In what can only be an attempt to rile drug dealers, nonces and privacy campaigners, the National Crime Agency claimed on Twitter today that they have cracked the dark web. Users connect to the shadowy internet backend using Tor, a network of relays that redirects user traffic, making it extremely hard to track users. Whilst it is well known that security agencies can use trickery to nail known online deviants, observing Tor users at will is technically unfeasible at the moment.
If you commit crime on the #DarkWeb there’s no hiding place. We can identify you, locate you and bring you to justice
— NationalCrimeAgency (@NCA_UK) February 18, 2015
Before making such grandiose claims, the NCA might want to have a chat with their mates at the NSA and GCHQ. They have spent years trying without success to crack TOR. High profile dark web users who have been busted, such as Ross Ulbricht, the guy who operated the Silkroad drug market, were caught after making a series of schoolboy errors that led law enforcement to them.
With the dark web nailed, maybe it’s time for the NCA to unencrypt Snapchat…