Y. Bassil. International Journal of Emerging Science and Engineering (IJESE)6
1-5 (February 2019)
The Deep Web is about the web content that is invisible to public and not indexed by search engines. The purpose of the Deep Web is to ensure the privacy and anonymity of web publishers who want to remain anonymous and untraceable. A popular method to create a Deep Web is to host web content on a private network that is secret and restricted. Tor short for The Onion Router is a private Deep Web network that is accessible only by using a special web browser called the Tor browser. It uses special non-standard communication protocols to provide anonymity between its users and websites. Although the Tor network delivers exceptional capabilities in protecting the privacy of data and their publishers, the fact that it is free, open-source and accessible can raise suspicions that confidential, sometimes illicit data exist. Moreover, the Tor traffic can be easily blocked and its nodes blacklisted. This paper proposes an innovative method for building Deep Web networks on the public World Wide Web using Steganography. In a nutshell, the method uses a steganography algorithm to hide secret web content into a benign carrier image that is hosted on a carrier website on the public domain. When using a regular browser, the carrier website displays the benign carrier image. However, when a special proprietary browser is used, the secret web page is displayed. Experiments proved that the proposed method is plausible and can be implemented. Likewise, results showed that the entire process is seamless and transparent as a particular web content can simultaneously be part of the Deep Web and the Surface Web while drawing no suspicions whatsoever regarding the existence of any secret data. As future work, more advanced steganography algorithms are to be studied and developed in an attempt to provide an irreversible yet reliable algorithm.