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Research: Using cryptocurrencies over the dark web in money laundering crimes

The major technological advancements we experienced recently have totally transformed personal and financial relationships taking place across the globe. During the past few years, people developed means to communicate and transact with high levels of privacy and anonymity. The dark web, including anonymous networks such as Tor, enables people to communicate in an anonymous, almost totally untraceable manner. Moreover, cryptocurrencies, ... Read More »

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Research: Using HEVC to hide bitcoin transaction information

In the world of digital currencies, security and privacy represent a serious challenge. Since the launch of bitcoin, many hack attacks have occurred, leading to the loss of millions of dollars. Furthermore, when bitcoins are stolen, not only the direct victim is affected, but also the whole bitcoin market is undermined by considerable fluctuations in bitcoin’s price. Every node across ... Read More »

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Research: Using association rule learning with darknet traffic analysis to identify IoT malware

During the past few years, the rapid advancement of the Internet of Things (IoT) technologies has introduced transformational changes to our life. Nevertheless, the sophistication of IoT systems comes at the expense of a rise in the severity of cyberattacks that exploit vulnerabilities in IoT devices. In particular, the aftermath of a recently discovered IoT malware, known as Mirai, was ... Read More »

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Research: Identification of cyber threats across non-English darknet marketplaces

Proactive Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) technologies are being utilized to alleviate the consequences of cyber attacks via identification of malicious threats springing up in various online hacker communities. Darknet marketplaces, internet relay chats (IRCs), carding shops, and hacker forums represent the most prominent examples of online hacker communities. Darknet marketplaces are unique and pivotal components of these online platforms because ... Read More »

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Research: Bitcoin user identification via deep neural networks

Privacy protection and relative anonymity represent the most favorable currency features of bitcoin. Unlike submitting a great deal of personal information in order to open a bank account, one only needs a pseudonym, which is also referred to as a hashed public key or an address, to be able to use bitcoin. Unless intentionally revealed, it is relatively hard to ... Read More »

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Research: The anonymity dilemma of the darknet – Freedom of speech vs governmental control

The darknet is not merely a place for criminal behavior; it facilitates secure, anonymous online communication between individuals adopting marginalized positions such as whistleblowers, human right activists, and dissidents. The darknet has been associated with a criminal, mystical, and threatening aura. This has been catalyzed by reports on darknet marketplaces that facilitate the trading of illicit drugs and weapons. Discussions ... Read More »

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Research: Synthetic Cannabinoids (SCs) – The drug of the darknet

The popularity of smokable drugs containing synthetic cannabinoids (SCs) has been rising sharply during the past few years. SCs are mainly sold online via darknet marketplaces as an alternative to traditional psychoactive drugs such as opiates, cocaine, and MDMA. SCs are sold under various brand names, e.g. K2 in the USA and Spice in Europe. Considerable variations can exist in ... Read More »

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Using the CHORD protocol for creating a P2P multimedia service system

The past few years have witnessed an increased popularity of real-time multimedia applications. Nevertheless, network congestion as well as unexpected intermittent interruption in the streaming of live videos usually undermine the quality of services offered to users. A recently published paper proposed a novel P2P framework for multimedia services based on the CHORD protocol, which is a routing-based architecture where ... Read More »

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A new method for detecting malicious traffic over the Tor network

Tor is a unique overlay network that was developed to provide anonymous online communications for TCP based applications. The Tor network is currently serving hundreds of thousands of users, helping them to conceal their identity while surfing the internet. Even though the Tor network is currently mainly used to bypass internet censorship in countries governed by oppressive regimes, the anonymity ... Read More »

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VMWare and virtualization of the Tor network for research purposes

There are currently many approaches to conducting Tor network security research. Direct experiments on the live Tor network, formal modeling, connection simulation, and emulation of the Tor network represent a few examples of these approaches. It should be emphasized that there are multiple ethical issues associated with conducting experiments on the live Tor network. The main challenges include undermining the ... Read More »

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Using Website Fingerprinting (WF) to deanonymize Tor users

The Tor network was established to provide anonymity to internet users who are concerned about preserving their anonymity when browsing specific online content. The Tor network is comprised of a set of router circuits that utilize cryptography to apply multiple layers of encryption to transmitted data packets, thus concealing the IP address of the user, the established connection between the ... Read More »

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Is Bitcoin Really a Financial Bubble?

Even though 2017 was Bitcoin’s most profitable year, 2018 is ending up with the biggest losses in the currency’s market capital since its advent. Many traditional economists believe that bitcoin represents a huge bubble that is destined to burst, especially since its massive gains were driven, at least partly, by newbie buyers and speculators. As bitcoin price has plummeted below ... Read More »

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Research – Categorization of Content Hosted on Freenet

Western societies have recently been highly attentive to a part of the internet known as the darknet during the past few years. While mainstream media has focused on the criminal aspects of these invisible parts of the internet, research, on the other hand, has paid more attention to the darknet technology, known as Tor. A recently published research paper focused ... Read More »

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Research: Using Network Investigative Techniques (NITs) to Home in on Tor Cybercriminals

Network Investigative Techniques (NITs) are special forms of digital law enforcement tools that enable law enforcement agencies (LEAs) to hack into suspicious computers via the exploitation of vulnerabilities. NITs have aided in the location and identification of cybercriminals operating on various darknets where conventional investigative means proved to be useless. They play a significant role in cybercrime investigations, as well ... Read More »

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Research: Using Darknet Forums by Black Hat Hackers During Crisis Periods (Darknet Marketplace Shutdown)

Darknet marketplaces are growing at a rather rapid rate. These marketplaces are not only markets for illegal and illicit drugs, but they are also places where hackers are selling various hacking tools and offering hacking as a service (HaaS) for anyone who can pay the predetermined price in cryptocurrency. The black hat hacker market evolved from being merely a playground ... Read More »