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Plunge into the Underworld: A Survey on Emergence of Darknet

by   Victor Adewopo, et al.
University of Cincinnati

The availability of sophisticated technologies and methods of perpetrating criminogenic activities in the cyberspace is a pertinent societal problem. Darknet is an encrypted network technology that uses the internet infrastructure and can only be accessed using special network configuration and software tools to access its contents which are not indexed by search engines. Over the years darknets traditionally are used for criminogenic activities and famously acclaimed to promote cybercrime, procurements of illegal drugs, arms deals, and cryptocurrency markets. In countries with oppressive regimes, censorship of digital communications, and strict policies prompted journalists and freedom fighters to seek freedom using darknet technologies anonymously while others simply exploit it for illegal activities. Recently, MIT's Lincoln Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence augmented a tool that can be used to expose illegal activities behind the darknet. We studied relevant literature reviews to help researchers to better understand the darknet technologies, identify future areas of research on the darknet and ultimately to optimize how data-driven insights can be utilized to support governmental agencies in unraveling the depths of darknet technologies. This paper focuses on the use of the internet for crimes, deanonymization of TOR-services, darknet a new digital street for illicit drugs, research questions and hypothesis to guide researchers in further studies. Finally, in this study, we propose a model to examine and investigate anonymous online illicit markets.


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