A Synopsis of Critical Aspects for Darknet Research

AuthorPlatzer, Florian; Lux, Alexandra
TypeConference Paper
AbstractDescriptives of the darknet, and in particular of the Tor network, appear inconsistent and implausible in nature. In order to gain insight into how these conflicting results are produced, the goal of this study is to review previous research on the matter with regard to terminology used, methodology of sample collection and the analysis of the data. Our results indicate six critical aspects that in particular pertain to (A) an inconsistent use of terminology, (B) the methodology with which the sample was gathered, as well as the handling of (C) short-lived services, (D) botnet command and control servers, (E) web services with undetermined content and (F) duplicates of onion services. Further, we include a small case study on darknet marketplaces to demonstrate how reports concerning the number of a certain category can easily mislead. Through the implications of these aspects the presented description of Tor does not necessarily reflect the actual nature of Tor.
ConferenceInternational Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security 2022