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Dark Web Monitoring: The Latest in Law Enforcement Challenges

August 5, 2019

From millions of dollars in online drug trafficking, to massive amounts of money laundering, smart cities being hacked, the illegal sale of firearms, and circulation of counterfeit money, the deep dark web has quite the sinister side. Each year, $100,000,000 in crimes are committed over the web by nameless faceless criminals whose acts are hidden deep within the realms of cyberspace.


What Is the Deep Web?

When most of us think of the internet, we think of information that’s easily accessible by searching Google, Bing, Yandex, or any of our favorite search engines. Whatever we’re looking for online can generally be found by performing a simple search, and voila – the article, author, site location and date of publication are instantly made available. The reality, however, is that information being tracked by the search engines only make-up few percent of the actual activity taking place on the web.

More than 90% of activity occurs over the deep web. Within the deep web lies the dark web, an invisible web surface that only ‘techies’ can connect to by using non-standard protocols and ports. When surfing the dark web, both the identity and location of the user remains anonymous.

A Hotbed for Crime, a Nightmare to Police

The dark web was originally developed by the US military to disguise the activities of agents, allowing them to connect without information being revealed. Interactions are so well encrypted that it is virtually impossible to trace a user’s identity, location or activities back to the original owner. While this may have served the US army’s purposes well, it came with an unexpected drawback – the perfect arena for criminal activity, as until recently, no dark web monitoring systems had been in place.

The deep web provides criminals with complete anonymity, making their criminal activities virtually untraceable and their identities virtually undetectable. It also has the ‘added benefit’ of being difficult to police. One of the difficulties in policing the web involves the issue of jurisdiction. Generally, criminal activity is pursued in the area of the crime. But the dark web does not reveal the physical locations of its criminals, making it difficult for law enforcement and national security agencies to divvy up by jurisdiction and conquer.

Another area of difficulty in policing is the highly technical nature of the crime arena. While once police officers were trained in how to comb a crime scene for evidence, question a victim, or trace for samples of DNA, today that simply isn’t enough. Policing the dark web for crime requires ‘hacker’ like skills and expensive powerful tools for monitoring the web. “If a person has used tools from the dark web to hide his number, the investigation ends right there, as we do not have the necessary tools and software to trace the person,” reported a senior police officer to The Economic Times.

AI Powered Dark Web Detection

So how can law enforcement bodies and intelligence agencies gain dark web situational awareness and keep criminals and their activities at bay?

The use of dark web monitoring software powered by artificial intelligence has become key in helping to detect illegal activities and identify criminals. Internet monitoring software employee technologies such as face recognition to process collected web data and generate prediction-based imaging of facial features. The facial features can then be matched to target databases, triggering an alert when criminal image recognition occurs and a suspect is identified.

Additionally, dark web intelligence solutions employ methodologies such as deep target profiling to reveal the real identities of virtual personalities, and ultimately reconstruct target profiles by extracting information from social networks, web content and more, and reconnecting the pieces.

The above methods, along with predictive analysis, natural language processing and the analysis of live data sources, all enable the automation of dark web monitoring. This, thereby, makes it easier for law enforcement agencies to identify and stop criminal activity.

Deep web crimes aren’t disappearing. Human trafficking, child pornography, and stolen identities all heavily occupy the realms of the deep web. To combat this growing crime arena, we need to change the tools we use to fight those crimes. Dark web internet monitoring software provides law enforcement officials with a proactive, innovative method to help track, identify and put an end to egregious dark web activities.

Cobwebs Technologies has revolutionized web intelligence with AI-driven solutions, a worldwide leader in extraction, analysis and real-time delivery of game-changing intelligent insights from the web’s infinite Big Data, to protect what matters most. Our web intelligence platform deciphers the intricacies of web layers by analyzing the complex details of structured and unstructured data, and covertly uncover and interact with the internet’s never-ending trail of clues to gain intelligence-enhanced security for a safer world.

To learn about Cobwebs Technologies solutions, visit our website: cobwebs.com



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