Introduction to Dark Web Investigation

Introduction to Dark Web Investigation
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Resources
Recorded on: 2020-03-17
Unit 1 Slide Deck: Introduction to Dark Web Investigation
Unit 2 Workbook: Introduction to Dark Web Investigation
Unit 3 Recording: Introduction to Dark Web Investigation

You probably have seen the Iceberg image going around online about the Dark Web. It exudes a sense of mystery and ominousness on something that people aren’t familiar with. This session aims to explain the concept of the Dark Web in easily digestible chunks and how knowledge of the Dark Web gives law enforcement an investigative edge.

This course’s instructor is Special Agent Christopher Diorio from the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). He’s been with the HSI for over 17 years assigned to the Cyber Crimes Unit. He’s done Dark Web investigations, online undercover work, and digital forensics and is currently the HSI National Program manager for Cyber Training.

This session’s introductory ‘deep-dive’ covers:

  • What the Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) is – their purpose, mission, and resources.
  • The history and evolution of cybercrime and child exploitation.
  • The HSI’ victim-centric approach to cybercrime and child exploitation.
  • What the Dark Web really is, how it works, its features, and how law enforcement is leveraging it to take down illegal operations.
  • The Onion Router (ToR) – what it is, it’s origins and intended use of one of the primary dark nets.
  • How VPN, Proxy Servers and Public and Private Keys when working in conjunction with each other creates a robust encryption and security system that ToR is built upon.
  • A demonstration of how information flows through the ToR network and goes through at least 3 levels of encryption that makes it challenging to trace its origin.
  • A live presentation of the ToR Browser and its capability to mask a user’s identity and create anonymity.
  • A look into DarkBay/DBay – the Dark Web’s version of eBay where counterfeit and illegal products and services are being sold.
  • Tips on how law enforcement can utilize the Dark Web and DarkBay/DBay to come up with investigative leads and deanonymize the players by following shipping details and money trail.
  • Guidelines for using ToR and its features and settings.

Christopher clarified questions raised by the audience on:

  • HSI’s internship program.
  • The prevalence of human/child trafficking and exploitation.
  • HSI’s collaboration with NCMEC working on child exploitation cases.
  • How HSI infiltrated two major DarkWeb players AlphaBay and Silk Road.
  • Using ToR to access non-local online content.
  • How ToR works to hide users’ IP addresses.



Sources Referenced During the Webinar



Audience Comments

  • “Very interesting and in-depth presentation, contents will be great for beginners in the study of the darknet.” — Wilson
  • “Oh my gosh! Where do I start. I had no idea about TOR or that it was set up to do good, but is being used to exploit crime as criminal minds look to do.” — Sharon
  • “An entry-level Webinar showing how much is really out there. Thanks.” — Timothy
  • “This webinar was definitely an eye-opener. I’ve been an investigator for over 15 years and the internet is still a big unknown factor for me, even though I use it every day. Christopher did a superb job.” –Umar
  • “I liked that Chris showed us how the dark web works by actually going on and accessing a website.” — Sadie
  • “The topic is extremely important and the speaker was talented!” — Phil
  • “I have taken many Dark Web online courses. This was by far one of the easiest to understand!!! Special Agent Diorio was awesome!!! I can’t wait for JCH to have more webinars like this!!!!” — Nicholas
  • “Experienced presenter with excellent communication skills. Good job.” — Monte
  • “I loved the presenter for this topic. His use of the whiteboard made these confusing subjects a little less confusing.” — Nicole
  • “As someone who’s never been to the dark web and has never assisted with dark web investigations, this was very eye-opening and helpful. I think he did a phenomenal job explaining everything in an approachable way.” — Karla
  • “Christopher was a wealth of information and I learned a great deal. Looking forward to additional trainings by him.” — Janette
  • “What a great presentation. I wish it could have gone longer. I work with many, many victims of child porn and this gives me some insight as to what goes on behind the scenes. Thank you.” — Corrine


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