Tor and Why Fraudsters Exploit It

With each passing day, fraudsters are working to develop fresh ways to target businesses and their customers. As attempted fraud continues to arise in the digital marketplace, website applications and mobile solutions must enable comprehensive identity verification and fraud prevention tools to ensure that a customer is legitimate and not a fraudster using his or her data. Once data such as personal identifiable information, credit card data or medical records, for example, are compromised, many fraudsters turn to the “dark web” as a way to unload it to the highest bidder. Underneath the surface of the Internet, the dark web exists where users, blanketed in anonymity, can buy and sell stolen data or exchange fraudulent services. Sites within the dark web are hidden from normal web browsers, and special programs are required to gain access, one of which is Tor.

What Is Tor and How Does It Work?

Tor, which stands for “The Onion Router,” is a program that was originally designed to be used by the U.S. Navy to send and receive untraceable and protected messages. Tor works by directing internet traffic through a free worldwide volunteer network in order to conceal a user’s location and usage. Today, Tor is mainly used to protect the personal privacy of users by keeping their internet activities from being monitored.

The Appeal of Tor for Fraudsters

Tor enables users to surf the internet, send messages and complete transactions anonymously. While legitimate users certainly access and utilize Tor and the dark web, it is likewise used by fraudsters for a variety of illicit purposes. Fraudsters have learned to take advantage of Tor to access sites that buy or sell identity information, exchange services such as hacking or malware development, purchase illegal substances, and even participate in human trafficking. The use of the dark web is growing and it is critical that businesses begin to identify and monitor transactions associated with the dark web. Although Tor itself is not illegal to use, the anonymity it offers is being exploited for fraudulent activity all over the world.

Protecting Customers and Transactions

The fact remains that fraudsters work tirelessly to bypass security systems in order to falsely gain access to products and services. This is why it is more important than ever to employ robust identity verification and fraud prevention processes throughout your customer authentication programs. While fraudsters may be freely transferring consumer data to one another in the dark web, organizations need to take steps to ensure that they cannot use the information to access accounts or purchase goods and services under an acquired identity.

IDology’s Fraud Prevention platform helps identify if a transaction has been associated with a Tor node or even if the machine being used to complete a transaction has been exposed to malware or is associated with a botnet network. By alerting organizations to transactions that have potential dark web exposure, they can improve their ability to detect fraud. To learn more about Tor and how advanced identity verification tools can combat fraud, call IDology today at (866) 520-1234.

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