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Monitoring product sales in darknet shops

: Yannikos, York; Schäfer, Annika; Steinebach, Martin


Association for Computing Machinery -ACM-:
ARES 2018, 13th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security. Proceedings : Hamburg, Germany, August 27 - 30, 2018
New York: ACM, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-4503-6448-5
Art. 59, 7 S.
International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security (ARES) <13, 2018, Hamburg>
Fraunhofer SIT ()

Anonymity networks and hidden services like those accessible in Tor, also called the "darknet", in combination with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin provide a relatively safe environment for criminal online activities. While this is a challenge for law enforcement, it brings opportunities for researchers to monitor these activities as they are often not really hidden but rather obfuscated and/or anonymized. In this paper we discuss such a monitoring approach for product sales in the darknet. We collect bitcoin addresses and data about product offerings in a number of shops run as hidden services in Tor. We then analyze transactions in the bitcoin blockchain that can be mapped to specific product sales in these shops.