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Darknets as Tools for Cyber Warfare

  • Kai DenkerEmail author
  • Marcel Schäfer
  • Martin Steinebach
Chapter

Abstract

Darknets serve as licit privacy networks to enable activists, journalists, and others to communicate anonymously and avoid censorship. Yet Darknets also allow for illicit file sharing and trafficking. Besides much-discussed narcotics and child abuse material, goods and services offered on Darknet markets include counterfeit currency, forged documents, weaponry, malicious software, zero-day exploits, and hacking services. Hence, Darknets are a major concern, not only for civilian security institutions like law enforcement, but also for national and international security. In the context of cyber warfare, Darknets enable or support several practices: impeding attribution of attacks by fostering anonymity, trading of cyber-arms and their building blocks like zero-day exploits, providing simple and sophisticated hacking services, and dissemination of information from secrets to fake news. In this chapter, we explain the technology behind Tor, a widely used Darknet client, provide an overview of common Darknet phenomena and discuss them in context of cyber warfare. Finally, we analyse these discourses within the framework of critical securitisation studies.

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References

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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kai Denker
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marcel Schäfer
    • 2
  • Martin Steinebach
    • 2
  1. 1.TU Darmstadt, Sicherheit in der InformationstechnikDarmstadtGermany
  2. 2.Fraunhofer SITDarmstadtGermany

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