Authentic8’s online investigation solution now includes access to ZeroNet, giving analysts secure and anonymous access to this valuable information resource

The “dark web” is the part of the internet that requires using specialized software in order to gain access.  But it isn’t a single destination. The dark web is a combination of different darknets, dark file shares and dark marketplaces. While Tor is the most well-known, ZeroNet is another valuable dark web resource.  ZeroNet has become popular with many criminals and is the go-to dark web for extremists and terrorist organizations. Infamously, ISIS moved to ZeroNet in 2016.

Because of this infamous popularity, Authentic8 has expanded Silo for Research: Dark Web to include access to ZeroNet.

Why organizations care about the dark web

Criminals and adversaries operate across the surface, deep and dark web. Analysts and investigators need access to as much information as possible to get the whole story — that often means venturing to the dark web. 

Many of our customers already leverage the dark web as part of their collection efforts, including:

  • Zero-day vulnerabilities mitigation: see hacker discussions and trades of vulnerabilities and exploits in dark forums and marketplaces

  • Financial crime investigation: look for online bank account access, stolen credit cards and money laundering happening via the dark web

  • Leaked passwords or accounts: find leaked credentials pertaining to company or customer online banking, email and social media accounts being bought and sold

  • Brand protection: spot insiders and suppliers looking to sell intellectual property and corporate data through forums or counterfeits of company products on dark web marketplaces

  • Acceptable use enforcement: site integrity teams investigate acceptable use by users or groups posting hate, extremism, etc. in dark web forums

  • Intelligence gathering: law enforcement investigate domestic and foreign drug trafficking on dark web drug marketplaces or track terrorist organizations who often use the dark web for communication 

How ZeroNet works

ZeroNet is a decentralized, web-like network of peer-to-peer users. Instead of having an IP address, sites are identified by a public key — specifically a bitcoin address — and can be accessed through an ordinary web browser using the ZeroNet application. ZeroNet is not anonymous by default, but can be routed through the Tor network, and uses trackers from the BitTorrent network to negotiate connections between peers.


Check out this video of Authentic8 expert Matt Ashburn describing ZeroNet. To watch the full webinar, register here.

One of the key benefits of ZeroNet is its ability to allow for access to sites offline; additionally, as long as there are seeders for a site, it is not possible to remove the site from ZeroNet (i.e., Digital Millennium Copyright Requests for takedown won’t work). This has made ZeroNet very popular for many cybercriminals and has become home to many extremist and terrorist (both cyber and non-cyber) organizations.

Dark web access with Silo for Research

Accessing any aspect of the dark web must be done with care.  It’s a hazardous place where criminals and adversaries have the upper hand by:

  • Employing sophisticated counter-surveillance tools
  • Booby-trapping sites with malware
  • Actively recruiting legitimate analysts and researchers for illicit purposes

Silo for Research provides simple and safe (analyst isolation and anonymity) point-and-click access to dark web content. Dark web access is seamlessly integrated within Silo for Research and its suite of analyst tools, as compared to a separate and standalone dark web browser.

To learn more about Silo for Research: Dark Web and its support for ZeroNet, contact us here.

TAGS Dark Web

About the Author

Jeff Phillips
Jeff Phillips

Jeff Phillips is Authentic8's director of product marketing. He has 20+ years' product marketing experience and a successful history of launching solutions for both startups and Fortune 100 companies.

Related resources

Product Information
Product Information

Silo for Research: Dark Web

This add-on provides simple and safe “point and click” access to dark web content while leveraging Silo’s isolation, anonymity and workflow features

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Intro to the Dark Web: What's Hiding in the Dark

An introductory webinar on the basics of the dark web, and why it could be a useful asset for investigators

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Dark and Dirty: Real-Life Stories of Dark Web Online Investigations

The second webinar in a two-part series highlighting real-life examples of how analysts handle online investigations that require access to the dark web.