fbpx

As you may know, the “web” runs deeper than that network of hyperlinked pages you’re browsing right now.

Technically, the portion of the web that search engines like Google (GOOG, -0.32%)and Microsoft (MSFT, 0.00%) Bing catalog is called the “surface web” (though most people will think you’re a weirdo if you call it that). Less accessible portions go by other names.

For those who care to draw a distinction, the “deep web” refers to the region outside public view. This includes pages not indexed by standard search engines, such as password-protected sites, or ones tucked behind a paywall. Many people spend just as much time on the deep web as they do on the surface, if not more.

For example, your online bank account, your Netflix (NFLX, +0.20%) subscription, and perhaps your Facebook (FB, +0.03%) profile page are on the deep web. You’re likely well acquainted with this more private digital world—even if you didn’t realize it.

Finally, there’s the “dark web,” a mere sliver of the deep web. (Don’t worry; I’m not going to show you a diagram of an iceberg.)

Get Data Sheet, Fortune's technology newsletter.

The dark web consists of encrypted networks that have been intentionally hidden from view, and they require special software to access them. Usually, when people refer to the dark web, they’re referring to content hosted on the Tor network, a system of relays that obscures IP addresses, or the locations of devices on a network. (Freenet and I2P are two other networks that support the dark web, but we’ll stick to Tor here.)

You can visit the Tor part of the dark web simply by downloading special browser software from the Tor Project’s website, and connecting to a URL that bears the top-level domain “’dot’ onion.” For instance, the Hidden Wiki, which is only accessible via the Tor browser, has a list of dark web sites. Be careful where you click though, as some sites may contain questionable—possibly even illegal—content.

While there’s no doubt plenty of shady stuff happening on the dark web, the network has a positive side. It helps political dissidents and whistleblowers escape surveillance and disseminate their views, for instance. Indeed, Tor was originally developed by the U.S. military in order to help route intelligence communications—and the U.S. government remains a major funder of the non-profit organization that now maintains it.

Sure, the dark web gets a bad rap for its association with criminal enterprises, like the Silk Road, a much maligned drug marketplace that operated for two years before the Feds shut it down in 2013. But some dark web users simply prefer the anonymity afforded by an encrypted network.

It’s not illegal to try to protect your privacy, after all.

Author : Robert Hackett

Source : http://fortune.com/2017/02/23/dark-web-what-where/

Categorized in Deep Web

Up to 80% of the Internet is said to be hidden in the so-called "deep web," which can be accessed using special search systems, like the Tor browser. Often, the "deep web" is associated with criminal activities, like firearms sales and drug trafficking.

The deep web is a kind of mysterious place where one can find everything that has been published on the Internet, but can't be accessed via traditional search engines. In other words, it is collection of websites that are publicly visible, but hide the IP addresses of the servers that run them.

"There are various services within this universe. Some are used to protect delivered information, conceal identities or ensure anonymity," IT expert and CEO of TIB company Maximiliano Alonzo explained in an interview with Sputnik Mundo.

At the same time, Alonzo noted that the deep web can be used both — in positive and negative ways.

"The deep web is like a scalpel: in the hands of a doctor it can save lives, but in the hands of a criminal, it can kill. So everything depends on its use. There are certain countries in which citizens have a limited access to the Internet, and the deep web is for them an alternative way to receive information," Alonzo explained.

The concept of a deep web appeared with the occurrence of the first search engines. All data that can't be accessed by Google is available via special search systems, like the Tor browser, which makes it impossible to trace the identity or address of its users.

"If a user tries to access a certain web site, his IP address gets registered in the system and makes it possible to identify the country, the city and even the identity of the user. The Tor system can change a person's data and make its access anonymous," the expert explained.

The deep web contains any kind of information and is often associated with criminal activities (like firearms and drug trafficking as well as personal data sales).

For instance, the sales of a fentanyl drug caused a wave of deaths and were ultimately prohibited by one of the Dark Web marketplaces.

Earlier, it was also reported that hackers sold on the deep web hundreds of millions of personal passwords from websites such as LinkedIn, MySpace, Tumblr, Fling.com, and VK.com.

Source  : https://sputniknews.com/science/201702181050826186-deep-dark-web-mysterious-universe/

Categorized in Deep Web

The Deep Web is not The Dark Web. The Dark Web is the encrypted network that exists between Tor servers and their clients. The Deep Web is simply the content of databases and other web services that cannot be indexed by conventional search engines. You can only access 0.03% of the Internet via search engines; the rest is what makes up The Deep Web used mostly by pedophiles.

Cracked’s source, “Pam”, spent months undercover in an online community of child molesters, learning their lingo and studying their ways as part of an undergrad research project. She shares some of her horrifying experiences of visiting the dark side of the Internet …

#5. The Dark Web Has A Whole Pedophile “Community”

Child pornographers have their own Wikipedia, which is accessible through Tor, named “Hard Candy”. There is also a discussion forum called 3DBoys, which is full of erotic art; however, there isn’t any actual po*rn on 3DBoys. There is also a site called 7axxn, essentially the Mos Eisley Cantina for child pornographers. Since its membership was heavily restricted, the only way to get into 7axxn was to get an invitation from a current member and gaining their trust would require breaking the law. This whole “incriminate yourself to get inside” attitude was common among pedophiles of The Deep Web. Pam got lucky though; someone invited her on the third day and she was in. The further in she got, the more terrifying the implications of her research became.

#4. There Are “Child Lovers” And Then There Are “Child Molesters”

7axxn is a community of over 90,000 registered users, filled with gigabyte after gigabyte of child pornography. Most users are just there for the po*rn, but hundreds of them also contribute to a lively set of discussion forums. There are even polls, breaking down the popularity of things such as “Hurtcore”, which is the charming shorthand term for pornography featuring the violent physical abuse of children. Within the “community” there are people who are sexually assaulting victims who were incapable of giving consent (real rape), and those who are having ‘mutual’ sexual relationships with children (real se*x).

#3. It’s A Family Business

Pam found a moderator on 7axxn with the moniker sarahthecunt, who claims to have been molested by her dad as a young girl and enjoyed it so much that she grew up taking pride in her identity as a pedophile. She has three children that she and her husband are “bringing up pedo” (her husband is a member, too). This is another way of saying they rape their children and convince them that they’re enjoying it. She posts videos she and husband make; according to her, the kids are willing participants (obviously they can’t be). Here, in sarahthecunt’s own words, are the rules they set for their children:

#2. Child Molesters Have A Handbook

How does she manage to stay hidden from the eyes of the law for so long? Because people like her have a handbook that includes bits on argumentative justifications for pedophilia. Among other things, it advises buyers of child po*rn to do their business in Bitcoin and teaches readers “… how to have se*x with children, and hide it from a significant other”. The handbook also keys newbie pedophiles in on helpful hints such as using the shorthand acronym CP, instead of actually typing “child pornography”. Another term the community uses to avoid suspicion is “young friends”, which refers to the children they’ve either abused or wanted to abuse. The community further protects itself by carrying out all their communication anonymously on Tor and keeping vigilant moderators.

#1. They Are Very Good At Staying incognito

One day, Pam discovered a thread about the best way to drug children (one quote: “[Drug name removed] does wonders. Very mild and relaxes muscles too … Btw [removed] only make them tired and lethargic. Not a good choice for a light sleeper unless mixed with etoh (alcohol). Be careful.”). Disgustingly, those posts were right alongside those insisting that kids just love se*x.

Pam looked for any court admissible evidence, location data, ID information… but she found nothing. People in The Deep Web are very open about what they want to do to children, but also very careful about not mentioning where they are located. And the credit goes to Tor – that’s why it is next to impossible to stop the spread of child p*rn across the hidden reaches of the Internet.

Source : http://www.anonews.co/undercover-researcher-web/

Categorized in Deep Web

When you use most search engines, you’re just scratching the surface of the world wide web.

Experts say the web we know — news sites, Facebook, Wikipedia, etc. — makes up less than 1% of the entire world wide web. It is estimated that 90% of all internet data and websites are hidden from search engine indexing; this area of the internet is known as the deep web.

When we peruse the internet, we don’t see the trillions of pages of the deep web, ranging from statistical data, to the illegal sale of body parts. Many of the deep web websites are public databases. The next group has private pages associated with a fee. Another portion is internal networks, or intranets, and then there’s the dark web.

Accessing these sites requires Tor. Tor is free software for enabling anonymous communication. Initially, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory developed it with the purpose of protecting U.S. intelligence communications online.

It has since come into to use for a variety of things: political dissent, a hub for black markets that sell stolen credit cards, illegal pornography, pirated media, and much, much more.

To learn more about the deep web, please join us at the Kings Beach Library on Thursday Feb. 16th from 3:00-4:00 for an informative lecture.

KINGS BEACH LIBRARY

Feb. 16, 3-4 p.m. Free lecture on the “deep web.”

Feb. 21, Preschool Story Time. Join us as we explore a Winter theme! Books, rhymes, and a craft.

March 11, noon. Get your chili ready for our 4th annual Chili Cook-off! $5 for unlimited sampling or enter a chili and eat for free.

INCLINE VILLAGE LIBRARY

Feb. 15, 4 p.m. Family Story time.

Feb. 15, 6:30 p.m. You Can’t Eat Freedom: Struggles for Social Justice After the Civil Rights Movement. Join UNR Professor of African American History, Greta de Jong, for a night discussion on this historical topic.

Feb. 16. Incline Village Library will open at 2 p.m.

Feb. 16, 4 p.m. Bilingual Story Time.

TRUCKEE LIBRARY

Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. Toddler Time, for ages 18 months to 3 years.

Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. Babes in Bookland, for ages 6 months to 2 years.

Thursdays at 11:30 a.m. Preschool Stories, for ages 3 and up.

Join Stay & Play for a half-hour after each Storytime.

Anne Greenwood is Branch Manager at the Kings Beach Library.

Source : http://www.sierrasun.com/news/education/tahoe-truckee-lib-loop-exploring-the-deep-web-of-the-internet/

Categorized in Deep Web

THE MYSTERIOUS CORNER of the Internet known as the Dark Web is designed to defy all attempts to identify its inhabitants. But one group of researchers has attempted to shed new light on what those users are doing under the cover of anonymity. Their findings indicate that an overwhelming majority of their traffic is driven by the Dark Web’s darkest activity: the sexual abuse of children.

At the Chaos Computer Congress in Hamburg, Germany today, University of Portsmouth computer science researcher Gareth Owen will present the results of a six-month probe of the web’s collection of Tor hidden services, which include the stealthy websites that make up the largest chunk of the Dark Web. The study paints an ugly portrait of that Internet underground: drug forums and contraband markets are the largest single category of sites hidden under Tor’s protection, but traffic to them is dwarfed by visits to child abuse sites. More than four out of five Tor hidden services site visits were to online destinations with pedophilia materials, according to Owen’s study. That’s over five times as many as any of the other categories of content that he and his researchers found in their Dark Web survey, such as gambling, bitcoin-related sites or anonymous whistle-blowing.

The researchers’ disturbing statistics could raise doubts among even the staunchest defenders of the Dark Web as a haven for privacy. “Before we did this study, it was certainly my view that the dark net is a good thing,” says Owen. “But it’s hampering the rights of children and creating a place where pedophiles can act with impunity.”

“Before we did this study, it was certainly my view that the dark net is a good thing.”

Precisely measuring anything on the Dark Web isn’t easy, and the study’s findings leave some room for dispute. The creators of Tor known as the Tor Project responded to a request for comment from WIRED with a list of alternative factors that could have skewed its results. Law enforcement and anti-abuse groups patrol pedophilia Dark Web sites to measure and track them, for instance, which can count as a “visit.” In some cases, hackers may have launched denial of service attacks against the sites with the aim of taking them offline with a flood of fraudulent visits. Unstable sites that frequently go offline might generate more visit counts. And sites visited through the tool Tor2Web, which is designed to make Tor hidden services more accessible to non-anonymous users, would be underrepresented. All those factors might artificially inflate the number of visits to child abuse sites measured by the University of Portsmouth researchers.1

“We do not know the cause of the high hit count [to child abuse sites] and cannot say with any certainty that it corresponds with humans,” Owen admitted in a response to the Tor Project shared with WIRED, adding that “caution is advised” when drawing conclusions about the study’s results.

Tor executive director Roger Dingledine followed up in a statement to WIRED pointing out that Tor hidden services represent only 2 percent of total traffic over Tor’s anonymizing network. He defended Tor hidden services’ privacy features. “There are important uses for hidden services, such as when human rights activists use them to access Facebook or to blog anonymously,” he wrote, referring to Facebook’s launch of its own hidden service in October. “These uses for hidden services are new and have great potential.”

Here’s how the Portsmouth University study worked: From March until September of this year, the research group ran 40 “relay” computers in the Tor network, the collection of thousands of volunteer machines that bounce users’ encrypted traffic through hops around the world to obscure its origin and destination. These relays allowed them to assemble an unprecedented collection of data about the total number of Tor hidden services online—about 45,000 at any given time—and how much traffic flowed to them. They then used a custom web-crawling program to visit each of the sites they’d found and classify them by content.

The researchers found that a majority of Tor hidden service traffic—the traffic to the 40 most visited sites, in fact—were actually communications from “botnet” computers infected with malware seeking instructions from a hacker-controlled server running Tor. Most of those malware control servers were offline, remnants of defunct malware schemes like the Skynet botnet whose alleged operator was arrested last year.

But take out that automated malware traffic, and 83 percent of the remaining visits to Tor hidden service websites sought sites that Owen’s team classified as related to child abuse. Most of the sites were so explicit as to include the prefix “pedo” in their name. (Owen asked that WIRED not name the sites for fear of driving more visitors to them.) The researchers’ automated web crawler downloaded only text, not pictures, to avoid any illegal possession of child pornographic images or video. “It came as a huge shock to us,” Owen says of his findings. “I don’t think anyone imagined it was on this scale.”

Despite their popularity on the Tor network, child abuse sites represent only about 2 percent of Tor hidden service websites—just a small number of pedophilia sites account for the majority of Dark Web http traffic, according to the study. Drug-related sites and markets like the now-defunct Silk Road 2, Agora or Evolution represented a total of about 24 percent of the sites measured in the study, by contrast. But visits to those sites accounted for only about 5 percent of site requests on the Tor network, by the researchers’ count. Whistleblower sites like SecureDrop and Globaleaks, which allow anonymous users to upload sensitive documents to news organizations, accounted for 5 percent of Tor hidden service sites, but less than a tenth of a percent of site visits.

The study also found that the vast majority of Tor hidden services persist online for only a matter of days or weeks. Less than one in six of the hidden services that was online when Owen’s study began remained online at the end of it. Since the study only attempted to classify sites by content at the end of its six month probe, Tor director Roger Dingledine points out that it could over-represent child abuse sites that remained online longer than other types of sites. “[The study] could either show a lot of people visiting abuse-related hidden services, or it could simply show that abuse-related hidden services are more long-lived than others,” he writes. “We can’t tell from the data.”

The Study Raises the Question: How Dark Is The Dark Web?

Other defenders of the Tor network’s importance as an alternative to the public, privacy-threatened Web will no doubt bristle at Owen’s findings. But even aside from the Tor Project’s arguments about why the study’s findings may be skewed, its results don’t necessarily suggest that Tor is overwhelmingly used for child abuse. What they may instead show is that Tor users who seek child abuse materials use Tor much more often and visit sites much more frequently than those seeking to buy drugs or leak sensitive documents to a journalist.

Nonetheless, the study raises new questions about the darkest subcultures of the Dark Web and law enforcement’s response to them. In November, the FBI and Europol staged a massive bust of Tor hidden services that included dozens of drug and money laundering sites, including three of the six most popular anonymous online drug markets. The takedowns occurred after Owen’s study concluded, so he doesn’t know which of the pedophilia sites he measured may have been caught in that dragnet. None of the site takedowns trumpeted in the FBI and Europol press releases mentioned pedophilia sites, nor did an analysis of the seizures by security researcher Nik Cubrilovic later that month.

“It came as a huge shock to us. I don’t think anyone imagined it was on this scale.”

In his Chaos Computer Congress talk, Owen also plans to present methods that could be used to block access to certain Tor hidden services. A certain number of carefully configured Tor relays, he says, could be used to alter the “distributed hash table” that acts as a directory for Tor hidden services. That method could block access to a child abuse hidden service, for instance, though Owen says it would require 18 new relays to be added to the Tor network to block any single site. And he was careful to note that he’s merely introducing the possibility of that controversial blocking measure, not actually suggesting it. One of Tor’s central purposes, after all, is to evade censorship, not enable it.

The study could nonetheless lead to difficult questions for the Tor support community. And it could also dramatically shift the larger public conversation around the Dark Web. Law enforcement officials and politicians including New York Senator Chuck Schumer have railed against the use of Tor to enable online drug sales on a mass scale, with little mention of child abuse. Owen’s study is a reminder that criminal content is hiding in the shadows of the Internet that make drug sales look harmless by comparison—and whose consumers may be more active than anyone imagined.

1Updated 12/30/2014 5:25 EST to add more of the Tor Project’s explanations of possible inaccuracies in the study’s count of visits to child abuse sites.

Author : ANDY GREENBERG

Source : https://www.wired.com/2014/12/80-percent-dark-web-visits-relate-pedophilia-study-finds/

Categorized in Deep Web

If you’re an average reader, I’ve got your attention for 15 seconds, so here goes: We are getting a lot wrong about the web these days. We confuse what people have clicked on for what they’ve read. We mistake sharing for reading. We race towards new trends like native advertising without fixing what was wrong with the old ones and make the same mistakes all over again.

Not an average reader? Maybe you’ll give me more than 15 seconds then. As the CEO of Chartbeat, my job is to work with the people who create content online (like Time.com) and provide them with real-time data to better understand their readers. I’ve come to think that many people have got how things work online quite mixed up.

Here’s where we started to go wrong: In 1994, a former direct mail marketer called Ken McCarthy came up with the clickthrough as the measure of ad performance on the web. From that moment on, the click became the defining action of advertising on the web. The click’s natural dominance built huge companies like Google and promised a whole new world for advertising where ads could be directly tied to consumer action.

However, the click had some unfortunate side effects. It flooded the web with spam, linkbait, painful design and tricks that treated users like lab rats. Where TV asked for your undivided attention, the web didn’t care as long as you went click, click, click. 

In 20 years, everything else about the web has been transformed, but the click remains unchanged, we live on the click web. But something is happening to the click web. Spurred by new technology and plummeting click-through rates, what happens between the clicks is becoming increasingly important and the media world is scrambling to adapt. Sites like the New York Times are redesigning themselves in ways that place less emphasis on the all-powerful click. New upstarts like Medium and Upworthy are eschewing pageviews and clicks in favor of developing their own attention-focused metrics. Native advertising, advertising designed to hold your attention rather than simply gain an impression, is growing at an incredible pace.

It’s no longer just your clicks they want, it’s your time and attention. Welcome to the Attention Web.

At the core of the Attention Web are powerful new methods of capturingdata that can give media sites and advertisers a second-by-second, pixel-by-pixel view of user behavior. If the click is the turnstile outside a stadium, these new methods are the TV control room with access to a thousand different angles. The data these methods capture provide a new window into behavior on the web and suggests that much of the facts we’ve taken for granted just ain’t true.

Myth 1: We read what we’ve clicked on

For 20 years, publishers have been chasing pageviews, the metric that counts the number of times people load a web page. The more pageviews a site gets, the more people are reading, the more successful the site. Or so we thought. Chartbeat looked at deep user behavior across 2 billion visits across the web over the course of a month and found that most people who click don’t read. In fact, a stunning 55% spent fewer than 15 seconds actively on a page. The stats get a little better if you filter purely for article pages, but even then one in every three visitors spend less than 15 seconds reading articles they land on. The media world is currently in a frenzy about click fraud, they should be even more worried about the large percentage of the audience who aren’t reading what they think they’re reading.

The data gets even more interesting when you dig in a little. Editors pride themselves on knowing exactly what topics can consistently get someone to click through and read an article. They are the evergreen pageview boosters that editors can pull out at the end of the quarter to make their traffic goals. But by assuming all traffic is created equal, editors are missing an opportunity to build a real audience for their content.

Our data team looked at topics across a random sample of 2 billion pageviews generated by 580,000 articles on 2000 sites. We pulled out the most clicked-on topics and then contrasted topics that received a very high level of attention per pageview with those that received very little attention per pageview. Articles that were clicked on and engaged with tended to be actual news. In August, the best performers were Obamacare, Edward Snowden, Syria and George Zimmerman, while in January the debates around Woody Allen and Richard Sherman dominated.

The most clicked on but least deeply engaged-with articles had topics that were more generic. In August, the worst performers included Top, Best, Biggest, Fictional etc while in January the worst performers included Hairstyles, Positions, Nude and, for some reason, Virginia. That’s data for you.

All the topics above got roughly the same amount of traffic, but the best performers captured approximately 5 times the attention of the worst performers. Editors might say that as long as those topics are generating clicks, they are doing their job, but that’s if the only value we see in content is the traffic, any traffic, that lands on that page. Editors who think like that are missing the long game. Research across the Chartbeat network has shown that if you can hold a visitor’s attention for just three minutes they are twice as likely to return than if you only hold them for one minute.

The most valuable audience is the one that comes back. Those linkbait writers are having to start from scratch every day trying to find new ways to trick clicks from hicks with the ‘Top Richest Fictional Public Companies’. Those writers living in the Attention Web are creating real stories and building an audience that comes back.

Myth 2: The more we share the more we read

Do We Read the Articles We ShareTony Haile—Chartbeat 

As pageviews have begun to fail, brands and publishers have embraced social shares such as Facebook likes or Twitter retweets as a new currency. Social sharing is public and suggests that someone has not only read the content but is actively recommending it to other people. There’s a whole industry dedicated to promoting the social share as the sine qua non of analytics.

Caring about social sharing makes sense. You’re likely to get more traffic if you share something socially than if you did nothing at all: the more Facebook “likes” a story gets, the more people it reaches within Facebook and the greater the overall traffic. The same is true of Twitter, though Twitter drives less traffic to most sites.

But the people who share content are a small fraction of the people who visit that content. Among articles we tracked with social activity, there were only one tweet and eight Facebook likes for every 100 visitors. The temptation to infer behaviour from those few people sharing can often lead media sites to jump to conclusions that the data does not support.

A widespread assumption is that the more content is liked or shared, the more engaging it must be, the more willing people are to devote their attention to it. However, the data doesn’t back that up. We looked at 10,000 socially-shared articles and found that there is no relationship whatsoever between the amount a piece of content is shared and the amount of attention an average reader will give that content.

When we combined attention and traffic to find the story that had the largest volume of total engaged time, we found that it had fewer than 100 likes and fewer than 50 tweets. Conversely, the story with the largest number of tweets got about 20% of the total engaged time that the most engaging story received. 

Bottom line, measuring social sharing is great for understanding social sharing, but if you’re using that to understand which content is capturing more of someone’s attention, you’re going beyond the data. Social is not the silver bullet of the Attention Web.

Myth 3: Native advertising is the savior of publishing

Who ScrollsTony Haile—Chartbeat 

Media companies, desperate for new revenue streams are turning to native advertising in droves. Brands create or commission their own content and place it on a site like the New York Times or Forbes to access their audience and capture their attention. Brands want their message relayed to customers in a way that does not interrupt but adds to the experience.

However, the truth is that while the emperor that is native advertising might not be naked, he’s almost certainly only wearing a thong. On a typical article two-thirds of people exhibit more than 15 seconds of engagement, on native ad content that plummets to around one-third. You see the same story when looking at page-scrolling behavior. On the native ad content we analyzed, only 24% of visitors scrolled down the page at all, compared with 71% for normal content. If they do stick around and scroll down the page, fewer than one-third of those people will read beyond the first one-third of the article.

What this suggests is that brands are paying for — and publishers are driving traffic to — content that does not capture the attention of its visitors or achieve the goals of its creators. Simply put, native advertising has an attention deficit disorder. The story isn’t all bad. Some sites like Gizmodo and Refinery29 optimize for attention and have worked hard to ensure that their native advertising experience is consistent with what visitors come to their site for. They have seen their native advertising perform as well as their normal content as a result.

The lesson here is not that we should give up on native advertising. Done right, it can be a powerful way to communicate with a larger audience than will ever visit a brand’s homepage. However, driving traffic to content that no one is reading is a waste of time and money. As more and more brands start to care about what happens after the click, there’s hope that native advertising can reach a level of quality that doesn’t require tricks or dissimulation; in fact, to survive it will have to.

Myth 4: Banner ads don’t work

Tony Haile—Chartbeat 

For the last few years there have been weekly laments complaining that the banner ad is dead. Click-through rates are now averaging less than 0.1% and you’ll hear the words banner blindness thrown about with abandon. If you’re a direct response marketer trying to drive clicks back to your site then yes, the banner ad is giving you less of what you want with each passing year.

However, for brand advertisers rumors of the banner ad’s demise may be greatly exaggerated. It turns out that if your goals are the traditional brand advertising goals of communicating your message to your audience then yes, most banner ads are bad…. but…. some banner ads are great! The challenge of the click web is that we haven’t been able to tell them apart.

Research has consistently shown the importance of great ad creative in getting a visitor to see and remember a brand. What’s less well known is the scientific consensus based on studies by Microsoft [pdf], Google, Yahoo and Chartbeat that a second key factor is the amount of time a visitor spend actively looking at the page when the ad is in view. Someone looking at the page for 20 seconds while an ad is there is 20-30% more likely to recall that ad afterwards.

So, for banner ads to be effective the answer is simple. You have to create great creative and then get it in front of a person’s face for a long enough period for them to truly see it. The challenge for banner ads is that traditional advertising heuristics about what works have been placing ads on the parts of the page that capture the least attention, not the most.

Here’s the skinny, 66% of attention on a normal media page is spent below the fold. That leaderboard at the top of the page? People scroll right past that and spend their time where the content not the cruft is. Yet most agency media planners will still demand that their ads run in the places where people aren’t and will ignore the places where they are.

Savvy web natives like Say Media and Vox, as well as established players like the Financial Times, are driven by data more than tradition and are shaping their advertising strategy to optimize for experience and attention. A small cadre of innovative media planners are also launching an insurgency and taking advantage of their peers’ adhesion to old heuristics to benefit from asymmetrical information about what’s truly valuable.

For quality publishers, valuing ads not simply on clicks but on the time and attention they accrue might just be the lifeline they’ve been looking for. Time is a rare scarce resource on the web and we spend more of our time with good content than with bad. Valuing advertising on time and attention means that publishers of great content can charge more for their ads than those who create link bait. If the amount of money you can charge is directly correlated with the quality of content on the page, then media sites are financially incentivized to create better quality content. In the seeds of the Attention Web we might finally have found a sustainable business model for quality on the web.

This move to the Attention Web may sound like a collection of small signals and changes, but it has the potential to transform the web. It’s not just the publishers of quality content who win in the Attention Web, it’s all of us. When sites are built to capture attention, any friction, any bad design or eye-roll-inducing advertorials that might cause a visitor to spend a second less on the site is bad for business. That means better design and a better experience for everyone. A web where quality makes money and great design is rewarded? That’s something worth paying attention to.

Author : Tony

Source : http://time.com/12933/what-you-think-you-know-about-the-web-is-wrong/

Categorized in Deep Web

The clandestine data hosted within the Dark Web is not secret anymore and has been compromised.

A group affiliated with hacker collective Anonymous has managed to bring down one fifth of Tor-based websites in a vigilante move. The group infiltrated the servers of Freedom Hosting II and took down almost 10,000 websites as they were sharing child porn.

For the unfamiliar, Dark Web is a part of World Wide Web that exists on overlay networks and darknets. Dark Webs uses public Internet but access to it can only be gained through some specific software, authorization codes or a particular configuration.

The Dark Web or Deep Web as some call it, in not listed by search engines and keeps the identity and activity of the user anonymous.

Freedom Hosting II is the single largest host of sites on the Dark Web. The hacker group has managed to breach down the servers of the host and currently, has access to gigabytes of data that they managed to download from the service.

Looks like Freedom Hosting II got pwned. They hosted close to 20% of all dark web sites (previous @OnionScan report) https://t.co/JOLXFJQXiH

— Sarah Jamie Lewis (@SarahJamieLewis) February 3, 2017

Dark Web researcher Sarah Jamie Lewis states that, Freedom Hosting II hosts almost 15 percent to 20 percent of all underground sites on the Dark Web.

“Since OnionScan started in April we have observed FHII hosting between 1500 and 2000 services or about 15-20% of the total number of active sites in our scanning lists,” stated Lewis in her OnionScan 2016 report.

All these underground websites hosted by Freedom Hosting II are .onion and can be accessed through browser Tor.

People visiting the hacked websites were greeted with the message: “Hello, Freedom Hosting II, you have been hacked.”

A petty ransom of 0.1 bitcoin, which is about $100 in today’s exchange rate, has been demanded by the hackers who managed to compromise and download 75 GB of files and 2.6 GB of database from the host servers.

The Anonymous affiliated hackers shared that it decided to attack Freedom Hosting II servers as it learnt that the host was managing child pornography sites and they have zero tolerance for the same. About half of the data downloaded contains child pornography.

The hackers claim they found 10 child pornography sites with almost 30 GB of files and asserts that Freedom Hosting II was aware of these sites and had their content.

“This suggests they paid for hosting and the admin knew of those sites. That’s when I decided to take it down instead,” said the hacker group to Motherboard.

Although it is tough to believe the claims of the hacker group, it does fall in line with past history of the previous Dark Web hosting companies. The original version of Freedom Hosting was prosecuted for child pornography in 2013 by law enforcement officials.

The hackers which took down Freedom Hosting confessed to Motherboard that it was their first hack. The leaked data may now attract law enforcement officials in intervening and it would not be too surprising to hear of arrests since this data could be used in many ways.

Author : TIMOTHY SMITH

Source : http://www.themarshalltown.com/anonymous-attack-thousands-of-websites-on-the-dark-web/19265

Categorized in Deep Web
Washington, Feb 6 (Prensa Latina) The Dark Web, the darkest part of so-called Deep Web, was hacked to expose pages with enormous amounts of children''s pornography to the authorities, Motherboard platform reported Monday.
 
It is known as Deep Web the pages that carry every content that is not found on superficial Internet or in public nets. It constitutes 90 percent of everything published in the Internet but it cannot be searched by using traditional search engines like GOOGLE, YAHOO or BING.

The hacker responsible for the attack made public the content of more than 10,000 websites hidden in the Internet, which up to now, were only available through a program called THOR.


The action was against a website called Freedom Hosting II, a service to place websites in the Dark Web, which has been involved in polemic issues, linked to child pornography.

According to the hacker, the attack was due to the fact that at least, 50 percent of the files in those servers working for Freedom Hosting II corresponded to child pornography and frauds, through messages that have been shown.

The Deep Web is inaccessible for most of the Internet users, due to the limitations of the public network for access to all the websites; also, the majority of the content in the Deep Web is generated dynamically, so it is difficult to search them through traditional search engines.

That is why many international organizations have qualified the Deep Web as a refuge for criminals and a place to publish illegal content.

According to experts, what is more rampant in this sector of the network are scams, since the only thing that protects users in the Deep Web is common sense.
 
Categorized in Deep Web

Much of the data of the World Wide Web hides like an iceberg below the surface. The so-called 'deep web' has been estimated to be 500 times bigger than the 'surface web' seen through search engines like Google. For scientists and others, the deep web holds important computer code and its licensing agreements. Nestled further inside the deep web, one finds the 'dark web,' a place where images and video are used by traders in illicit drugs, weapons, and human trafficking. A new data-intensive supercomputer called Wrangler is helping researchers obtain meaningful answers from the hidden data of the public web.

The Wrangler supercomputer got its start in response to the question, can a computer be built to handle massive amounts of I/O (input and output)? The National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2013 got behind this effort and awarded the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), Indiana University, and the University of Chicago $11.2 million to build a first-of-its-kind data-intensive supercomputer. Wrangler's 600 terabytes of lightning-fast flash storage enabled the speedy reads and writes of files needed to fly past big data bottlenecks that can slow down even the fastest computers. It was built to work in tandem with number crunchers such as TACC's Stampede, which in 2013 was the sixth fastest computer in the world.

While Wrangler was being built, a separate project came together headed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the U.S. Department of Defense. Back in 1969, DARPA had built the ARPANET, which eventually grew to become the Internet, as a way to exchange files and share information. In 2014, DARPA wanted something new - a search engine for the deep web. They were motivated to uncover the deep web's hidden and illegal activity, according to Chris Mattmann, chief architect in the Instrument and Science Data Systems Section of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at the California Institute of Technology.

"Behind forms and logins, there are bad things. Behind the dynamic portions of the web like AJAX and Javascript, people are doing nefarious things," said Mattmann. They're not indexed because the web crawlers of Google and others ignore most images, video, and audio files. "People are going on a forum site and they're posting a picture of a woman that they're trafficking. And they're asking for payment for that. People are going to a different site and they're posting illicit drugs, or weapons, guns, or things like that to sell," he said.

Mattmann added that an even more inaccessible portion of the deep web called the 'dark web' can only be reached through a special browser client and protocol called TOR, The Onion Router. "On the dark web," said Mattmann, "they're doing even more nefarious things." They traffic in guns and human organs, he explained. "They're basically doing these activities and then they're tying them back to terrorism."

In response, DARPA started a program called Memex. Its name blends 'memory' with 'index' and has roots to an influential 1945 Atlantic magazine article penned by U.S. engineer and Raytheon founder Vannevar Bush. His futuristic essay imagined making all of a person's communications - books, records, and even all spoken and written words - in fingertip reach. The DARPA Memex program sought to make the deep web accessible. "The goal of Memex was to provide search engines the information retrieval capacity to deal with those situations and to help defense and law enforcement go after the bad guys there," Mattmann said.

Karanjeet Singh is a University of Southern California graduate student who works with Chris Mattmann on Memex and other projects. "The objective is to get more and more domain-specific (specialized) information from the Internet and try to make facts from that information," said Singh said. He added that agencies such as law enforcement continue to tailor their questions to the limitations of search engines. In some ways the cart leads the horse in deep web search. "Although we have a lot of search-based queries through different search engines like Google," Singh said, "it's still a challenge to query the system in way that answers your questions directly."

Once the Memex user extracts the information they need, they can apply tools such as named entity recognizer, sentiment analysis, and topic summarization. This can help law enforcement agencies like the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations find links between different activities, such as illegal weapon sales and human trafficking, Singh explained.

"Let's say that we have one system directly in front of us, and there is some crime going on," Singh said. "The FBI comes in and they have some set of questions or some specific information, such as a person with such hair color, this much age. Probably the best thing would be to mention a user ID on the Internet that the person is using. So with all three pieces of information, if you feed it into the Memex system, Memex would search in the database it has collected and would yield the web pages that match that information. It would yield the statistics, like where this person has been or where it has been sited in geolocation and also in the form of graphs and others."

"What JPL is trying to do is trying to automate all of these processes into a system where you can just feed in the questions and and we get the answers," Singh said. For that he worked with an open source web crawler called Apache Nutch. It retrieves and collects web page and domain information of the . The MapReduce framework powers those crawls with a divide-and-conquer approach to big data that breaks it up into small pieces that run simultaneously. The problem is that even the fastest computers like Stampede weren't designed to handle the input and output of millions of files needed for the Memex project.

The World Wide Web is like an iceberg, with most of its data hidden below the surface. There lies the 'deep web,' estimated at 500 times bigger than the 'surface web' that most people see through search engines like Google. A innovative

The Wrangler data-intensive supercomputer avoids data overload by virtue of its 600 terabytes of speedy flash storage. What's more, Wrangler supports the Hadoop framework, which runs using MapReduce. "Wrangler, as a platform, can run very large Hadoop-based and Spark-based crawling jobs," Mattmann said. "It's a fantastic resource that we didn't have before as a mechanism to do research; to go out and test our algorithms and our new search engines and our crawlers on these sites; and to evaluate the extractions and analytics and things like that afterwards. Wrangler has been an amazing resource to help us do that, to run these large-scale crawls, to do these type of evaluations, to help develop techniques that are helping save people, stop crime, and stop terrorism around the world."

Singh and Mattmann don't just use Wrangler to help fight crime. A separate project looks for a different kind of rule breaker. The Distributed Release Audit Tool (DRAT) audits software licenses of massive code repositories, which can store hundreds of millions of lines of code and millions of files. DRAT got its start because DARPA needed to audit the massive code repository of its national-scale 100-million-dollar-funded presidential initiative called XDATA. Over 60 different kinds of software licenses exist that authorize the use of code. What got lost in the shuffle of XDATA is whether developers followed DARPA guidelines of permissive and open source licenses, according to Chris Mattmann.

Mattmann's team at NASA JPL initially took the job on with an Apache open source tool called RAT, the Release Audit Tool. Right off the bat, big problems came up working with the big data. "What we found after running RAT on this very large code repository was that after about three or four weeks, RAT still hadn't completed. We were running it on a supercomputer, a very large cloud computer. And we just couldn't get it to complete," Mattmann said. Some other problems with RAT bugged the team. It didn't give status reports. And RAT would get hung up checking binary code - the ones and zeroes that typically just hold data such as video and were not the target of the software audit.

Mattmann's team took RAT and tailored it for parallel computers with a distributed algorithm, mapping the problem into small chunks that run simultaneously over the many cores of a supercomputer. It's then reduced into a final result. The MapReduce workflow runs on top of the Apache Object Oriented Data Technology, which integrates and processes scientific archives.

The distributed version of RAT, or DRAT, was able to complete the XDATA job in two hours on a Mac laptop that previously hung up a 24-core, 48 GB RAM supercomputer at NASA for weeks. DRAT was ready for even bigger challenges.

"A number of other projects came to us wanting to do this," Mattmann said. The EarthCube project of the National Science Foundation had a very large climate modeling repository and sought out Mattmann's team. "They asked us if all these scientists are putting licenses on their code, or whether they're open source, or if they're using the right components. And so we did a very big, large auditing for them," Mattmann said.

"That's where Wrangler comes in," Karanjeet Singh said. "We have all the tools and equipment on Wrangler, thanks to the TACC team. What we did was we just configured our DRAT tool on Wrangler and ran distributedly with the compute nodes in Wrangler. We scanned whole Apache SVN repositories, which includes all of the Apache open source projects."

The project Mattmann's team is working on early 2017 is to run DRAT on the Wrangler supercomputer over historically all of the code that Apache has developed since its existence - including over 200 projects with over two million revisions in a code repository on the order of hundreds of millions to billions of files.

"This is something that's only done incrementally and never done at that sort of scale before. We were able to do it on Wrangler in about two weeks. We were really excited about that," Mattmann said.

Apache Tika formed one of the key components to the success of DRAT. It discerns Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) file types and extracts its metadata, the data about the data. "We call Apache Tika the 'babel fish,' like 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy,'" Mattmann said. "Put the babel fish to your ear to understand any language. The goal with Tika is to provide any type of file, any file found on the Internet or otherwise to it and it will understand it for you at the other end...A lot of those investments and research approaches in Tika have been accelerated through these projects from DARPA, NASA, and the NSF that my group is funded by," Mattmann said.

When data's deep, dark places need to be illuminated

File type breakdown of XDATA. Credit: Chris Mattmann

"A lot of the metadata that we're extracting is based on these machine-learning, clustering, and named-entity recognition approaches. Who's in this image? Or who's it talking about in these files? The people, the places, the organizations, the dates, the times. Because those are all very important things. Tika was one of the core technologies used - it was one of only two - to uncover the Panama Papers global controversy of hiding money in offshore global corporations," Mattmann said.

Chris Mattmann, the first NASA staffer to join the board of the Apache Foundation, helped create Apache Tika, along with the scalable text search engine Apache Lucerne and the search platform Apache Solr. "Those two core technologies are what they used to go through all the leaked (Panama Papers) data and make the connections between everybody - the companies, and people, and whatever," Mattmann said.

Mattmann gets these core technologies to scale up on supercomputers by 'wrapping' them up on the Apache Spark framework software. Spark is basically an in-memory version of the Apache Hadoop capability MapReduce, intelligently sharing memory across the compute cluster. "Spark can improve the speed of Hadoop type of jobs by a factor of 100 to 1,000, depending on the underlying type of hardware," Mattmann said.

"Wrangler is a new generation system, which supports good technologies like Hadoop. And you can definitely run Spark on top of it as well, which really solves the new technological problems that we are facing," Singh said.

Making sense out of  guides much of the worldwide efforts behind 'machine learning,' a slightly oxymoronic term according to computer scientist Thomas Sterling of Indiana University. "It's a somewhat incorrect phrase because the machine doesn't actually understand anything that it learns. But it does help people see patterns and trends within data that would otherwise escape us. And it allows us to manage the massive amount and extraordinary growth of information we're having to deal with," Sterling said in a 2014 interview with TACC.

One application of machine learning that interested NASA JPL's Chris Mattmann is TensorFlow, developed by Google. It offers  commodity-based access to very large-scale machine learning. TensorFlow's Inception version three model trains the software to classify images. From a picture the model can basically tell a stop sign from a cat, for instance. Incorporated into Memex, Mattmann said Tensorflow takes its web crawls of images and video and looks for descriptors that can aid in "catching a bad guy or saving somebody, identifying an illegal weapon, identifying something like counterfeit electronics, and things like this."

"Wrangler is moving into providing TensorFlow as a capability," Mattmann said. "One of the traditional things that stopped a regular Joe from really taking advantage of large-scale machine learning is that a lot of these toolkits like Tensorflow are optimized for a particular type of hardware, GPUs or graphics processing units." This specialized hardware isn't typically found in most computers.

"Wrangler, providing GPU-types of hardware on top of its petabyte of flash storage and all of the other advantages in the types of machines it provides, is fantastic. It lets us do this at very large scale, over lots of data and run these machine learning classifiers and these tool kits and models that exist," Mattmann said.

What's more, Tensorflow is compute intensive and runs very slowly on most systems, which becomes a big problem when analyzing millions of images looking for needles in the haystack. "Wrangler does the job," Singh said. Singh and others of Mattmann's team are currently using Tensorflow on Wrangler. "We don't have any results yet, but we know that - the tool that we have built through Tensorflow is definitely producing some results. But we are yet to test with the millions of images that we have crawled and how good it produces the results," Singh said.

"I'm appreciative," said Chris Mattmann, "of being a member of the advisory board of the staff at TACC and to Niall Gaffney, Dan Stanzione, Weijia Xu and all the people who are working at TACC to make Wrangler accessible and useful; and also for their listening to the people who are doing science and research on it, like my group. It wouldn't be possible without them. It's a national treasure. It should keep moving forward."

Source : https://phys.org/news/2017-02-deep-dark-illuminated.html

Categorized in Deep Web

The internet is much more than just the publicly available, Google-able web services most online users frequent—and that’s good for free expression. Companies frequently create private networks to enable employees to use secure corporate servers, for example. And free software allows individuals to create what are called “peer-to-peer” networks, connecting directly from one machine to another.

Unable to be indexed by current search engines, and therefore less visible to the general public, subnetworks like these are often called “darknets,” or collective as the singular “darknet.” These networks typically use software, such as Tor, that anonymizes the machines connecting to them, and encrypts the data traveling through their connections.

Some of what’s on the darknet is alarming. A 2015 story from Fox News reads:

“Perusing the darknet offers a jarring jaunt through jaw-dropping depravity: Galleries of child pornography, videos of humans having sex with animals, offers for sale of illegal drugs, weapons, stolen credit card numbers and fake identifications for sale. Even human organs reportedly from Chinese execution victims are up for sale on the darknet.”

But that’s not the whole story—nor the whole content and context of the darknet. Portraying the darknet as primarily, or even solely, for criminals ignores the societal forces that push people toward these anonymous networks. Our research into the content and activity of one major darknet, called Freenet, indicates that darknets should be understood not as a crime-ridden “Wild West,” but rather as “wilderness,” spaces that by design are meant to remain unsullied by the civilizing institutions—law enforcement, governments and corporations—that have come to dominate the internet.

There is definitely illegal activity on the darknet, as there is on the open internet. However, many of the people using the darknet have a diverse range of motives and activities, linked by a common desire to reclaim what they see as major benefits of technology: privacy and free speech.

01_30_freenet_01A pie chart shows the share of Freenet sites devoted to particular types of content.RODERICK S. GRAHAM AND BRIAN PITMAN

Describing Freenet

Our research explored Freenet, an anonymous peer-to-peer network accessed via a freely downloadable application. In this type of network, there are no centralized servers storing information or transferring data. Rather, each computer that joins the network takes on some of the tasks of sharing information.

When a user installs Freenet, her computer establishes a connection to a small group of existing Freenet users. Each of these is connected in turn to other Freenet users’ computers. Through these connections, the entire contents of the network are available to any user. This design allows Freenet to be decentralized, anonymous and resistant to surveillance and censorship.

Freenet’s software requires users to donate a portion of their local hard drive space to store Freenet material. That information is automatically encrypted, so the computer’s owner does not know what files are stored or the contents of those files. Files shared on the network are stored on numerous computers, ensuring they will be accessible even if some people turn off their machines.

Joining the network

As researchers, we played the role of a novice Freenet user. The network allows many different types of interaction, including social networking sites and even the ability to build direct relationships with other users. But our goal was to understand what the network had to offer to a new user just beginning to explore the system.

There are several Freenet sites that have used web crawlers to index the network, offering a sort of directory of what is available. We visited one of these sites to download their list. From the 4,286 total sites in the index we chose, we selected a random sample of 427 sites to visit and study more closely. The sites with these indexes are a part of the Freenet network, and therefore can be accessed only by users who have downloaded the software. Standard search engines cannot be used to find sites on Freenet.

Finding a ‘hacker ethic’

What we found indicated that Freenet is dominated by what scholars call a “hacker ethic.” This term encompasses a group of progressive and libertarian beliefs often espoused by hackers, which are primarily concerned with these ideals:

  • Access to information should be free;
  • Technology can, and should, improve people’s lives;
  • Bureaucracy and authority are not to be trusted;
  • A resistance to conventional and mainstream lifestyles.

Some of that may be because using darknet technology often requires additional technical understanding. In addition, people with technical skills may be more likely to want to find, use and even create services that have technological protections against surveillance.

Our reading of hacking literature suggests to us that the philosophical and ideological beliefs driving darknet users are not well-known. But without this context, what we observed on Freenet would be hard to make sense of.

There were Freenet sites for sharing music, e-books and video. Many sites were focused around personal self-expression, like regular internet blogs. Others were dedicated to promoting a particular ideology. For example, socialist and libertarian content was common. Still other sites shared information from whistle-blowers or government documents, including a copy of the Wikileaks website’s data, complete with its “Afghan War Diary” of classified documents about the United States military invasion of Afghanistan following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

With the hacker ethic as a guide, we can understand that most of this content is from individuals who have a deep mistrust of authority, reject gross materialism and conformity, and wish to live their digital lives free of surveillance.

What about crime?

There is criminal activity on Freenet. About a quarter of the sites we observed either delivered or linked to child pornography. This is alarming, but must be seen in the proper context. Legal and ethical limits on researchers make it very hard to measure the magnitude of pornographic activity online, and specifically child pornography.

Once we came upon a site that purported to have child pornography, we left the site immediately without investigating further. For example, we did not seek to determine whether there was just one image or an entire library or marketplace selling pornographic content. This was a good idea from the perspectives of both law and ethics, but did not allow us to gather any real data about how much pornography was actually present.

Other research suggests that the presence of child pornography is not a darknet or Freenet problem, but an internet problem. Work from the the Association for Sites Advocating Child Protection points to pervasive sharing of child pornography well beyond just Freenet or even the wider set of darknets. Evaluating the darknet should not stop just at the presence of illegal material, but should extend to its full content and context.

With this new information, we can look more accurately at the darknet. It contains many distinct spaces catering to a wide range of activities, from meritorious to abhorrent. In this sense, the darknet is no more dangerous than the rest of the internet. And darknet services do provide anonymity, privacy, freedom of expression and security, even in the face of a growing surveillance state.

Roderick S. Graham is assistant professor of Sociology, Old Dominion University. Brian Pitman is instructor in Criminology and Sociology, Old Dominion University.

Source : http://europe.newsweek.com/darknet-resembles-internet-itself-anonymity-550324?rm=eu

Categorized in Deep Web

airs logo

Association of Internet Research Specialists is the world's leading community for the Internet Research Specialist and provide a Unified Platform that delivers, Education, Training and Certification for Online Research.

Get Exclusive Research Tips in Your Inbox

Receive Great tips via email, enter your email to Subscribe.

Follow Us on Social Media