Sunday, 5th April 2020

Dealing with the dark web

Ipswitch has given IT teams the ability to pinpoint who and what are accessing the dark web from corporate networks with WhatsUp Gold® 2018 network monitoring. WhatsUp Gold Service Pack 2 uses Network Traffic Analysis, a module that provides detailed visibility into network traffic to see which users, applications and protocols are consuming bandwidth, to monitor dark web traffic.

"The majority of traffic on the dark web or through the Tor network is criminal activity, like child pornography and inducements to do drug deals, and it's safe to say that companies don't want any part of that traffic," said Jim Cashman, Principal Product Manager at Ipswitch. "Ultimately, the dark web can put your company at considerable risk. It's difficult to monitor this traffic because the whole purpose of the dark web is to hide all this activity. Fortunately, WhatsUp Gold 2018 now monitors for users accessing the dark web so IT teams can prevent downtime from this potentially malicious network traffic."

 

In a recent study by the University of Portsmouth in the UK involving 40 computers to act as relays for Tor's hidden services, 83 percent were being used to view child exploitation sites. With the further 24 percent of traffic that was generated by sites such as Agora and other marketplaces, 97 percent of traffic was going to illegal activities.

 

WhatsUp Gold 2018 uses NetFlow data from routers and switches and looks for what is referred to as the entry or exit nodes in the Tor network. A database of these nodes, built into WhatsUp Gold, is updated on a regular basis. The module can alert when any host exceeds a configurable number of connections to known Tor ports during a set period. If WhatsUp Gold notices traffic from these locations, IT gets an alert notification.

 

"By allowing IT administrators to control access to the dark web by their users, Ipswitch is delivering on its commitment to optimize the security and reliability of our customers' networks," said Greg Mooney, Senior Content Manager at Ipswitch. "We encourage all customers to tune into our Defrag This episode on dark web traffic analysis capabilities in WhatsUp Gold."

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