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Law Enforcement Agencies Monitoring the Dark Web

By Noir Aug. 2, 2021, 1:21 p.m.

The dark web is the primary platform for hackers, fraudsters, and criminals. Following that, monitoring the dark web is of global importance. Thus, law enforcement agencies are now using dark web monitoring tools. The tools are tech innovations that enable them to ghost into the dark web.

Cybercriminals plan criminal activity on the dark web, particularly in the dark market. The dark market is chiefly the dark web’s black market. Transactions in the dark web are often in cryptocurrency. Besides, law enforcement agencies are using digital forensic tools to improve their investigations.

How Law Enforcement Agencies are Monitoring the Dark Web

Manual collection of data is usually slow and time-consuming. As a result, law enforcement agencies use tools such as OSINT and WEBINT. The agencies use the tools effectively to monitor the following:

  • The dark market
  • Blogs
  • Online message boards
  • Social media

OSINT can scan to identify and locate links among criminal circles. Experts also use OSINT to track information such as attackers planning to hack.
Also, investigators use digital forensic for better decision-making throughout the investigation process. They can be proactive rather than reactive.
So, WEBINT enables investigators to probe the dark web. It does this by collecting, analyzing, and monitoring data within a specific timeframe. Designed with particular software, the platform expedites the web investigation process.
Investigators can successfully reach the dark web and track threat attackers even with minimal data thread. The tools can reveal the threat’s IP address, name, location, or image.
Natural Language Processing (NLP) is another digital tool utilized by experts. It comes in handy because many dark web forums are in various languages.

Recommendations Yielded in an Expert’s Workshop

A group of experts met up and identified key dark web challenges. They addressed them and also identified tools to help police the challenges. The group included civil rights advocates, experts from the federal, state, and local agencies.
The experts’ workshop yielded recommendations that focused on the following:

  • Research on crime connections. To help the law enforcement deal with crime on the dark web, research on the connected nature of the crime
  • New forensic standards. To collect dark web evidence on computers, develop new standards for forensic tools.
  • Training. Investigators and officers should be trained to spot relevant dark web evidence.
  • Sharing of information. Information-sharing should be improved among agencies both internationally and domestically.

Moreover, in the workshop, experts analyzed 40 problems and 46 potential solutions. Yet, nineteen high-priority needs were identified. The high-priority needs represent a way to prepare law enforcement against cybercrime.
The experts identified a lack of knowledge of how the dark web operates as a critical problem.
Another challenge is preventing dark web shipments through the postal system. For example, More than 500 million parcels move daily in the US Postal Service alone. In addition, seizures from the Postal Service often need warrants.
The forensics tools mentioned above offer an upper hand in the investigators' battle. In conclusion, every executive should ensure that the dark web is no longer a haven for crime. Law enforcement agencies should be poised to reduce crime on the dark web.

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