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Tag Archives: research


Research: Forensic analysis of the Tor browser bundle

Internet browsers currently represent the most commonly used means for accessing the internet from any platform. Due to the recent large number of online incidents that involve the leakage of personal data, users have become highly aware of the threat imposed by adversaries who can breach their personal data, in addition to vulnerable applications that can compromise their privacy and ... Read More »


Research: How to secure the Tor network against correlation attacks

Traffic flow correlation represents one of the most commonly used techniques in a variety of deanonymization attacks against users of the Tor network. An attacker who can monitor network traffic on both ends of a communication channel can successfully launch an end-to-end correlation attack. These attacks rely on using statistical correlation methods to identify if a traffic stream originating from ... Read More »


Research: Analysis of cryptojacking malware

Cybercriminals are increasingly relying on cryptocurrencies to maximize their gains. Via exploiting various forms of vulnerabilities of victims’ internet browsers and operating systems, cryptojacking renders it possible for cybercriminals to hijack victims’ computational resources to illicitly mine cryptocurrencies. A recently published research study analyzes current cryptojacking malware via means of dynamic and static methods. The paper also delves into the ... Read More »

Research: Competitive strategies in trading of illicit drugs across darknet marketplaces

The online trading of illicit drugs has been becoming more and more popular during the past few years thanks to the advancements in anonymizing technologies, which are exploited in facilitating the trading of various forms of illegal goods on darknet marketplaces, or cryptomarkets. On these darknet based platforms, the trading of any form of illegal products and services can take ... Read More »

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 »