Dark Web Monitor in online TITANIUM Training

The Hague, 30 April 2020 – The European Horizon 2020 project TITANIUM ( organized its final training hosted by INTERPOL in April 2020. During this training all the technologies to combat Darknet and Cryptocurrency crimes developed by the different project partners were tested by several Law Enforcement Agencies from the European Union. The tests were conducted through a series of Capture the Flag challenges, where the police officers should solve them efficiently using the different technologies.

Unique Online Learning Experience

Due to the Covid-19 crisis the training could not be conducted in a class room setting, and as a result, this was the first large scale online training where law enforcement, research institutes and industry contributed. In total, 60 participants from 17 law enforcement agencies tested 8 technologies during this unique training.

Figure 1. Distribution of abuse types over different onion services

Dark Web Monitor

One of the technologies evaluated during the online TITANIUM training was Dark Web Monitor. It was well received and most challenges were solved by the participants. Dark Web Monitor is an OSINT capability established by TNO in the early days of the dark web. Since January 2020, CFLW Cyber Strategies is driving the developments towards a sustainable and comprehensive solution that provides 24/7 strategic insights and operational perspectives into Dark Web crimes. An important recent achievement is the integration of the INTERPOL Taxonomy on Dark Web and Virtual Assets. Important conclusion is the fact that the Dark Web is dominated by Financial Crime and Sexual Abuse services, while it was always assumed to be drugs dominated. In the next step, it is foreseen to integrate specific building blocks from the Ephemeral Monitor that were successfully tested during the TITANIUM Training, which were developed by TNO within the TITANIUM project.

Pilot 2020 – 2021

Project TITANIUM ends soon, and several agencies asked how to proceed with Dark Web Monitor after the TITANIUM project. It is proposed to continue in a next phase by means of a longer running pilot that can lead to implementation of dark web crawling capability within the police forces. This pilot should answer questions on the functional requirements, but also on the non-functional side of this technology, for example regarding privacy and legality.

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