Title

An investigation into darknets and the content available via anonymous peer-to-peer file sharing

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publisher

secau Security Research Centre, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia

Faculty

Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

School

School of Computer and Security Science / Security Research Centre (secAU)

RAS ID

13101

Comments

This article was originally published as: Aked, S. (2011). An investigation into darknets and the content available via anonymous peer-to-peer file sharing. Paper presented at the 9th Australian Information Security Management Conference, Edith Cowan University Perth, Western Australia.

Abstract

Media sites, both technical and non-technical, make references to Darknets as havens for clandestine file sharing. They are often given an aura of mystique; where content of any type is just a mouse click away. However, can Darknets really be easily accessed, and do they provide access to material that would otherwise be difficult to obtain? This paper investigates which Darknets are easily discovered, the technical designs and methods used to hide content on the networks, the tools needed to join, and ultimately what type and quantities of files can be found on anonymous peer-to-peer file sharing networks. This information was gathered by conducting weekly searches for specific file extensions on each Darknet over a 4 week period. It was found that connectivity to Darknets was easy to establish, and installing peer-to-peer file sharing applications was a simple process. The quantity of content found on Darknet peer-to-peer file sharing networks indicates that file sharing is rampant. Of particular concern was what appears to be a large quantity of child pornography made available.