servers operated by thousands of volunteers around the globe, rendering your IP address unidentifiable and untraceable. Tor works like magic, but the result is an experience that’s like the dark web itself: unpredictable, unreliable and maddeningly slow.

Dark web search engines exist, but even the best are challenged to keep up with the constantly shifting landscape. The experience is reminiscent of searching the web in the late 1990s. Even one of the best search engines, called Grams, returns results that are repetitive and often irrelevant to the query. Link lists like The Hidden Wiki are another option, but even indices also return a frustrating number of timed-out connections and 404 errors.

Dark web sites

Dark web sites look pretty much like any other site, but there are important differences. One is the naming structure. Instead of ending in .com or .co, dark web sites end in .onion. That’s “a special-use top level domain suffix designating an anonymous hidden service reachable via the Tor network,” according to Wikipedia. Browsers with the appropriate proxy can reach these sites, but others can’t.

Dark web sites also use a scrambled naming structure that creates URLs that are often impossible to remember. For example, a popular commerce site called Dream Market goes by the unintelligible address of “eajwlvm3z2lcca76.onion.”

Many dark websites are set up by scammers, who constantly move around to avoid the wrath of their victims. Even commerce sites that may have existed for a year or more can suddenly disappear if the owners decide to cash in and flee with the escrow money they’re holding on behalf of customers.

Law enforcement officials are getting better at finding and prosecuting owners of sites that sell illicit goods and services. In the summer of 2017, a team of cyber cops from three countries successfully shut down AlphaBay, the dark web’s largest source of contraband, sending shudders throughout the network. But many merchants simply migrated elsewhere.

The anonymous nature of the Tor network also makes it especially vulnerable to distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS), said Patrick Tiquet, Director of Security & Architecture at Keeper Security, and the company’s resident expert on the topic. “Sites are constantly changing addresses to avoid DDoS, which makes for a very dynamic environment,” he said. As a result, “The quality of search varies widely, and a lot of material is outdated.”

Commerce on the dark web

The dark web has flourished thanks to bitcoin, the crypto-currency that enables two parties to conduct a trusted transaction without knowing each other’s identity. “Bitcoin has been a major factor in the growth of the dark web, and the dark web has been a big factor in the growth of bitcoin,” says Tiquet.

Nearly all dark web commerce sites conduct transactions in bitcoin or some variant, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe to do business there. The inherent anonymity of the place attracts scammers and thieves, but what do you expect when buying guns or drugs is your objective?

Dark web commerce sites have the same features as any e-retail operation, including ratings/reviews, shopping carts and forums, but there are important differences. One is quality control. When both buyers and sellers are anonymous, the credibility of any ratings system is dubious. Ratings are easily manipulated, and even sellers with long track records have been known to suddenly disappear with their customers’ crypto-coins, only to set up shop later under a different alias.

Most e-commerce providers offer some kind of escrow service that keeps customer funds on hold until the product has been delivered. However, in the event of a dispute don’t expect service with a smile. It’s pretty much up to the buyer and the seller to duke it out. Every communication is encrypted, so even the simplest transaction requires a PGP key.

Even completing a transaction is no guarantee that the goods will arrive. Many need to cross international borders, and customs officials are cracking down on suspicious packages. The dark web news site Deep.Dot.Web teems with stories of buyers who have been arrested or jailed for attempted purchases.

Is the dark web illegal?

We don’t want to leave you with the impression that everything on the dark web is nefarious or illegal. The Tor network began as an anonymous communications channel, and it still serves a valuable purpose in helping people communicate in environments that are hostile to free speech. “A lot of people use it in countries where there’s eavesdropping or where internet access is criminalized,” Tiquet said.

If you want to learn all about privacy protection or cryptocurrency, the dark web has plenty to offer. There are a variety of private and encrypted email services, instructions for installing an anonymous operating system and advanced tips for the privacy-conscious.

There’s also material that you wouldn’t be surprised to find on the public web, such as links to full-text editions of hard-to-find books, collections of political news from mainstream websites and a guide to the steam tunnels under the Virginia Tech campus. You can conduct discussions about current events anonymously on Intel Exchange. There are several whistleblower sites, including a dark web version of Wikileaks. Pirate Bay, a BitTorrent site that law enforcement officials have repeatedly shut down, is alive and well there. Even Facebook has a dark web presence.

“More and more legitimate web companies are starting to have presences there,” Tiquet said. “It shows that they’re aware, they’re cutting edge and in the know.”

There’s also plenty of practical value for some organizations. Law enforcement agencies keep an ear to the ground on the dark web looking for stolen data from recent security breaches that might lead to a trail to the perpetrators. Many mainstream media organizations monitor whistleblower sites looking for news.

Staying on top of the hacker underground

Keeper’s Patrick Tiquet checks in regularly because it’s important for him to be on top of what’s happening in the hacker underground. “I use the dark web for situational awareness, threat analysis and keeping an eye on what’s going on,” he said will. “I want to know what information is available and have an external lens into the digital assets that are being monetized – this gives us insight on what hackers are targeting.”

If you find your own information on the dark web, there’s precious little you can do about it, but at least you’ll know you’ve been compromised. Bottom line: If you can tolerate the lousy performance, unpredictable availability, and occasional shock factor of the dark web, it’s worth a visit. Just don’t buy anything there.

 

 

 

Published in Deep Web

Source: This article was Published in news.bitcoin.com By Kai Sedgwick - Contributed by Member: Robert Hensonw

In this latest edition of our periodic deep web series, we bring news of Tor 8 – the most feature-rich onion browser yet. We also take a first look at a clearnet web browser that trawls the darknet, and cover the fallout from the Alphabay shutdown, whose repercussions rumble on to this day.

Tor 8 Looks Great

The Tor Project has released its latest and greatest browser yet. Tor 8 is a slick looking beast compared to the Tor browsers of yore, partially thanks to its incorporation of Firefox Quantum, which allows for better page rendering and other subtle tweaks. With Tor 8, there’s a new welcome screen to guide first-time users through the process of connecting to the deep web, and there are additional security protections built in. A Tor Circuit button can now be used to switch servers at random, further obfuscating users’ connection route.

The Tor Project

The Tor Circuit button in action

Tor 8 comes with HTTPS Everywhere and Noscript, and it is recommended that users enable these add-ons, as they’re critical in maximizing anonymity while browsing the web. While the Tor browser is best known as a tool for navigating the dark web, it can also be deployed as a privacy-friendly clearnet browser which minimizes cookies and other web trackers. Finally, the new improved Tor makes it easier to circumvent firewalls in countries where internet censorship is rife. Its development team explains:

For users where Tor is blocked, we have previously offered a handful of bridges in the browser to bypass censorship. But to receive additional bridges, you had to send an email or visit a website, which posed a set of problems. To simplify how you request bridges, we now have a new bridge configuration flow when you when you launch Tor. Now all you have to do is solve a captcha in Tor Launcher, and you’ll get a bridge IP. We hope this simplification will allow more people to bypass censorship and browse the internet freely and privately.

Deep Web Gets a Clearnet Search Engine

Searching the deep web has traditionally been harder than with its clearnet counterpart. The absence of a darknet Google is arguably part of its appeal, making onion sites accessible only to those who know what they’re looking for. It was this barrier to entry that ensured sites like Silk Road were accessible solely to technically adept users in bitcoin’s early days. The deep web has opened up significantly since then, giving up its secrets, and in the same week that Tor released its most user-friendly browser yet, it’s perhaps fitting that a clearnet search engine for the deep web should launch. Onionlandsearchengine.com is a simple but effective tool for generating deep web search results without needing to first connect to the deep web.

Deep Web Gets a Clearnet Search Engine

Onionland deep web search engine

US Government Authorized to Seize Alphabay Suspect’s Assets

Long after deep web marketplaces have been shut down, the fallout continues to make its mark in US courtrooms. Silk Road, Hansa, and Alphabay’s legal wranglings periodically make the news, despite the years elapsed since the sites were first seized. As evidence of this, consider the ruling by a recent US magistrate judge granting the federal government permission to seize and sell millions of dollars worth of assets associated with Alexandre Cazes. The reputed Alphabay ringleader had $8 million of assets on his driveway alone at the time of this arrest in a string of high performance sports cars. Including cryptocurrencies, his total net worth was eventually calculated at $23 million.

US Government Authorized to Seize Alphabay Suspects Assets

The US government’s application for Alphabay asset seizure

Among the showier items in Cazes’ collection was a Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 worth almost $1 million with a license plate that read “Tor”. The late Alphabay boss certainly wasn’t subtle, but for all his sins, it is hard not to feel sorry for the 25-year-old who wound up dead in a Bangkok cell from suicide, another needless victim of the war on drugs.

 

Published in Deep Web

Source: This article was Published in howtogeek.com By CHRIS HOFFMAN - Contributed by Member: Olivia Russell

Experian and many other companies are pushing “dark web scans.” They promise to search the dark web for your personal information to see if criminals are selling it. Don’t waste your money.

What is the Dark Web?

The “dark web” consists of hidden websites that you can’t access without special software. These websites won’t appear when you use Google or another search engine, and you can’t even access them unless you go out of your way to use the appropriate tools.

For example, the Tor software can be used for anonymous browsing of the normal web, but it also hides special sites known as “.onion sites” or “Tor hidden services.” These websites use Tor to cloak their location, and you only access them through the Tor network.

 What is the Dark Web

There are legitimate uses for Tor hidden services. For example, Facebook offers a Tor .onion site at facebookcorewwwi.onion, which you can only access while connected to Tor. This allows people in countries where Facebook is blocked to access Facebook. The DuckDuckGo search engine is available at a Tor hidden service address, too. This could also help evade government censorship.

But the dark web is also used for criminal activities. If you’re going to sell databases of people’s credit card and social security numbers online, you want to hide your location so the authorities won’t swoop in. That’s why criminals often sell this data on the dark web. It’s the same reason why the infamous Silk Road website, an online black market for drugs and other illicit things, was only available through Tor.

They’re Not Scanning the Entire Dark Web

Let’s get one thing straight: These services are not scanning the entire dark web for your data. That’s just impossible.

There are 1,208,925,819,614,629,174,706,176 possible site addresses on the dark web, and that’s just counting Tor .onion sites. It wouldn’t be possible to check each one to see if they’re online and then also look for your data on them.

Even if these services were scanning the entirety of the public dark web—which they’re not—they wouldn’t be able to see the exclusive stuff anyway. That would be exchanged privately and not made public.

What Does a “Dark Web Scan” Do, Then?

No company that offers a “dark web scan” will tell you what they do, but we can certainly make an informed guess. These companies are gathering data dumps made public on popular websites on the dark web.

When we say “data dumps,” we’re referring to big databases of usernames and passwords—as well as other personal information, like social security numbers and credit card details—that are stolen from compromised websites and released online.

Rather than scanning the dark web, they’re scanning lists of leaked passwords and personal information—which, admittedly, are often found on the dark web. They’ll then inform you if your personal information is found on one of the lists they could get their hands on.

However, even if a dark web scan says you’re fine, you might not be—they’re only searching the publicly available leaks to which they have access. They can’t scan everything out there.

How to Monitor Data Breaches for Free

How to Monitor Data Breaches for Free

Behind all the “dark web scan” hype, there’s a somewhat useful service here. But, guess what: You can already do much of this for free.

Troy Hunt’s Have I Been Pwned? will tell you whether your email address or password appears in one of 322 (and counting) data dumps from websites. You can also have it notify you when your email address appears in a new data dump.

This service doesn’t scan to see if your social security number is included in any of these leaks, as dark web scans promise to do. But, if you’re just looking to see if your credentials have leaked, it’s a useful service.

As always, it’s a good idea to use unique passwords everywhere. That way, even if your email address and password from one website appear in a leak, criminals can’t just try that combination on other websites to gain access to your accounts. A password manager can remember all those unique passwords for you.

Face the Facts: Your Data Is Already Stolen

You might still be thinking a dark web scan could be useful. After all, it tells you whether your social security number appears in any data dumps. That’s useful, right?

Well, not necessarily. Look, you should probably assume that your social security number has already been compromised and criminals can access it if they like. That’s the harsh truth.

Huge breaches have been coming hard and fast. Equifax leaked 145.5 million social security numbers. Anthem leaked the information of 78.8 million people, including social security numbers. The United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) leaked sensitive information on 21.5 million people, too—again, including social security numbers.

Those are just a few examples. There have been many other leaks over the years—a few million here, a few hundred thousand there. And that’s just the data breaches that have been publicly reported. Statistically speaking, most Americans have probably had their social security numbers leaked in at least one of these data breaches by now. The genie is out of the bottle.

Freeze Your Credit; It’s Free Now

Freeze Your Credit Its Free Now

If you’re concerned about someone abusing your social security number, we recommend freezing your credit reports. Credit freezes (and unfreezes) are now free across the entire USA.

When you freeze your credit, you’re preventing people from opening new credit in your name. Any lending institution won’t be able to pull your credit until you unfreeze it or provide a PIN. You can temporarily unfreeze your credit when you want to apply for credit—for example, when you’re applying for a credit card, car loan, or mortgage. But a criminal shouldn’t be able to apply for credit with your personal information if your credit reports are frozen.

We recommend just freezing your credit reports and skipping the dark web scan. Unlike a dark web scan, credit freezes are free. They also do something—even if your social security number is found in a dark web scan, all you can do is freeze your credit anyway. And criminals might get their hands on your social security number even if it doesn’t appear in a dark web scan.

Published in Deep Web

Source: This article was Published in phys.org By Frédéric Garlan - Contributed by Member: Deborah Tannen

For years criminal websites shrouded in secrecy have thrived beyond the reach of traditional search engines, but a group of French engineers has found a way to navigate this dark web—a tool they don't want to fall into the wrong hands.

"We insist on this ability to say 'no'," Nicolas Hernandez, co-founder and CEO of Aleph Networks, says at the company's offices near Lyon, in the heart of France's Beaujolais wine country.

He said Aleph refused 30 to 40 percent of licensing requests for its "Google of the dark web," based on reviews by its ethics committee and input from its government clients.

Most web users never venture beyond the bounds of sites easily found and accessed with casual web surfing.

But people and sites seeking anonymity can hide behind layers of secrecy using easily available software like Tor or I2P.

These sites can't be found by searching: instead, users have to type in the exact URL string of often random characters.

In an authoritarian regime, a protest movement could use the secrecy to organise itself or connect with the outside world without fear of discovery.

But the dark web is also ideal for drug and weapon sales, people-smuggling and encrypted chat-room communications by terrorists.

When Aleph's co-founder Celine Haeri uses her software to search for "Glock", the Austrian pistol maker, several sites offering covert gun sales instantly pop up.

A search for Caesium 137, a radioactive element that could be used to create a "dirty" nuclear bomb, reveals 87 dark web sites, while another page explains how to make explosives or a homemade bazooka.

Arms smugglers find the dark web particularly useful

Arms smugglers find the dark web particularly useful

"Some even advertise the stars they've gotten for customer satisfaction," Hernandez said.

Uncharted territory

Over the past five years Aleph has indexed 1.4 billion links and 450 million documents across some 140,000 dark web sites.

As of December its software had also found 3.9 million stolen credit card numbers.

"Without a search engine, you can't have a comprehensive view" of all the hidden sites, Hernandez said.

He and a childhood friend began their adventure by putting their hacking skills to work for free-speech advocates or anti-child abuse campaigners, while holding down day jobs as IT engineers.

Haeri, at the time a teacher, asked for their help in merging blogs by her colleagues opposed to a government reform of the education system.

The result became the basis of their mass data collection and indexing software, and the three created Aleph in 2012.

They initially raised 200,000 euros ($228,000) but had several close calls with bankruptcy before finding a keen client in the French military's weapon and technology procurement agency.

"They asked us for a demonstration two days after the Charlie Hebdo attack," Hernandez said, referring to the 2015 massacre of 12 people at the satirical magazine's Paris offices, later claimed by a branch of Al-Qaeda.

Terror atttacks in 2015 focused French authorities minds on the dark net

Terror atttacks in 2015 focused French authorities' minds on the dark net

"They were particularly receptive to our pitch which basically said, if you don't know the territory—which is the case with the dark web—you can't gain mastery of it," Haeri added.

Ethical risks

The ability to covertly navigate the dark web is a holy grail for security services trying to crack down on illicit trafficking and prevent terror attacks.

The US government's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been working on a similar project, called Memex, for years.

Aleph plans to soon add artificial intelligence capabilities to its software, which would recognise images such as Kalashnikov rifles or child abuse victims, or alert businesses to potential copyright infringement.

Its revenues are expected to reach around 660,000 euros this year, a figure it hopes to double in 2019.

That has attracted the attention of investors as Aleph steps up efforts to add more private-sector buyers to its roster of government clients.

But as more people and businesses start using Aleph's search engine, the risk increases that criminal organisations or hostile governments will eventually gain access.

The challenge will be to grow while setting out clear guidelines for handling the thorny ethical questions.

But Hernandez insisted he would remain vigilant, comparing his role to that of the "Protectors of the City" in ancient Greek democracies.

 

 

 

Published in Deep Web

Source: This article was Published in hothardware.com By Rod Scher - Contributed by Member: Jasper Solander

We have all heard of the dark web: a lawless digital world, uncharted and unstructured, full of data -- much of it illegally acquired and illegally for sale -- that cannot be viewed without special tools: proxy servers, TOR browsers, and the like. It's a murky and mysterious place, a place where much information resides but is difficult to unearth for the uninitiated.

Until now. Canada's Echosec Systems Ltd. recently released Beacon, a security tool that's designed to shed some light on the dark web.

Karl1 Karl Swannie is the CEO of Echosec, the company behind Beacon.

"Beacon is a dark web search engine that allows users to search anonymously, without the need for a TOR browser," says Echosec CTO Michael Raypold. "We’ve designed Beacon to be simple to interact with, while incorporating powerful advanced search tools, making searching unindexed data in the dark web as easy as using a surface web search engine."

The idea behind Beacon is that it can be used by a company to potentially head off -- or at the very least mitigate -- a potential disaster. Since the bulk of the data on the dark web is essentially unstructured, the Echosec team crawled the dark web, indexed its content and then build a natural language query interface that allows non-hackers to access that information quickly and easily. Simply put, Beacon is like Google for the dark web.

beacongrabWith Beacon, dark web data can be searched by a variety of criteria. Specific types of data (credit cards, emails, etc.) can be searched for explicitly.

Keep in mind, of course, that not everything on the dark web is illegal.

Says Raypold, "The dark web is a place where you can source illegal or illicit materials because the inherent privacy and anonymity baked into platforms like the TOR network makes buying and selling these goods easier to achieve without repercussions. However, that isn’t to say everything on the dark web is illegal. News organization like the NYTimes and Pro Publica maintain Onion sites for their more privacy-conscious users and to help disseminate news that might otherwise be censored." Still, much of the dark web's content was acquired illegally and can be misused to spread misinformation, victimize vulnerable populations, execute social engineering exploits, or engage in various forms of identity theft.

We all know that information in the wrong hands can be dangerous. Raypold cites the story of Coca-Cola's attempt, some years back, to acquire a Chinese soft drink company. Unbeknownst to high-level Coca-Cola executives, the company's secret plans and negotiation tactics were in fact not secret at all, because Coca-Cola had been previously hacked, thanks to a phishing email opened by a Coca-Cola exec.

Beacon did not exist at that time (2009), but it's likely that some of the information retrieved from the hack and many pilfered emails would have ended up on the dark web; if so, Beacon could have unearthed them, letting the company know of its vulnerability long before 2009 and perhaps allowing Coca-Cola to mitigate the damage. (In the end, the acquisition fell through, most likely because Coca-Cola -- having lost control of its confidential information -- had also lost any leverage it might have had in the negotiations.)

The goal of Beacon, says Raypold, is to allow companies to easily examine data on the dark web as a way of locating the potentially harmful information that’s stored there: this could include stolen corporate emails, company documents, personal info, or other such data that could be detrimental to a company, its brand, or its customers. After all, if your data has been compromised, it's always better to know than not to know.
MikeMike Raypold is the CTO of Echosec, LTD.

"Beacon allows teams to more quickly identify and respond to information that can materially damage a company’s brand and consumer trust," says Raypold. "Being able to quickly identify a sensitive problem also means that you can start putting a solution in place and notify your customers before they find out through other means."



Of course, a security tool is but another weapon in the wrong hands, and weapons can be misused; it's one thing for a pen-tester or white-hat hacker to be in possession of systems that can locate or uncover data, but what about someone finding a way to misuse Beacon? While Raypold notes that it is possible to misuse Beacon, since the tool makes it easier for users to locate data they might otherwise have difficulty finding, he says that the company has taken steps to mitigate that danger.

"First, every Echosec customer must go through a use-case approval process to determine how the customer is using the application and to make sure they are in compliance with the vendors from whom the data Is sourced," says Raypold. "If a potential customer cannot pass the use-case approval process, they do not get access to the system."

Beacon Black

Second, the company has built automated tools and manual processes into its platform and into the company workflows to notify the Echosec team if users attempt to run searches that are in violation of their approved use case.

"The checks built into the platform will outright prevent some searches from being run so that users never receive data that we perceive could be used with malicious intent. Furthermore, some of the vendors from whom we source data have asked us to prevent certain queries from being run, regardless of a customer's use case," says Raypold. (Naturally, the company publishes an "acceptable use" policy, which can be found here.)

Echosec expects to sell Beacon mainly to corporate customers interested in keeping tabs on their intellectual property, corporate secrets, and other sensitive data. White-hat hackers -- such as pen-testers -- could conceivably be a market as well, but the company feels that would be fairly uncommon. And if it did occur, it would simply be viewed as an example of contracted security experts acting on behalf of the ultimate corporate customer.

However, (and by whomever) Beacon is used, it looks as if the murky landscape of the dark web is no longer quite as dark as it once was.

Published in Deep Web

Source: This article was Published cnbc.com By Arjun Kharpal - Contributed by Member: Martin Grossner

  • The dark web is a hidden portion of the internet that can only be accessed using special software.
  • TOR, or The Onion Router, is a popular anonymous browsing network used to connect to the dark web.
  • While the dark web offers anonymity and a way to bypass internet censorship, it is commonly associated with illegal activities such as the buying and selling of drugs and other contraband.

The so-called dark web, a portion of the hidden internet, is usually associated with a host of illegal activities including the buying and selling of drugs, firearms, stolen financial data and other types of valuable information. The selling point? Total anonymity.

That may sound nefarious, but some experts argue that the dark web is also useful in circumventing internet censorship.

While most people spend their time online on what is known as the surface web — the portion of the World Wide Web that can be accessed with standard browsers and search engines — it has become relatively easy for anyone to access the dark web.

The dark web is a small subset of the deep web, which is part of the internet that is not found using search engines. That includes many websites that require users to log in with a username and password, and the deep web is estimated to be about 400 to 500 times larger than the common internet. The dark web is relatively smaller — it is made up of a series of encrypted networks that is able to hide users' identities and locations and can only be accessed with special software.

The most popular of those networks is called TOR, or The Onion Router, which was developed initially for government use before it was made available to the general public.

"When people typically refer to the dark web, a lot of the time they're referring to a portion of the internet that's accessible using an anonymous browsing network called TOR," Charles Carmakal, a vice president at cybersecurity firm FireEye, told CNBC's "Beyond the Valley" podcast.

One of the primary functions of the TOR network is that it allows users to access ".onion" pages, which are specially encrypted for maximum privacy.

Carmakal explained that TOR also lets users connect to normal websites anonymously so that their internet service providers cannot tell what they're browsing. Similarly, the websites will not be able to pinpoint the location of the users browsing their pages.

On the TOR browser, the connection requests are re-routed several times before reaching their destination. For example, if a user in Singapore is trying to connect to a website in London, that request on a TOR browser could be routed from Singapore to New York to Sydney to Capetown to, finally, London.

According to Carmakal, a service like TOR is a useful tool for many users to bypass state censorship and crackdowns on the internet. With it, he said, they can communicate with the free world without any repercussions. The service is also used by journalists and law enforcement, he said.

Still, the term dark web today is commonly associated with illegal activities. In recent years, a number of high-profile marketplaces on the dark web were taken down for selling drugs and other contraband, including Silk Road, AlphaBay and Hansa.

Law enforcement agencies around the world have been working hard to take down communities on the dark web that criminals use, according to James Chappell, co-founder of a London-based threat intelligence company Digital Shadows.

Hansa, for instance, was taken down by the Dutch national police last year after authorities seized control of the marketplace. In a press release, the officials said they had collected around 10,000 addresses of buyers on the marketplace and passed them onto Europol, the European Union's law enforcement body.

"It was very interesting to see the effect this had. Initially, we thought that lots of websites would come back online, just replacing Hansa as soon as it was taken down," Chappell told, "Beyond the Valley." Instead, a lot of the users moved away from TOR and onto message-based services like Discord and Telegram, he said.

Published in Deep Web

 Source: This article was Published hackercombat.com By Julia Sowells - Contributed by Member: Bridget Miller

When we have to search for something on the Internet, our mind by default goes to Google or Bing. Obviously, our mind is tuned that way, and we get the results we seek. But how often do we consider that the information we are really looking for might be available on the deep web?

The major search engine keeps meticulous details of our movement on the Internet. Well, if you don’t want Google to know about your online searches and activities, it is best to keep anonymity.

Now, what about those huge databases of content lying in the repository of ‘Invisible Web’ popularly known as the ‘Deep Web’ where the general crawlers are not able to reach? How do you get them?

Deep web content is believed to be about 500 times bigger than normal search content, and it mostly goes unnoticed by regular search engines. When you look at the typical search engine, it performs a generic search. For example, there are huge personal profiles, and records of people related documents on static websites, and this high-quality content is invisible to the search engines.

Why is a Deep Web search not available from Google?

The primary reason Google doesn’t provide deep web content is that this content doesn’t index in the regular search engines. Hence, these search engines will not show results, or crawl to a document or file which is unindexed by the world wide web. The content lies behind the HTML forms. Regular search engines crawl, and the searches are derived from interconnected servers.

Interconnected servers mean you are regularly interacting with the source, but when it comes to the dark web this does not happen. Everything is behind the veil and stays hidden internally on the Tor network; which ensures security and privacy.

Only 4 percent of Internet content is visible to the general public, and the other 96 percent is hidden behind the deep web.

Now, the reason Google is not picking up these data, or why deep web content does not get indexed is not a hidden secret. It is mainly that these businesses are either illegal or bad for the society at large. The content can be of things like porn, drugs, weapons, military information, hacking tools, etc.

Robots Exclusion

The robot.txt that we normally use is to tell the website which of the files it should record and register that is to be indexed.

Now we have a terminology called ‘robots Exclusion files’. Web administrators will tweak the setup in a way that certain pages will not show up for indexing, and will remain hidden when the crawlers search.

Let’s look at some of the crawlers that go deep into the internet.

List of Best Deep Web Search Engines of 2017
  • Pipl
  • MyLife
  • Yippy 
  • SurfWax 
  • Wayback machine 
  • Google Scholar 
  • DuckDuckGo 
  • Fazzle 
  • Not Evil 
  • Start Page

Pipl

This is one of the search engines that will help you dig deep and get the results which may be missing on Google and Bing. Pipl robots interact with searchable databases and extract facts, contact details and other relevant information from personal profiles, member directories, scientific publications, court records and numerous other deep-web sources.

Pipl

Pipl works by extracting files as it communicates with the searchable database. It attempts to get information pertaining to search queries from personal profiles and member directories, which can be highly sensitive. Pipl has the ability to deeply penetrate and get the information the user seeks. They use advanced ranking algorithms and language analysis to get you the results closest to your keyword.

MyLife

Mylife engine can get you the details of a person, viz-a-viz personal data, and profiles, age, occupation, residence, contact details etc. It also includes pictures and other relevant histories of the person latest trip and other surveys if conducted. What’s more, you can rate individuals based on the profile and information.

mylife

Almost everyone above 18-years-old in the United States has a profile on the Internet, so one can expect more than 200 million profiles with rich data on Mylife searches.

Yippy

Yippy in fact a Metasearch Engine (it gets its outcomes by utilizing other web indexes), I’ve included Yippy here as it has a place with an entryway of devices a web client might be occupied with, for example, such as email, games, videos and so on.

Yippy

The best thing about Yippy is that they don’t store information of the users like Google does. It is a Metasearch Engine, and it is dependent on other web indexes to show its results.

Yippy may not be a good search engine for people who are used to Google because this engine searches the web differently. If you search “marijuana,” for example, it will bring up results that will read ‘the effects of marijuana,” rather than a Wikipedia page and news stories. So it’s a pretty useful website that can be good for people who want their wards to know what is really required and not the other way round.

SurfWax

SurfWax is a subscription-based search engine. It has a bunch of features apart from contemporary search habits. According to the website, the name SurfWax arose because “On waves, surf wax helps surfers grip their surfboard; for Web surfing, SurfWax helps you get the best grip on information — providing the ‘best use’ of relevant search results.” SurfWax is able to integrate relevant search based with key finding elements for an effective search result.

SurfWax

Wayback machine

This engine gives you enormous access to the URL information. It is the front-end of the Internet Archive of open web pages. Internet Archive allows the public to post their digital documents, which can be downloaded to its data cluster. The majority of the data is collected by the web crawlers of Wayback machines automatically. The primary intention of this is to preserve public web information.

Wayback Machine

Google Scholar

Another Google search engine, but quite different from its prime engine, Google Scholar scans for a wide range of academic literature. The search results draw from university repositories, online journals, and other related web sources.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar helps researchers find sources that exist on the internet. You can customize your search results to a particular field of interest, region, or institution, for example, ‘psychology, Harvard University.’ This will give you access to relevant documents.

DuckDuckGo

Unlike Google, this search engine does not track your activities, which is the first good thing about it. This has a clean UI and it is simple and yes, it has the ability to deep search the internet.

DuckDuckGo

Having said that you can customize the searches, and even enhance them according to the results and satisfaction. The search engines believe in quality and not quantity. The emphasis is on the best results. It does this from over 500 independent sources, including Google, Yahoo, Bing, and all the other popular search engines.

Fazzle

Accessible in English, French, and Dutch, this is a meta web index engine. It is designed to get quick results. The query items include Images, Documents, Video, Audio, and Shopping, Whitepaper and more.

Fazzle

Fazzle list most of the items that may look like promotion, and like to know meta web indexes available, this search engine does not cover supported a connection in searches. So it looks like the first search results on any keyword could likely be a promotion. Nevertheless, among all the Deep Web Fazzle stands apart when it comes to giving you the best pick on searches.

Not Evil

The not for profit ‘not Evil’ search engines entirely survives on contribution, and it seems to be getting a fair share of support. Highly reliable in the search results, this SE has a functionality that is highly competitive in the TOR network.

Not Evil

There is no advertising or tracking, and due to the thoughtful and continuously updated algorithms of search, it is easy to find the necessary goods, content or information. Using not Evil, you can save a lot of time and keep total anonymity.

This search engine was formerly known as TorSearch.

Start Page

Startpage was made available in the year 2009. This name was chosen to make it easier for people to spell and remember.

Startpage.com and Ixquick.com are both the same and run by one company. It is a private search engine and offers the same level of protection.

Start Page

This is one of the best search engines when it comes to concealing privacy. Unlike popular search engines, Startpage.com does not record your IP and keeps your search history a secret.

Published in Search Engine

 Source: This article was published prweb.com - Contributed by Member: Barbara Larson

An NYC area IT consultant and MSP reviews the dangers of the dark web and how to stay safe online in a new article from eMazzanti Technologies.

The informative article first clarifies common misconceptions about the dark web then lists steps to protect personal data and business assets. Readers are urged to work with data security professionals to achieve the best results.

“Understanding the dark web is helpful in protecting valuable business data,”

stated Jennifer Mazzanti, CEO, eMazzanti Technologies. “Modern cyber-security technology and best practices are designed to keep sensitive information from falling into the hands of the bad actors lurking there.”

Dark Web vs. Deep Web

“Contrary to some reports, the dark web does not include over 90 percent of the internet. This common misconception arises from confusion between two related terms. In reality, the internet includes several layers.”

“Deep web – Also known as the invisible web, this is by far the largest layer of the internet, with over 90 percent of all internet content. The bulk of this information involves perfectly legal content that is not indexed by the standard search engines. Your medical records, banking information and other member-only websites live here.”

“Dark web – Sites on the dark web are accessible only with special software that allows users to communicate and transact business anonymously. While this creates a haven for criminals, it also serves a legitimate purpose for whistleblowers, activists, and victims who need to remain anonymous.”

Identity Theft and the Dark Web

“If the dark web includes only about three percent of the internet, do I need to be concerned? Yes. Remember Equifax and Target? Whenever a website experiences a data breach involving personally identifiable information, that information will almost certainly appear for sale on the dark web, likely within hours.”

Navigate the Web with Expert Guides

Business leaders should keep in mind that a breach of company systems means not only data loss but also potentially a loss of reputation. To guard critical data, employ multi-layer security. For merchants, if EMV chip technology not already been implemented for point of sale (POS) systems, they should do that now.

As with any potentially dangerous territory, the internet is a much safer place when working with an experienced guide. The experts at eMazzanti build strategies to keep personal and business data safe. Whether implementing secure cloud solutions or tapping into eMazzanti’s considerable retail security expertise, business leaders can count on getting the protection they need.

About eMazzanti Technologies

eMazzanti’s team of trained, certified IT experts rapidly deliver retail and payment technology, digital marketing services, cloud and mobile solutions, multi-site implementations, 24×7 outsourced network management, remote monitoring and support to increase productivity, data security and revenue growth for clients ranging from law firms to high-end global retailers.

eMazzanti has made the Inc. 5000 list eight years running, is a 2015, 2013 and 2012 Microsoft Partner of the Year, 2016 NJ Business of the Year, 5X WatchGuard Partner of the Year and one of the TOP 200 U.S. Microsoft Partners! Contact: 1-866-362-9926, info(at)emazzanti.net or http://www.emazzanti.net Twitter: @emazzanti Facebook: Facebook.com/emazzantitechnologies.

Published in Deep Web
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