The darknet is not as secretive as it was thought earlier. A recent research indicates that many darknet vendors may have unwittingly announced their location on various deepweb marketplaces.
According to researchers Paul Lisker and Michael Rose, the images of drugs and other products shared by darknet vendors may contain embedded geographical coordinates pointing out their location. The sensitive, damning information is found on images, stored as metadata which is part of the Exchangeable Image File Format (EXIF) used by digital cameras and smartphones.
If a darknet vendor has uploaded pictures of the product captured using a GPS enabled device, then the images may have stored his exact geographical coordinates. By analyzing the image’s metadata, law enforcement officials can easily end up at the vendor’s doorstep or at least identify his general location.
These two Harvard researchers have proven their point by researching and analyzing drug listings on various darknet marketplaces. By using the geographical location data associated with the images, they have also created an interactive map, marking the possible geographical location of various vendors.
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