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Why the Dark Net Is More Resilient to Attack Than the Internet

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The dark net.

Researchers at Spain's Rovira i Virgili University who built their own model of the dark net ran simulations to see how the model would react to three failure scenarios.

Credit: Emily Pidgeon/TED

Researchers at Rovira i Virgili University in Spain used data from the Internet Research Lab at the University of California, Los Angeles to build their own model of the dark net.

The researchers ran simulations to see how the model would react to three failure scenarios--random node failures, targeted attacks on specific nodes, and cascading failures throughout the network.

The researchers found an attack on the dark net would need to hit four times as many nodes to cause a cascading failure as on the regular Internet. They note this is because the dark net uses "onion routing," a technique for relaying information that hides data in many layers of encryption. Onion routing bounces the information through various intermediary nodes before delivering it to the desired location, which stops an attack from spreading too widely.

The dark net's lack of a high level of connectivity between powerful nodes also makes it more resilient.

From New Scientist
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Abstracts Copyright © 2017 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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