IntSights darknet threat analysis specialists have studied the new Kilos search engine, which began to be advertised online in mid-November this year.
For the first time, its developers announced themselves on Reddit on November 15, 2019, saying that they are introducing Kilos “a new search engine for trading platforms on the dark.”
Of course, Kilos is far from the first and not the only darknet search engine, at least may be recalled Torch and TorLinks, but the developers of the new product claim that their brainchild offers more filtering options to search for specific products on numerous marketplaces.
Kilos seems to have originated from another search engine known as Grams. Both try to imitate the design of Google and are named after units of weight. However, the similarity ends here. It’s unclear whether the same developers are involved in the creation of Kilos, or whether the new search engine generally competes with Grams”, – say Darknet researchers.
Experts also note that Kilos went beyond the competition and, in addition to trading platforms, included in its search forums.
With Kilos, user can explore certain Darknet marketplaces in search of specific products. The visitor sets the required product or service, and his request goes through various marketplaces and forums.
Researchers also note the powerful filtering capabilities of the search engine. For example, a user can limit the search to only those people who can deal with Bitcoin, Litecoin and Monero, and can deliver the goods to a specific country. Kilos allows user to search on multiple trading platforms at once, without requiring existing accounts on each of them.
It is interesting that search filtering capabilities are closely related to filtering on individual trading floors, which means that, presumably, the same filtering mechanism can be used on large marketplaces and in Kilos itself”, – say researchers from IntSights.
Earlier this month, search engine authors claimed that Kilos indexed 427,150 forum posts, 48,437 ads, and 1,993 sellers. At the time of the IntSight study, he stated that “since November 10, 2019, he has processed 15,437 search queries.”
Another interesting aspect of Kilos’s work is publishing a list of top weekly search queries. Experts write that drugs are predictably predominant on this list, but they also noticed requests to search for weapons, passports and banks (that is, bank card information).
IntSights analysts say Kilos’s existence can be beneficial not only to criminals, but also to law enforcement. Although they already have their own agents on trading floors and forums, a search engine can help them gather information.
For example, a jump in search queries with a high rating over a certain period of time may indicate the potential interest of criminals: it may be related to new types of malware advertised on forums. Knowing where the products of interest are sold can help investigate the activities of a particular seller, while correlation with the movement of the cryptocurrency can provide an in-depth understanding of what is happening”, — write the experts.
It is currently unclear how Kilos operators intend to monetize their search engine. Analysts believe that this will almost certainly be done through advertising. So, now on the main page you can already see the offer of a free advertising fields for sellers.