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Tag Archives: research

Research: Using the Hidden Markov Model to identify Meek based Tor network traffic

Tor is by far the most widely used internet censorship circumvention solution. The Tor browser relies on a unique obfuscation technology known as “Meek” to promote users’ privacy. Meek obfuscates Tor network traffic so that it seems like ordinary forms of internet traffic. However, hidden Markov models can be used to identify Tor network traffic. A recently published research paper ... Read More »


Research: Identifying bitcoin addresses linked to transactions on darknet marketplaces and other Tor hidden services

Due to its pseudo-anonymous nature and decentralized infrastructure, bitcoin has been exploited in darknet marketplaces which facilitate the trading of a myriad of illegal products and services, including illicit drugs, stolen personal data, weapons, hacking tools, and more. The history of bitcoin transactions is recorded on a public ledger, known as the blockchain. However, the real world identity of a ... Read More »

Research: Phishing attacks via Tor hidden services

Phishing is by far one of the most serious threats against the security of personal data. Launching phishing attacks often relies on sending emails that seem to have been sent by a trusted entity. The goal is to trick the recipient to provide sensitive personal information including usernames, passwords, online banking credentials, etc. The emails attempt to deceive the victims ... Read More »

Research: Maximizing privacy of the interledger protocol (ILP) via Tor-like onion routing circuits

The Interledger Protocol (ILP) is a network protocol that facilitates micropayments and settlements between different payment systems. Nevertheless, it leads to the unmasking of all transaction information including transaction amount, sender wallet address, and recipient wallet address. A recently published research paper proposes an application layer, named ILP-CEPA, that operates on top of ILP in order to hide transaction information ... Read More »


Research: The challenges associated with geographical avoidance of Tor nodes

Traffic analysis attacks are by far among the most serious threats compromising the anonymity of Tor users. When law enforcement agencies or malicious adversaries attempt to deanonymize Tor users, they launch traffic confirmation attacks and observe encrypted traffic in order to extract metadata. When combined with routing attacks, traffic confirmation attacks are extremely efficient in deanonymization of Tor users. Even ... Read More »

Research: Improving Tor circuits’ anonymous communication forwarding strategy

Anonymous communication can be achieved by concealing the relationship between the origin and destination of traffic flow via means of a special method, so that an adversary cannot identify the communication relationship or the data being exchanged between both ends of the communication route. Anonymous protection has to achieve three main goals: recipient anonymity, sender anonymity, and impossibility to correlate ... Read More »

Research: Security monitoring of a darknet using a novel attacker behavior based metric

Monitoring of network traffic is indispensable for managing and securing various types of networks. One of the main difficulties associated with handling of network’s traffic (data packets, flow, etc) is the unsatisfactory semantic of independent parameters including number of data packets, IP addresses, TCP/UDP port numbers, network protocol, etc. Even though many parameters can be quantified by numerical values, it ... Read More »

Research: Tor marketplaces as a threat to national e-ID infrastructures

Electronic identification (e-ID) has been increasingly adopted by many states during the past few years. The past decade has witnessed large-scale initiatives in many European countries to develop their very own e-ID infrastructures. These forms of digital infrastructures vary in terms of frameworks, institutional entities involved, and the types of services accessible by citizens via their issued digital identities. Occasionally, ... Read More »

Research: A novel user friendly system for monitoring darknet marketplaces

Darknet markets have been emerging during the past few years as the ideal online platforms for trading various forms of illicit goods and services including drugs, weapons, counterfeit documents, stolen private data, hacking tools, and others. As such, it is pivotal for law enforcement agencies all over the world to develop effective means for monitoring darknet marketplaces and tracing individuals ... Read More »

Research: Using text spotting to detect textual information hidden within images hosted on onion domains

Due to the continuous efforts of law enforcement agencies to monitor illegal activities taking place on the Tor network, darknet marketplace vendors have developed novel means for evading the digital forensic tools used to gather evidence of such activities. Specifically, hiding textual content within images can effectively evade text analysis techniques used to monitor content on onion hidden services. A ... Read More »

Research: How are digital and communication technologies exploited to facilitate human trafficking?

The human trafficking business has flourished during the past few years, thanks to the wide use of digital and networking technologies. Even though the exploitation of digital technologies in human trafficking represents a growing global problem, few research studies have been conducted to assess the implications of the trafficking-digital technology nexus. As such, little is known regarding how digital and ... Read More »


Research: Categorization of digital anti-forensic tools used by cybercriminals

Even though information technologies have greatly enhanced our living standards, they have also offered criminals innovative means to commit their crimes. Cybercrimes represent a diverse group of illegal activities that include identity theft, hacking, online piracy, drug trafficking, money laundering, and others. To counteract cybercrimes, novel tools and techniques are frequently being utilized by digital forensics’ professionals. On the other ... Read More »


Research: Sales of prescription psychiatric drugs on darknet marketplaces

Nonmedical prescription psychiatric drug use (NMPDU) represents a rapidly growing international health problem, especially with the emergence of darknet marketplaces, or cryptomarkets, as means of trafficking and distribution of these drugs. There is scarce evidence regarding current comparative global NMPDU trends, namely due to the difficulties associated with collection of relevant data. This problem is especially prominent for non-opioid drugs, ... Read More »

Research: A novel anonymous proxy P2P based network

Online privacy is becoming the concern of more individuals every day. Even with the presence of anonymity network solutions such as VPNs, proxies, and Tor, researchers are continuously working on developing further solutions that are easier to use and can efficiently bypass internet censorship. A recently published research paper proposes an anonymous proxy P2P network, named Penguin Proxy, that can ... Read More »