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The Industry’s Best Firm In Social Media Discovery, Web Collection and Evidence Authentication

The Industry’s Best Firm In Social Media Discovery, Web Collection and Evidence Authentication

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Dark Web: Clear and Present Danger for Brand Owners


Brand owners are already challenged with monitoring and mitigating the buying and selling of counterfeit goods on the Internet. They get some help from government agencies that regularly find and prosecute sellers of counterfeit goods on the Internet. Now brands face a more arduous task as illicit vendor have moved underground, deep within the recesses of the dark web.

These underground marketplaces are plentiful where luxury and other counterfeit goods are sold openly, often in mass quantities. There are a wide range of counterfeit goods and customer information sold on the Dark Web Darknet Markets:

  • Clothes, textiles, and accessories
  • Electronics including mobile phones
  • Jewelry
  • Pirated Software
  • Pirated e-books
  • Pharmaceutical products
  • Watches
  • Subscriptions to TV Channels, Music Platforms, Online Game Accounts
  • Customer Lists
  • Customer Account
  • Personal and Financial Information

It’s important to clear up some confusion about what, exactly, is the dark web and what the distinctions are between it and the deep web, surface web and Darknet. A few simple definitions:

Surface Web – consists of all web based content that is indexed and can be found in search engines such as Google.

Deep Web – the subset of Internet content that is not indexed by search engines such as content behind a paywall, government databases, or personal banking information.

Dark Web – a small portion of the deep web that has been intentionally hidden and is inaccessible through standard web browsers. Most dark web content is found using the TOR network, an anonymous network that can only be accessed with a special web browser, called the TOR browser.

Darknet – the network of marketplaces within the Dark Web. Nearly all transactions are done through “crypto markets”, dark websites that appear as storefronts on darkness such as TOR or I2P. Transactions in Darknet markets are anonymized. The terms dark web and dark net, or Darknet, are often used as if interchangeable.

Like marketplaces on the surface web the dark web provides a shopping mecca where seller ratings, seller profiles order history and online discussion groups that share information about the products and their experience with the seller. Transactions are typically made using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or dash.

Companies faced with the sale of their goods, or counterfeit good, must do is probe the dark web to see if Darknet marketplaces are being used as distribution channels. Even if no evidence of intellectual property abuse is identified companies still need to periodically monitor the dark web because new markets pop up and then go away, only to return, frequently.

While it is difficult to go after the sale of counterfeit goods on the dark web due to its culture of anonymity dark net marketplaces are still open to investigation. The good news is in June and July 2017 two of the largest Darknet markets, AlphaBay and Hansa, were taken down by an international operation led by the FBI, the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Dutch National Police. Europol and many other law enforcement partners aided the investigation.

Alpha Bay, perhaps the Darknet’s largest market, was an aggregate of about 400 vendors who reached over 200,000 potential buyers of counterfeit and other illegal goods and services. Transactions since 2014 within the Alpha Bay Darknet marketplace are estimated by Europol to have netted 1 billion USD. At the time Hansa’s transactions in illicit drugs and other commodities were similarly high positioning Hansa the third largest criminal marketplace on the Darknet.

The bad news is that vendors of counterfeit goods and other nefarious items moved their trade to other existing or new Darknet markets. According to Europe’s Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment (iOTCA) counterfeit products alone are estimated to account between 1.5% and 2.5% of Darknet market listings. While this doesn’t sound like a high percentage consider that on AlphaBay there were approximately 10,000 listing under the category Counterfeits. While the trade of counterfeit goods on the dark web’s Darknet markets may seem limited it has a significant potential for growth.

From luxury goods brands to pharmaceuticals, electronics, apparel, and the makers of popular online media and games, counterfeiting on the dark web is an issue that brands in all industries are contending with today. In order to strike a balance between optimizing the advantages of the sale of goods online and the threat of cybercriminals and counterfeiter’s brands need to understand the dark web and Darknet landscape and establish and execute a strategy to overcome these obstacles and protect their brand, customer trust and their bottom line.

Contact us now if your brand needs to mine the deep web, dark web and dark net to protect your brand assets.


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Leverage the Industry’s Best Firm

Criminal Defense

We know how to work with Law Enforcement, Prosecutors & Judges to show how to include authenticated Social Media Evidence and expert testimony to support your criminal defense case

Public Defender

We know you are passionate and zealous client advocates handling a heavy case load. We help you win more cases by identifying possible witnesses, discovering, capturing and preserving court admissible evidence.

Private Investigator

We support private investigators as part of their team or provide to them with Tomoko Discovery, our proprietary eDiscovery software platform.

Opposition Research

As advanced social media research experts for political campaigns, PACs and advocacy groups we add critical and actionable value to the tradecraft of traditional opposition research gumshoe detectives.

Insurance Defense

Insurance fraud is an issue with staggering financial impacts. That’s why we work for insurance companies and their insured. Our social media research is now changing the way insurance companies can identify fraudulent claims.

Intellectual Property Protection

A large quantity of counterfeit merchandise is available for sale on the surface web, deep web and dark web. Today brands must be vigilant in their asset recovery and intellectual property monitoring as much, or more, on the dark web and deep web as they are on the surface web.


Public Defender / Criminal Defense

Serving public defenders, defender investigators, federal public defenders and public defender offices we know you are passionate and zealous client advocates handling a heavy case load. We help you win more cases by identifying possible witnesses, discovering, capturing, and preserving court admissible evidence, and assessing case party credibility. Social media evidence authentication and open source intelligence are now one of the most fertile sources of criminal evidence and innocence.

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We Make Your Success Our Priority

We conduct in-house workshops for law firms, corporate legal departments, federal and state government agencies, and courts throughout the world. Unlike our public programs that have a set date, an in-house workshop can be scheduled at any time of the year if we have available dates. We tailor these programs to the organization ‘s needs.


Open Source Intelligence Training


Social Media Intelligence Training

Dark Web / Darknet

Dark Web and Darknet Training

Social Media Authentication

Social Media Authentication Training


TOR Software and .Onion Training


Cryptocurrency Training



Online researching (OSINT) and social media investigations (SOCMINT) are becoming simultaneously more imperative and more complex. At Toonari, we recognize how difficult the process of discovery, collection and preservation of this data can be. Our team will be traveling to your location and instructing your staff on better research, forensic and investigative techniques. We are happy to work with you to create a specialized curriculum for your business or team or we can offer a pre-established course.

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Tomoko Discovery – So Intuitive, So Easy

Court admissible Web Capture, Screen and Webcam Video Recorder. The easiest way for everyone to preserve and authenticate evidence from everywhere.

Advanced Social Media Search

Search across social networking services, search engines, databases and more.

Cross Platform – Windows & Mac

Compatible with Mac and Windows, Tomoko Discovery is build and run on two platforms.

White Label Case Reports

This gives you customizable, client facing, white label case report templates.

Court Admissible Web Capture

Tomoko Discovery will collect the Metadata, Source Code and other items sealing it with a 256-bit Hash and timestamps on the captured files using a certified Stratum-1 atomic clock.

Authenticated Desktop Screen Recording

Record court admissible video of evidence displayed on desktops with our screen video recorder. (TOR, Windows, Mac, etc.)

Authenticated Webcam Recording

Tomoko Discovery will collect the Metadata, Source Code and other items sealing it with a 256-bit Hash and timestamps on the captured files using a certified Stratum-1 atomic clock.

Local Possession of Evidence

You will be able to directly export all of your digital evidence to your desktop without saving it on Tomoko Discovery.

Cloud Storage

Stores all of your digital information in the easy to use cloud storage for later use.


Got questions? Our U.S. based support team has answers. We’re here to enhance your Tomoko Discovery experience and set you up for success.

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Book a Speaker at Your Next Event

Are you planning an event for Investigators? We deliver engaging and useful presentations in a variety of formats that are tailor-made for your event.

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