Dark Web and Its Research Scopes

Dark Web and Its Research Scopes

Athira U. (Kerala University, India) and Sabu M. Thampi (Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management Kerala, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8976-1.ch010

Abstract

Internet has become the most unavoidable phenomenon in our daily life. Together with it has risen the most unfathomable aftermath of anonymity exploitation. The internet available for the normal users are limited to the sites that are directly indexed by common search engines. But apart from these contents, a major portion of the internet lies hidden from regular search engines and is not available to users resorting to ordinary browsers. This part forms the deep web and within it lies the darkest part also known as dark web. Several illegal activities take place in this darkest part, including child pornography, financial fraudulence, drug deployment, and many others. Thus, countermeasures to put a curb on these activities are very much required. The chapter focuses on the most relevant research areas and possible research scopes in the area of the dark web.
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Dark Web And Deep Web

The existence of the dark web scenario is actuated by the structure of internet which provides access to the surface of the web via the search engines. The structure of internet can be visualized in terms of an “ice berg analogy” as depicted in Figure 1. The Figure 1 details the structure of internet by dividing it into three layers namely surface web, deep web and dark web.

Figure 1.

The structure of Internet

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Key Terms in this Chapter

Dark Web: It is regarded as the subset of deep web and is accessible only via special browsers known as onion routers. Thus, the sites within it are those with URLs ending in .onion. This part of the internet offers the user the highest level of anonymity. This in turn has proven to be a reason for proliferation of illegal activities in dark web.

Invisible Internet Project: This is a network within network that guarantees privacy in transmitting crucial information without the risk of external surveillance. A message from source to destination traverses via several intermediate tunnels which ultimately reaches the intended recipient and these data packets are encrypted.

Deep Web: The part of internet that contains sites that are not indexed by search engines and are not available to users by ordinary browsers. This includes account specific details like social network account profile page which is accessible only via password protected login procedure.

Deanonymisation: It is a datamining technique that aims at the identification of source of data that is anonymous in nature by utilizing information capable of differentiating one source form other.

Darknet Forensics: The fraudulent activities taking place in the veil of darknet need to be addressed by considering the frameworks capable of identifying and countering the illegal activities. The field of study aimed at identifying the fraudulences in dark web can be categorized into darknet forensics.

Onion Router: TOR is a decentralized network and is a protocol that encrypts the data and sends the traffic through random intermediate nodes that serve as the relay machines. In this way the IP address of the sender remains undisclosed to the destined recipient.

Bit Coins: Bit coins are cryptocurrencies that enable transactions that involve only the owner and the receiver party, and the transactions are broadcast via P2P network.

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