Dark Web

Carlow University and NCFTA partnership will teach students to analyze and investigate Dark Web threats.

THE DARK WEB is a corner of the Internet not easily found. Traditional search engines like Google and Yahoo won’t take you there, and if you do venture into it, then you better know what you’re doing. 

“The Dark Web is the common name for websites hosting many types of illicit activities, such as selling stolen personally identifiable information (PII), drug trafficking, human trafficking and child pornography,” said Steve Mancini, chief technology officer and director of strategic operations at the National Cyber-Forensics & Training Alliance (NCFTA) and an adjunct professor at Carlow University. “Offenders use online aliases and shield their internet protocol (IP) address so they are difficult for law enforcement to track.” 

The FBI states in its 2017 Internet Crime Report that the total victim losses exceed $1.4 billion. In Pennsylvania alone, there were 11,000 victims, many over the age of 60. 

Carlow University and NCFTA have formed a partnership to shine a light on both the Clear and Dark Web with a nine-credit graduate certificate program providing graduate-level training and credits in the techniques and tools needed to investigate, respond to and stop crime and cyber-enabled crime.

“Carlow’s program leverages the expertise of professionals in accounting, finance, business and law enforcement who daily are working with government and the private sector to disrupt criminal activity and prevent cyber attacks that steal personal information,” said Mary Onufer, MS, an assistant professor who teaches undergraduate business management and also at the graduate level for the Fraud and Forensics program. 

CARLOW UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE Through the partnership with NCFTA, Carlow’s courses cover training for topics such as understanding cyber threats, identifying threat actors and conducting online investigations. 

“There are special techniques involved in investigating the Dark Web,” Onufer said. “There is a very focused skill set involved. It’s not as simple as logging onto the Dark Web and searching for crime and criminals.” 

There are three online courses in the certificate in Cyber- Threat Research and Analytics which can be completed in 14 weeks. The program concludes with a two-day residency at the NCFTA office in Pittsburgh, where students work alongside government and industry professionals in a hands-on experience in profiling and investigating cyber- enabled crime. 

For more information about the certificate in Cyber-Threat Research and Analytics, please visit www.carlow.edu/cyberthreatresearch



By Andrew Wilson