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Historical Analysis of the Onion Router and Its Forensic Challenges

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Tor's hidden service is a website that takes place in the Tor network, were services like Search Engine, Directories, Web / pop3 email, Private Messages (PM), Drop Boxes, Re-mailers, Bulletin Boards (BBS), Image Boards, Currency Exchange, Blog, E-Commerce, Social Networks, Micro-Blogs are hosted by using rendezvous points within the Tor networks. Other Tor users can only connect to these hidden services, by knowing the meeting address also known as an introduction point where the client gets the public key to access the hidden service, before that happens the hidden service needs to be advertise its existence in the Tor network so the clients will be able to contact it.Like any other tools, Tor has the potential for misuse and abuse, its “Hidden Services” feature has come under fire due to the wrong doing of those who use its capabilities to break the law. On October 2, 2013, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) shut down the Silk Road, an online marketplace that operated as a Tor Hidden Service. Referred to as the “Amazon of illegal drugs”, the website was a haven were drugs, murder, and other goods (both legal and illegal) could be solicit. The FBI arrested Ross William Ulbricht, and identified him as the founder and chief operator "Dread Pirate Roberts”, he was charged with soliciting murder, money laundering, facilitating computer hacking and narcotics trafficking violations. During the marketplace takedown the FBI also seized $174,000 bitcoins worth over $45 million dollars. A new online marketplace, Silk Road 2.0, has already taken the place of its predecessor under the leadership of a new “Dread Pirate Roberts”. This type of marketplace are starting to become more prevalent on the deep dark web.
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