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Open-source intelligence offers value in information security decision making through knowledge of threats and malicious activities that potentially impact business. Open-source intelligence using the internet is common, however, using the darknet is less common for the typical cybersecurity analyst. The challenges to using the darknet for open-source intelligence includes using specialized collection, processing, and analysis tools. TorBot is an open source intelligence tool developed in python. The main objective of this project is to collect open data from the deep web (aka dark web) and with the help of data mining algorithms, collect as much information as possible and produce an interactive tree graph. The interactive tree graph module will be able to display the relations of the collected intelligence data.
The idea of developing an open source intelligence tool like TorBot emerged from the deep web itself. Crawling a collection of web pages which has high anonymity and complex data encryption without an index is a tedious (and sometimes dangerous) task. The crawler in TorBot has to be designed in such a way that the links are identified from a webpage (any webpage) and other links are identified and crawled recursively, then combining all these links to form an index. Each link is then crawled for more links and emails for intelligence information. Unlike surface web discovery tool, a deep web discovery tool is limited for both general and domain-specific search.
Extensive use of Dark web for communication of terrorism-related information makes it a challenge for Law Enforcement Agencies. TorBot should be able to monitor such illegal activities that are happening in this encrypted network. Therefore, this tool will be able to ease the task of finding such activities by an intelligence group or researchers, thus making this the main objective of TorBot.
Though the main objective of TorBot is to identify illegal activities in the deep web and visualize the relations of data collected using a graph, there are several ways this tool can be useful. For example, TorBot will be able to crawl and create an index for the deep web. This index can be stored in a database or a JSON file for future use. Other features like live checker will be able to check whether a web address is alive or dead. This is important as deep web links are constantly changed for privacy and security reasons. For researchers and security enthusiasts the TorBot can be used for checking basic vulnerabilities in a dark web page.
The basic procedure executed by the web crawling algorithm takes a list of seed URLs as its input and repeatedly executes the following steps:
Contributions to this project are always welcome.
To add a new feature fork the dev branch and give a pull request when your new feature is tested and complete.
If its a new module, it should be put inside the modules directory.
The branch name should be your new feature name in the format <Feature_featurename_version(optional)>. For example, Feature_FasterCrawl_1.0.
Contributor name will be updated to the below list. 😀
NOTE : The PR should be made only to
dev branch of TorBot.
Before you run the torBot make sure the following things are done properly:
Run tor service
sudo service tor start
Make sure that your torrc is configured to SOCKS_PORT localhost:9050
Install TorBot Python requirements
pip3 install -r requirements.txt
On Linux platforms, you can make an executable for TorBot by using the install.sh script.
You will need to give the script the correct permissions using
chmod +x install.sh
Now you can run
./install.sh to create the torBot binary.
./torBot to execute the program.
An alternative way of running torBot is shown below, along with help instructions.
python3 torBot.py or use the -h/--help argument
usage: torBot.py [-h] [-v] [--update] [-q] [-u URL] [-s] [-m] [-e EXTENSION] [-l] [-i] optional arguments: -h, --help Show this help message and exit -v, --version Show current version of TorBot. --update Update TorBot to the latest stable version -q, --quiet Prevent header from displaying -u URL, --url URL Specifiy a website link to crawl, currently returns links on that page -s, --save Save results to a file in json format -m, --mail Get e-mail addresses from the crawled sites -e EXTENSION, --extension EXTENSION Specifiy additional website extensions to the list(.com or .org etc) -l, --live Check if websites are live or not (slow) -i, --info Info displays basic info of the scanned site (very slow)`
Read more about torrc here : Torrc
If you have new ideas which is worth implementing, mention those by starting a new issue with the title [FEATURE_REQUEST]. If the idea is worth implementing, congratz, you are now a contributor.
OSINT and the Dark Web: The Dark Web has proven a very useful and reliable tool in the hands of individuals wishing to be involved in illegal, criminal or terrorist activities, setting sight on getting great economic or political benefits without being identified from government authorities and security agencies world-wide. To this end, LEAs need to become more agile when dealing with criminality on the Dark Web, and in particular on its Hidden Service Markets, and need to invest in new training and technology, if not to get ahead of the criminals, then at least to keep pace.
Using TOR for Open Source Intelligence: Although the use of Tor for OSINT does not raise specific legal concerns, there are a few interesting arguments that have been raised about using OSINT in general. One of them touches on the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime. Article 32 (a) of the Convention regulates transborder access to stored computer data with respect to ‘publicly available (open source) stored computer data, regardless of where the data is located geographically’.
OSINT in Social Networks: In summary, they examined and compared the needs of the Open Source Intelligence community with what social media has to offer investigators. They observed that a friends list of a given individual is a useful starting point for launching an investigation but found that several technical limitations (privacy and platform restrictions and data availability and longevity) may prevent investigators from accessing friend list information of a target account. They address privacy restrictions for the particular case of friends by creating a private friend discovery algorithm with hunter-seeker behaviours.
Data Mining in The Dark: This paper successfully explored an open-source intelligence automation toolset that scanned across the darknet. It described and shared the tools, process, and techniques to build a secure darknet connection, and then collected, processed, stored, and analysed data. This paper showed the viability of darknet open-source intelligence using the completed toolset. In the end, the toolset finds entities and links entities from the darknet thereby showing strong potential to aid the open source intelligence professional.
 B. Akhgar, P. S. Bayerl, and F. Sampson, Open Source Intelligence Investigation. From strategy to implementation. 2016.  T. Minárik and A.-M. Osula, “Tor does not stink: Use and abuse of the Tor anonymity network from the perspective of law,” Comput. Law Secur. Rev., vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 111–127, Feb. 2016.  Benjamin Robert Holland, “Enabling Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) in private social networks,” 2012.  Brian Nafziger, “Data Mining in the Dark: Darknet Intelligence Automation,” Secur. Home IoT Netw., no. Security 401, pp. 1–32, 2017.  A. R. Behjat, A. Mustapha, H. Nezamabadi-Pour, M. N. Sulaiman, and N. Mustapha, “A New Binary Particle Swarm Optimization for Feature Subset Selection with Support Vector Machine,” in Recent Advances on Soft Computing and Data Mining, 2014, pp. 47–57.  H. Parmar, S. Bhanderi, and G. Shah, “Sentiment Mining of Movie Reviews using Random Forest with Tuned Hyperparameters.” 2014.
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