Beacon Search Engine: A Google For the Dark Web

The Dark Web is still a mystery for many people. Most of the Internet users only know that this is a lawless online world where one can only find illegal materials, but this is not true in every aspect.

There are news organizations like the Pro Publica and NYTimes who maintains Onion sites on the dark web to distribute news that might otherwise be censored. It helps their readers to stay informed without compromising their privacy. But still, most of the dark web is full of illegal content, gambling, spreading wrong information, identity thefts, etc.

So, in order to shed some light on the dark web and use it for some meaningful work, the Echosec Systems Ltd. recently released a security tool called Beacon.

So, What is Beacon?

Beacon search engine

According to the CEO of Echosec, Beacon is a search engine for the dark web. It’s simple and comes with some advanced search tools. The goal of Beacon is to make searching unindexed data in the dark web as easy as using a normal search engine. In simple words, Beacon is like Google for the dark web.

The company has already crawled and indexed tonnes of useful content. Then, they build a natural language query interface for non-hackers so that they can that information easily. As per the CTO of Echosec, users won’t need a proxy server or TOR browser to access these data anonymously.

The idea behind Beacon is that it can be used by a company to potentially head off — or at the very least mitigate — a potential disaster

said Echosec CTO Mike Raypold.

Also Read: Google Launches New Search Engine for Discovering Datasets

How Beacon is Useful?

Dark Web is full of unstructured illegal data like stolen corporate emails, passwords, company documents, private information, etc. The Beacon search engine will allow the companies to search and analyze the data available about their beloved company on Dark Web.

If they find any data that could damage the material and societal status of the company, the authorities can take immediate action to safeguard or at least warn the employees and clients about the discrepancy. After all, it’s always better to notify your customers before the news come from external sources.

Couldn’t Beacon be Misused?

Of course, Beacon can be misused. Even the Raypold knows that as Beacon search engine makes it easier for users to find secret and important data, it’s also possible to find ways to misuse this tool.

There’s no doubt in the fact that Beacon can help white-hat hackers and security enthusiasts to uncover sensitive information that they can’t find anywhere else, but the company has taken some steps to moderate the risk.

beacon search engine

The CTO has explained that – every Echosec customer must go through a use-case approval process. This process will help in monitoring how he/she is using the Beacon and also assure that they are in compliance with the vendors from whom the data Is sourced. “No one can get access to the system without passing this use-case approval process” – said Raypold.

Secondly, the search engine is designed in a way that it will automatically notify the company if a user tries to perform searches violating his/her use case. In these cases, neither they can run the search nor they will receive the required data.

The company is also allowing vendors to describe their terms and conditions in detail. The Raypold said –

“some of the data vendors have asked us to prevent certain queries from being run, regardless of a customer’s use case.”

Basically, the ultimate plan is to sell Beacon to companies who are interested in knowing competitors’ secret, getting sensitive information, etc. Also, their safety policy might be looking good right now, but the Echosec team will have to follow it strictly.