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Research: Assessing the link between the physical and virtual illicit drug markets

Illicit drug trading in the physical world has represented the subject of many research studies and is very well documented in academic literature. However, individuals involved in illicit drug trading have recently adopted innovative technologies to boost their profits and evade being caught by law enforcement agencies. Darknet marketplaces have been increasingly transforming the drug trafficking business during the past ... Read More »

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Research: Modernizing CollecTor’s ability to collect and archive Tor’s network data

The Tor network protects internet users against censorship, tracking, and surveillance. Tor is composed of thousands of relay nodes, or servers, run by volunteers who are distributed across the globe to enable users to connect privately to internet services. Continuous network evaluation is pivotal in order to react to censorship events, to adapt the Tor browser to dynamic network conditions, ... Read More »

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Research: Addressing the growth of darknet drug trading in the US

The use and popularity of the black darknet drug market in the US have been increasing in the past few years. The anonymity offered by darknet marketplaces enables users to steer clear of law enforcement. Current policy is centered on the identification of administrators of darknet marketplaces and the immediate shutdown of their platforms. Even though this policy has led ... Read More »

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Research: Analyzing the use of messaging and social media apps to trade and access drugs

Drug suppliers have been increasingly using modern technologies to boost profits and minimize risk during the past few years. Even though a large number of research studies have examined drug sales via surface internet pharmacies as well as darknet marketplaces, no research studies have delved into the role of smartphone messaging applications and social media in the modern drug economy. ... Read More »

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Research: How can disclosure and dissemination of information affect levels of trust in crypto-markets?

The cryptocurrency market represents a unique chance to analyze a market with an estimated unregulated capital exceeding $13 billion, which was raised via initial coin offerings (ICOs). A recently published paper in the London Business School Review attempts to identify how much confidence investors can have in crypto markets. The paper analyzes data from more than 750 ICOs that were ... Read More »

Research: Is illicit fentanyl desired by or imposed on opioid users?

Recently, illicitly produced fentanyl, and fentanyl analogues, have been rapidly emerging in countries all over the world. Fentanyl is usually disguised as heroin or prescription pills, which results in increased overdose mortality. This phenomenon can be explained by reduced expenses and risk to heroin sellers, heroin shortages, buyer preferences for rapid acting, strong opioids, and the increased popularity of darknet ... Read More »

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The social order of darknet drug marketplaces

Advanced networking technologies have greatly fueled the growth of online digital markets. To facilitate the trading of illicit drugs, darknet marketplaces, or crypto markets, leverage encryption and anonymization technologies to hide the identity and geographical location of those engaging in drug transactions. A recently published research paper utilizes economic sociology as a basic framework to formulate a better understanding of ... Read More »

Surfshark Review

Surfshark is a small VPN company that provides an outstanding VPN experience despite the fact it does not have as many servers as some of its competitors. During the last couple of years, VPN apps have become an important part of users’ everyday lives, especially given the fact that our online security and privacy has been compromised due to potential ... Read More »

Research: Using the genetic algorithm to generate symmetric keys for cryptography

Cryptography has evolved to become an indispensable tool to protect data shared online. There are currently multiple types of cryptographic approaches used to secure data. Automatic Variable Key (AVK) is one of the most recent cryptographic approaches proposed by researchers. In AVK encryption algorithms, the initial key is distributed via Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA). The genetic algorithm has been recently proposed for ... Read More »

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Research: Hacking Wall Street – Restructuring the law for hackers’ trading schemes

As today one can buy Wall Street stock over the internet, a new form of securities fraudsters have recently been targeted by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This new breed of fraudsters execute their conspiring schemes through the internet, beyond the conventional boundaries of corporate boardrooms. They are cybercriminals who attack and compromise computer networks of business corporations, ... Read More »

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Research: Three novel user node selection algorithms for I2P

As internet applications continue to develop at a rapid rate, anonymous technologies play a pivotal role in promoting personal privacy. I2P is one of the most popular anonymous online protocols that provides internet users with high anonymity levels via its advanced communication and encryption algorithms. Nevertheless, I2P does not focus on users’ preferences, which renders it difficult to meet the ... Read More »

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Research: Analyzing the DNS traffic of a high bandwidth Tor exit node – A research study

Internet usage differs markedly from one country to another when accessed websites are considered, especially in countries where censorship is exercised. People all over the world usually use Tor to communicate anonymously over the internet. The institute of networks and security (INS) hosts an exit node, with high bandwidth (200 MBit/s), on the Tor network for research purposes. A recently ... Read More »

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Research: Tor Marketplaces – Economics and PGP based investigative technique

The impact of criminal usage of the internet is growing dramatically with the emergence of the Tor network, where darknet marketplaces are taking the shape of legal online marketplaces, such as Amazon and Ebay. Consequently, even offline crimes can now benefit from this novel modus operandi and the innovative routes to ship illegal products and services, which force law enforcement ... Read More »

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Research: TorBot Stalker – A new mechanism for detection of Tor based botnets via intelligent circuit data analysis

A botnet represents a group of compromised machines that are centrally controlled by a botmaster, who uses the botnet for distributing spam emails or launching denial of service attacks (DDoS) via means of special command and control (C&C) servers. The task of taking down a botnet often represents a “cat and mouse” chase as botnet operators, or botmasters, usually continuously ... Read More »

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Research: SmarTor – Improving the security of Tor via smart contracts

As state surveillance is currently increasing in many parts of the world, privacy and anonymous technologies have become more essential than ever before. The Tor project is by far one of the most important privacy tools for anonymous online access. Within the Tor network, Directory Authorities (DAs) operate to distribute the topology information needed to construct anonymity preserving circuits, or ... Read More »