Hunting dark web drug traffickers

Hunting dark web drug traffickers


The Utimaco Deep Dark Web System (DDWS) is an innovative Digital Risk Protection & Dark web monitoring platform that automates the monitoring of the surface, deep and Dark Web. The tool enables organizations and Law Enforcement Agencies to investigate criminal activities, such as fraud, drug trafficking, money laundering, cyber attacks, exploits or vulnerabilities efficiently on Dark Web.


Illegal online drug sales have grown in complexity and volume since the shutdown of Silk Road.- the original dark net market that came online in 2011, shutdown in 2013, and initially offered only a limited selection of psychedelic mushrooms. Since that time, many other darknet markets have risen. Dark Web markets are now considered as one of the main sources of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. These drugs are manufactured in laboratories, distributed to criminal actors who communicate on Dark Web, and the sell/buy activity will often be performed in crypto currencies.

The challenge

With growing criminal activity and volume on the Dark Web, Police and Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) face increasing challenges. One challenge is that drug dealers hide behind encrypted platforms, such as the TOR browser and Dark Web markets, and facilitate financial transactions via anonymous crypto currencies. This makes it difficult for the authorities to track both the transaction activity as well as the criminals.

Another major challenge is the time and resources required to analyze the content in these markets, filtering and extracting this into evidence material. Police and LEAs are working relentlessly to demolish these illegal marketplaces, once an existing market is taken down, a new one is established, which has become the new normal.

The solution

With DDWS, Utimaco provides customers with a turn-key solution with the ability to search across Dark Web data sources to gather intelligence-related data. The data sources are constantly maintained and updated, and new data sources are continuously added. Access to these data sources will allow authorities to gain a comprehensive understanding of the Dark Web's activity and trends. This is accomplished through a user-friendly GUI that allows for the customisation of process flows, alerting and reporting to benefit an OSINT mission.

The sophisticated alerting engine notifies the investigator of any criminal activities, such as fraud, money laundering, drug trafficking or cyber attacks. Furthermore, custom dashboards can be created that will provide an overview of particular investigations or missions.

Key takeaways

  • Searching, monitoring, and investigating the Dark Web without the right tools can be very time consuming, non scalable and very time consuming, if done manually.
  • Utimaco DDWS is an investigation solution/engine that provides automatic indexing and monitoring of the Dark Web in order to search for targeted or new information.
  • Utimaco DDWS improves process efficiency for OSINT operations – the flexible workflow enables seamless case handling from search, data analysis and automated tool reporting.

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