The dark web cartography has enabled the darknet ecosystem to become the classic “Wild West” which is an online decentralized environment that is filled with a diverse user base. There have been several issues with the dark web / deep web that have given rise to the application of crawling and the scraping techniques that provides reliable means to investigate the online corridors. Therefore, the combination with the darknet cartography research has helped the investigators to better understand how exactly the ecosystem works (Deep Web Crawling).
The dark web crawling involves the identification of the emergent onion sites within the darknet spaces on appearance that includes the aspect of indexing these websites to activate the cybersecurity measures that involves the algorithmic isolation and the analysis of the online threats. The dark web /deep web crawlers turn the dark web sites into the machine-discernible data that would enable the cyber intelligence experts to pinpoint the potential patterns and traces of the illegal darknet and the deep web activities that categorizes the online marketplaces.
The basic strategy of the deep web /dark web crawlers is similar to the other conventional crawlers like the Google’s crawler commonly known as the bots which are automated and run automatically. A traditional web crawler performs their task by choosing the URL sources, recovering the webpages and processing them before extracting relevant links. The only core factor that distinguishes between the traditional and dark web crawlers is that the traditional crawlers fail to differentiate between the pages containing forms or are without it. The dark web crawlers on the other hand, execute sets of actions to target each form that exists in a page. Thus, the following steps are performed by the dark web crawlers:
- Form Detection
- Form Analysis
- Value Assignment
- Form Submission
- Response Analysis and Navigation