‘Darkathon’ to corner dark web drug markets

‘Darkathon’ to corner dark web drug markets

‘Darkathon’ to corner dark web drug markets

Days after unearthing a drug racket operating in the darknet, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is launching a ‘Darkathon’ for cyber experts to find effective solutions to unravel the anonymity of markets in the dark web.

The NCB in association with CyberPeace Foundation, a think tank of cyber security and policy experts, will launch the hackathon titled ‘Darkathon’ on Tuesday with a price money of Rs 2.5 lakh for the best idea followed by prices of Rs two lakh (second prize), Rs 1.5 lakh (third prize) and two consolation price of Rs 25,000 each.

The ‘Darkathon’ is aimed at finding effective solutions to unravel the anonymity of darknet markets. According to the 2021 World Drug Report, about 74% of the darknet transactions or about 90% of darknet sales were drug related.

The NCB said the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation and there are “tell-a-tale signs” about this. According to the NCB, the number of drug seizures from parcel or courier consignments increased by almost 250% in India after the outbreak of the pandemic and a good number of them are linked to drug trafficking through darknet markets.

The ‘Darkathon’ comes days after the NCB announced the arrest of 22 youth from 11 states arrested in connection with a pan-India drug trafficking network operating in the dark net.

The competitors will have to provide a “solution” based on crawling of darkweb to identify and catalogue darknet markets selling drugs with a mechanism to automatically add new markets and drop inactive ones, identify drug traffickers based in India and the drugs on sale and digital footprinting of active drug traffickers.

The participating individual or a team with a maximum of three members should provide their solution with a detailed PowerPoint presentation at the time of registration and a shortlist of 30 entries will be selected. The shortlisted participants will have to present their ideas before a jury at the Grand Finale.

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