As more and more hackers and cyber criminals get arrested thanks to police monitoring of the so-called ‘Dark Net’ more and more criminals are turning to ‘invisible’ or ‘gated’ chat forums and apps with heightened encryption to help prevent snooping from intelligence services.
Researchers from the University of Surrey have noted that:
“The dark net is the part of the internet not accessible to search engines such as Google, and for which people need a special browser to visit. The most well-known dark net is accessed via the Tor browser.”
“Successful efforts by police to infiltrate dark net marketplaces as well as raids that saw many of them closed down, had pushed criminal hackers to adopt more secure ways of communicating” said Dr Mike McGuire, a criminologist from the University of Surrey, who led the project.
“It’s not as vibrant as it once was because they know the feds are listening and that they will take down markets,” he continued.
“While criminal gangs were still active on those publicly accessible marketplaces” said Dr McGuire, “any conversations about targets and tactics were instantly moved to secure apps such as Telegram or separate forums.”