Interpol is creating a private dark web network where it hopes to reverse engineer the technologies used by cyber criminals to avoid law enforcement.
The dark web is an area of the web that does not appear on the open Internet. Sites hosted on it do not appear in regular search engines and require specific tools to be accessed.
Interpol announced its plans to create its own dark web network in a press release. The testing ground will be run by Interpol’s Cyber Research Lab. It will simulate real dark web practices, such as private cryptocurrency transactions on underground cyber marketplaces.
The simulated dark web will be used in a five-day Interpol training course. The course will help train law enforcement officers in how criminals on the darkweb operate. The course will also include simulated dark web takedown operations.
Interpol director of cyber innovation Madan Oberoi said the training is essential, as many law enforcement departments do not have the skills needed to combat cyber criminals operating on the dark web.
“Darknets are fast emerging as the preferred trading venue for organised crime networks and individuals to carry out illicit activities, with cryptocurrencies the preferred medium for paying for these criminal services,” he said.
“The specialised training provided by Interpol equips law enforcement with the understanding and tools they need to take very real action targeting criminals in the virtual world.”
The technical details of the training scheme remain unknown, as does which law enforcement agencies have signed up to take it. Business Insider has reached out to Interpol.
The cyber black market problem
Interpol’s training scheme is part of a wider effort by law enforcement to combat digital black markets.
The FBI led an international sting operation against the “Darkode” black market in July. Darkode is a members-only hacking forum that grants members access to an underground network where they can buy, sell, or trade attack tools and stolen goods.
It was shut down on July 15 as a part of an 18-month operation, codenamed Shrouded Horizon, that involved law enforcement from 20 countries. The operation lead to the arrest of 28 people, including three men believed to have created some of the hacking tools being traded on the forum.
A new, more secure, version of Darkode appeared less than two weeks after the operation. It is believed to be run by one of the old site’s administrators.
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