The onions have eyes: A comprehensive structure and privacy analysis of tor hidden services

Sanchez-Rola, Iskander; Balzarotti, Davide; Santos, Igor
WWW 2017, 26th International World Wide Web Conférence, April 3-7, 2017, Perth, Australia

Tor is a well known and widely used darknet, known for its anonymity. However, while its protocol and relay security have already been extensively studied, to date there is no comprehensive analysis of the structure and privacy of its Web Hidden Services. To fill this gap, we developed a dedicated analysis platform and used it to crawl and analyze over 1.5M URLs hosted in 7257 onion domains. For each page we analyzed its links, resources, and redirections graphs, as well as the language and category distribution. According to our experiments, Tor hidden services are organized in a sparse but highly connected graph, in which around 10% of the onions sites are completely isolated. Our study also measures for the first time the tight connection that exists between Tor hidden services and the Surface Web. In fact, more than 20% of the onion domains we visited imported resources from the Surface Web, and links to the Surface Web are even more prevalent than to other onion domains. Finally, we measured for the first time the prevalence and the nature of web tracking in Tor hidden services, showing that, albeit not as widespread as in the Surface Web, tracking is notably present also in the Dark Web: more than 40% of the scripts are used for this purpose, with the 70% of them being completely new tracking scripts unknown by existing anti-tracking solutions.

Sécurité numérique
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© ACM, 2017. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in WWW 2017, 26th International World Wide Web Conférence, April 3-7, 2017, Perth, Australia