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The Emergence and Diffusion of Illicit Virtual Goods Across the International Ecosystem

Led by: Ekaterina Botchkovar

The darknet (or darkweb) is a hidden layer of the internet brought to life by the advent of Tor, a web browser that allows users to stay anonymous online, in the early 21st century. Darknet-based forums and markets around the world are offering illegal goods and services such as illicit drugs, arms, computer hacking tools, and malware. Facilitating illicit trade, these platforms also allow cybercriminals to exchange important information and promote the creation of criminal networks across the globe. This project focuses on key aspects of illicit market operations on the darknet providing an in-depth understanding of how actors engage in transactions and form networks on these platforms. The main goal of the study is to identify some of the key strategies that could be used to disrupt the illicit activities and networks formed on the darknet.

Outside collaborators:

  • Professor Yubao Wu, Georgia State University
  • Professor David Maimon, Georgia State University

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