BitTorrent darknets

Chao Zhang, Prithula Dhungel, Di Wu, Zhengye Liu, Keith W. Ross

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    A private BitTorrent site (also known as a "BitTorrent darknet") is a collection of torrents that can only be accessed by members of the darknet community. The private BitTorrent sites also have incentive policies which encourage users to continue to seed files after completing downloading. Although there are at least 800 independent BitTorrent darknets in the Internet, they have received little attention in the research community to date. We examine BitTorrent darknets from macroscopic, medium-scopic and microscopic perspectives. For the macroscopic analysis, we consider 800+ private sites to obtain a broad picture of the darknet landscape, and obtain a rough estimate of the total number of files, accounts, and simultaneous peers within the entire darknet landscape. Although the size of each private site is relatively small, we find the aggregate size of the darknet landscape to be surprisingly large. For the medium-scopic analysis, we investigate content overlap between four private sites and the public BitTorrent ecosystem. For the microscopic analysis, we explore in-depth one private site and examine its user behavior. We observe that the seed-to-leecher ratios and upload-to-download ratios are much higher than in the public ecosystem. The macroscopic, medium-scopic and microscopic analyses when combined provide a vivid picture of the darknet landscape, and provide insight into how the darknet landscape differs from the public BitTorrent ecosystem.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publication2010 Proceedings IEEE INFOCOM
    StatePublished - 2010
    EventIEEE INFOCOM 2010 - San Diego, CA, United States
    Duration: Mar 14 2010Mar 19 2010

    Publication series

    NameProceedings - IEEE INFOCOM
    ISSN (Print)0743-166X


    OtherIEEE INFOCOM 2010
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CitySan Diego, CA

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Computer Science
    • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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