Predicting crime in dark web forum networks
In this project, we use social network analysis to analyze the behavior of users in online forums and associated marketplaces over time.
- 2021 - 2025
- Frank Takes
- Politie & Wetenschap
Nederlands Studiecentrum voor Criminaliteit en Rechtshandhaving (NSCR) / Netherlands Study Centre for Crime and Law Enforcement
Online forums and marketplaces are known breeding grounds for crime. Examples include the online discussion and trade of drugs and weapons, with Silk Road as a well-known example. But more recently, specialized forums where stolen data or hacking activities are discussed, have grown in numbers.
In this project, we use social network analysis to analyze the behavior of users in online forums and associated marketplaces over time. The goal is to develop a set of generic methods that can ultimately serve as early warning signals for actual criminal offenses.
Uniquely, we do so by analyzing patterns in complex social interactions of the users, instead of merely looking at the textual content of messages posted. This may lead to new innovative technologies, as the methodology is even effective if messages are encrypted or written in a difficult lanaguge. The project will deliver a prototype of software implementing the approach.