BENGALURU: Interpol is compiling a list of web portals on the darknet that are hubs of illegal activities like sale of small arms, Madan M Oberoi, Director, Cyber Innovation and Outreach, Interpol, said on Wednesday.
The darknet is part of the Deep Web, which consists of sites that are not accessible using conventional web browsers or search engines as they are not indexed by standard search.
Interpol has indexed 20,000 darknet sites till date, he said. Quoting an example of a darknet site named Slur, he said the website boasts of providing military intelligence, aerospace and defence designs and evidence relevant to ongoing trials among others anonymously. The website used bitcoins to facilitate such transactions. He said bitcoin has been emerging as a currency for the global crime network and all illicit trades on the darknet.
“Ashley Madison users, whose accounts were compromised recently, were demanded payment in bitcoins to ensure that their personal data is not posted on public domain,” he said.
Interpol has also been developing forensic tools to identify and trace crypto currencies such as bitcoins and also blockchain explorer, which serves as the backbone for such currencies, he added.
Pindar Wong, Chairman of VeriFi (Hong Kong) Ltd, observed that bitcoin has the technology of preventing copying of digital tokens, which was the reason for it to be gradually legitimised in some countries.
Noting that bitcoin was a peer-to-peer (P2P) crypto currency, he said future governance models, in which states interact with its citizens, will follow the P2P model. However, it is essential for the states to maintain “integrity of data” for the model to be a success, he added.
Prabha Rao, Special Secretary, Government of India, said a Standard Operating Procedure was also required for alerting authorities on transactions using bitcoins that are above a specified limit.