Web spy software hacks into secretive online forums
THE dark corners of cyberspace are being illuminated by indexing software that can reach into secretive websites that are normally inaccessible to search engines. This could allow search engines to cover online forums lurking within the "dark web", and provide insights into what is being said by groups who would rather keep their conversations secret.
Conventional search engines use programs called spiders or web crawlers that scuttle around the internet and index what they find. However, many websites are protected by security restrictions that fend off such software. Screening out all traffic from IP addresses belonging to well-known search engines is one way to do this.
The software also disguises its indexing activity by making it look like the traffic generated by users browsing the forum. What's more, it can attempt to sign up for membership on forums that require registration, though it has to seek help from Chen's team if unusual information is asked for.
Tell me the fucking Feds aren't all over that shit.
Warrantless wire tapping, Total Information Awareness and now this.
Pretty soon we will be back to talking to each other through tin cans and a string.
Unlike a regular web crawler, Chen's software looks only at sites he has specified. It has compiled data on 29 restricted forums, containing about 13 million messages in total. On one forum, it took just 39 minutes to index 29,016 posts made over a six-week period.
Sounds to me like some people are going to be getting a knock at the door, eh comrade?
It also sounds like this has been around awhile and they are just now letting us know.
Ain't that just peachy.