Is Dark Web Search Getting Crowded?

February 7, 2019

Stephen E Arnold said in a recent DarkCyber video news report:

The Dark Web is one of the most crawled, most index content sources in the world.

The Dark Web may feel like a lawless Wild West for law enforcement and intelligence communities. A cesspool where illegal drugs and weapons and activities roam freely. But, the challenge of monitoring the actions on this covert online forum is getting easier because there are fewer sites to crawl and index, about 4,000 depending on the day one takes a count. Of these fewer than 60 account for most activity of interest to government authorities.

We learned in a recent Deep Dot Web article, “Categorizing Content on the Dark Web Via a Novel Crawler.”

According to the story:

“This crawler is developed to specifically crawl hidden services on the Tor network. Results were assessed via two steps: First, an initial group of hidden services were manually grouped into different categories and used to train a special document classifier (Support Vector Machine), which represents a statistical categorization algorithm that utilizes machine learning for content classification purposes. Secondly, an automated classifier was utilized to complete categorization of the remainder of dark web pages.”

While crawling through the muck of the deep web is currently the provenance of military, law enforcement and intelligence communities, that is poised to change.

Are there enough customers to support incumbents like Recorded Future and Digital Shadows as well as the newcomers?

Patrick Roland, February 7, 2019

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