Authorities are Soon Taking Control of Dark Web Powers
Authorities are soon taking control of the dark web powers. Basically, to manage criminal activities.
The dark web is a platform where the good and bad co-exist. On the positive side, it provides anonymous and very secure communication channels. For example, journalists and human rights activists use the forum. On the bad side, criminals use the dark web to trade illegal goods and services. Following this, authorities are soon taking control of the dark web powers. Basically, to manage criminal activities.
In 2017, one criminal site generated about $219 million in annual revenue. Cybercriminals rely on cryptocurrency and anonymizing technology to mask their activity. As a result, cybercriminals use the Tor browser to anonymize their identity. Also, dark web users use Bitcoin for their transactions. Bitcoin is not easy to track.
The dark web’s black market has contraband like weapons, body parts, drugs, among others. Hackers also use the dark market for advertising their services.
Authorities worldwide have arrested cybercriminals involved in crime on the dark web.
Law Enforcement Agencies Taking Over Dark Web Powers
Authorities warned cybercriminals that “the golden age of the dark web is over.” A coordinated campaign got organized, and it was led by:
The UK’s National Crime Agency
German Federal Criminal Police
The Dutch National Police
US government agencies
The campaign is known as Operation Distributor. It followed the takedown of the Wall Street Market. At the time, it was the second-largest black market on the dark web.
This year, DarkMarket was taken offline by a Europol coordinated international operation. DarkMarket was reportedly the world’s largest dark web marketplace. Likewise, the German law enforcement arrested an Australian man. He was the operator of the illegal site. Twenty servers that hosted it also got seized.
That is how the hotbed for criminal activity got brought to an end. According to Europol, before the closure, DarkMarket hosted close to 500,000 users. Moreover, it facilitated over 320,000 transactions. The site traded an equal of €140 million in a mix of Monero and Bitcoin.
Steps Taken by Authorities
Law enforcement agencies organized a workshop. Its aim was to raise the visibility of the dark web. The workshop yielded high-level recommendations that concentrated on the following:
New forensic standards- creating new standards for forensic tools. Ones that can gather dark web evidence on computers
Sharing information- bettering information sharing among agencies. Not only domestically but also internationally.
Offering training- training investigators to spot significant dark web evidence.
Installing package-inspection laws- looking for ways to modernize laws that ease inspection of packages shipped by mail.
Intense research on crime connection. Crime increasingly has an interconnected nature. The research will help authorities recognize and address crime on the dark web.
Authorities also identified some challenges they are encountering. First, the rapid expansion in dark activities. Authorities lack quantitative data to inform effective responses to dark web activities. Second, globalization.
Dark web activities cross local and national borders. The dark web’s cross-jurisdictional nature makes it essential for investigators to collaborate.
Authorities are creating awareness on how to deal with illicit dealings on the dark web. Despite the anonymity, Tor provides, law enforcement is continuing to bring down cybercriminals.
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