Dark Web Users Are No More Anonymous, Revealed A New Study

The privacy and anonymity Dark web offers are attracting a large number of internet users towards it, especially over the last two years.

An anonymous network, The Onion Routing (TOR), allows accessing the content available on Dark Web. According to a recent research published in Scientific Research Publishing journal, the Tor network does not keep you anonymous entirely while accessing the darknet.
"We have concluded that anonymity is not completely verifiable on the Dark Web even through TOR is dedicated to this network segment which it has purposed to provide anonymous activities.", claimed report.
Onion City and Ahimia were the two dark web search engines used to obtain the results found in the study. Eliminating the other anonymous networks, Tor users were taken as the representatives of the dark web users on the whole.

TOR uses various features to maintain the anonymity of users’ activities whereas researchers are always on the go to find tools that can uncover them.

As in 2013, FBI invaded the Freedom Hosting, a malware was released into its web hosting service through which visitors could be identified.

This malware was capable of verifying the computer and internet protocol addresses of Freedom Hosting's visitors, to suspect them and their locations through a proxy server or anonymous services.

The number of directory requests by Tor clients was used to know about the number of Tor users. These requests then distinguished the IP addresses on the basis of the country code.

The Tor network connections from continuously updated Tor relay list was recognized through internet service providers to find the IP addresses. The frequently numbered directory requests in a way depicted the number of dark web users.

According to study, the daily anonymous active user on TOR (or darknet markets) in the world "during January to December 2018 was above 4 million in the two first months of 2018 and this cipher has fallen off after second month of the same year.", now globally there are around 2 million anonymous daily active users on TOR network (or Darkweb).

The TOR daily users in the world that they have used the Internet anonymously during January to December 2018

The effects of dark web on different segments of society was also studied in this research, and a totally new analysis was presented regarding the dark web world, considering the number of Tor users.

Read next: A Look at Internet Censorship Around the World (Infographic)

Featured photo: Getty
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