dark web tor death falling down

Short Bytes: You’ll be surprised to know that the Dark Web has shrunk at a tremendous pace in past few months. The latest OnionScan report mentions a decrease of about 85% in the overall size of Dark Web. Compared to the previously reported 30,000 Dark Web services, today, there are just 4,400 Dark Web services left. This sharp decline can be attributed to the recent hack of Freedom Hosting II and misconfigured hidden services.

1If you’re an avid reader of Fossbytes, you might be aware of the terms and technologies like Tor, Dark Web, Onion sites, etc. Just in case you need to read about them in detail, feel free to read our articles on Tor, and the difference between the Dark Web, Deep Web, and Dark Web.

Earlier in February, we told you about the Freedom Hosting II hack that took down about 20% of the Dark web. Since then, the number of Dark websites has decreased significantly.

According to a previous research published in April 2016, the total number of Dark Web services were around 30,000. Today, this number has reduced to just 4,400 services, according to an OnionScan report.

Also ReadOnionScan Checks If Your Dark Web Site Really Is Anonymous

After the demise of Freedom Hosting II, OnionScan examined the situation and found out that many hidden services were offline. The takedown not only removed thousands of websites but also affected other hosting providers that created their businesses on top of Freedom Hosting II.

This disappearance of sites was also fuelled by the death of email client Sigaint. Overall, 2017 hasn’t been so good to the hidden services.

Here’s some more data:

  • HTTP Detected – ~4000
  • TLS Detected – ~250 (In line with previous counts, unaffected by FHII)
  • SSH Detected – ~270 (much lower, mostly due to the FHII hack)
  • FTP Detected – < 10 (much lower, probably due to FHII)
  • SMTP Detected – < 100
  • VNC Detected – < 10
  • Bitcoin Nodes Detected – ~220 (much higher, likely because of better bitcoin capability in OnionScan)

OnionScan report also points out that they were able to extract about a thousand unique IP addresses, thanks to the misconfigured hidden services and leaking information. In the web connection map produced by OnionScan, several clusters of hosted notes can be seen that are connected to each other.

So, is the end of Tor’s supremacy near? Do we need some solid technique to configure hidden services securely? I guess we’ll be finding these answers pretty soon.

Also Read: TOR Anonymity: Things Not To Do While Using TOR