The Dark Web may be smaller, pervier than previously thought

My Point Of View

Last week, two hackers unleashed an automated scanning tool on the the internet’s deepest layers, known as the Dark Web. This digital underworld is accessible only through the Tor Network and trafficked largely by hackers and criminals looking to avoid the gaze of law enforcement. Hackers Alejandro Caceres and Amanda Towler set their website vulnerability scanning tool, PunkSPIDER, loose on the Dark Web in an effort to improve the semi-anonymizing network’s security but made a surprising discovery: the Dark Web may not be nearly as large as experts estimate.

When PunkSPIDER made its rounds last week, the security tool only found about 7,100 .onion sites in total. Heck it’s entire scan wrapped up in just three hours. “You might notice that’s not a lot of sites. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from Memex it’s that the number of Hidden Services [Tor network sites] up at any time has been greatly overestimated,” Caceres explained to Forbes. Out of that number, only about 2,100 responded within a reasonable time. The pair found that, for the most part, these sites are pretty secure. Just 50 had actionable vulnerabilities, though that’s likely due to their largely single-page, static HTML designs.

Of course, being the Dark Web, the pair did find a number of sites offering illegal content including, “a weird subset of child porn,” Caceres said. “After looking through them there is at least one that we’d like to share with law enforcement before releasing it publicly. This is the one case where we actually don’t want the website administrator to fix their site before someone in law enforcement hacks it – trust me, it’s a really bad one.”

{Image Credit: Moment Editorial/Getty Images]

Filed under:

Comments

Source: Forbes

Source: Engadget - Read the full article here

Author: Daily Tech Whip

This article is part of our 'News Tiles' service. The site is currently in Beta. When it is fully operational you will be able to search through and arrange the 'Tiles' to display a keyword, product or technology over your chosen time period. For example you would be able to display all of the leading tech articles on the new Kindle Fire, in one spot in real time. You will also have access to our own original reporting and analysis as well as a polished place to post your own thoughts & reviews here, amongst the Daily Tech Whip Community. Please let us know if you have any feedback via the contact form or via Twitter. Don't forget to come back next week and see our full site and claim your name and your own free tech blog.

Share This Post On