An In-depth Look at Darknet Marketplaces

An In-depth Look at Darknet Marketplaces
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2020-06-16
Unit 1Slide Deck: An In-depth Look at Darknet Marketplaces
Unit 2Transcript: An In-depth Look at Darknet Marketplaces
Unit 3Workbook: An In-depth Look at Darknet Marketplaces
Unit 4Recording: An In-depth Look at Darknet Marketplaces

Webinar Video Clip: An In-Depth Look at Darknet Marketplaces


In his previous webinar, Special Agent Christopher W. Diorio provided an intro to the Dark Web. This time around, he is focusing on Dark Net Marketplaces (DNMs) – navigating these and using it for investigative purposes.

Christopher Diorio is a Special Agent with the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). He is currently assigned to the Cyber Crimes Unit of the HSI Cyber Crimes Center and is also the National Program Manager for Cyber Training. He’s been with the HSI for over 17 years, 12 years of which were spent conducting cyber investigations where he is involved in undercover investigations and digital forensics.

On this session, he provides a discussion of the Dark Net concepts and live demonstrations on how to access and utilize it for police work. Specifics include:

  • A refresher on what the dark web is and how it works.
  • The various ways to access the dark web and the most common means through The Onion Router (TOR).
  • What is The Onion Router, where to download its browser, what TOR addresses looks like, its original purpose, its features, and how it is utilized
  • Understanding darknet marketplaces, its framework, the currency used, the different DNMs accessible on the darknet, and the listings.
  • How to find updated darknet sites listings through Dark.Fail and Onion.Live.
  • How to use the TOR browser to search for and access darknet marketplaces.
  • The DarkBay/DBay Marketplace
    • How easy it is to register an account.
    • Its account security and encryption capabilities.
    • The similarity of its front-end features to other online marketplace and e-commerce sites.
    • The categories of the services and products being sold and traded.
    • Listings under the narcotics section and the details that may be seen in a listing.
    • How narcotics being sold through DNMs are shipped.
    • Vendor details and the various listings under a single vendor.
    • The message exchanges between the vendors and buyers and the additional layer of encryption for messaging.

Clarifications were provided during the Q&A on:

  • Other reasons to get on the dark web apart from getting involved in shady activities and investigations.
  • Legitimate corporations/organizations that have onion sites.
  • Applying the knowledge of dark web and DNMs to local law enforcement agencies’ work.
  • The probability of DNMs being used for fraudulent insurance cards.
  • Tell-tale signs that a client may be involved in DNM activity from a probation/parole perspective.
  • How the multiple layers of encryption are causing a longer load time.
  • The risks of using TOR with a VPN.
  • The dangers of using your personal/work computer to access the darknet.
  • The DNMs backend: Moderating user and vendor activities and handling disputes.


Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “This Darkweb presentation was THE BOMB!” — Andrea
  • “As probation and parole, now working with juveniles, it is beneficial to know what to look for on their computers. I wish I had this when I worked for Adult Probation as a sex offender specialist.” — Aaron
  • “I knew nothing and now I feel I understand enough about the DNM to explain its basic operation. It’s also sobering to know criminals have a more insidious way to break the law. I look forward to more info. Thank you for an excellent presentation.” — Amber
  • “This presenter was very good. I liked the first-hand way that he shared the information. Guiding us through the process of navigating the DarkWeb and sharing several helpful tips was great.” — Bridgette
  • “I knew nothing about accessing and navigating the dark web. I’m pretty sure I learned a thing or two from today’s webinar. SA Diorio is an amazing instructor and I would love to hear more from him.” — Ray
  • “This Webinar was awesome. I love to see things in real-time, although we didn’t hear back a response from the question Special Agent Chris asked on the dark web, it was very interesting. We needed an additional hour!!!” — Dawn
  • “I work in a Probation Department. I received a better working knowledge of the dark web in general. However, I now can identify signs of dark web involvement by my Probationers. I really found it helpful for him to identify the dark web browsers/cites, bitcoin information and other fine details I can look for. Great training. This could have been a whole day training. I will use this information for drug and sex cases.” — Dan
  • “This was the BEST Webinar that I have been on in my three years of your Webinars.” — Dan
  • “This was the BEST webinar I have taken so far, and the others have been good. This was EXCEPTIONALLY well-presented. The first five minutes I was thinking I was in over my head, but Chris presented in a way that was engaging and in a way that was understandable and relatable. Thank you for the opportunity to learn more.” — Gretchen
  • “It clarified some important points that I had not understood from the previous webinar. Thank you to Christopher for going over these things. It required me to hear them more than once to understand.” — Joni
  • “Watching the live demonstration was very informative and practical to watch how and where this can be done, Chris is very skilled in delivering his material in a timely manner and although there was a lot of information he made sure to cover all of it and answered the questions very well.” — Michael
  • “How to access the dark web and what it really is. I learned more from this webinar that from any other webinar I have taken since working from home due to COVID-19.” — Michael



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