Detection and Analysis of Tor Onion Services

AuthorSteinebach, Martin; Schäfer, Marcel; Karakuz, Alexander; Brandl, Katharina
TypeJournal Article
AbstractTor onion services can be accessed and hosted anonymously on the Tor network. We analyze the protocols, software types, popularity and uptime of these services by collecting a large amount of .onion addresses. Websites are crawled and clustered based on their respective language. In order to also determine the amount of unique websites a de-duplication approach is implemented. To achieve this, we introduce a modular system for the real-time detection and analysis of onion services. The overall data reveals that a large amount of permanent services provide no actual content for Tor users. A significant part consists instead of bots, services offered via multiple domains, or duplicated websites for phishing attacks. The total amount of onion services is thus significantly smaller than current statistics suggest.