Two researchers for Hewlett-Packard have created a browser-based darknet, an idea that could make it easier for businesses to keep eavesdroppers from uncovering confidential information.
Darknets are encrypted peer-to-peer networks normally used to communicate files between closed groups of people. Most darknets require a certain level of technological literacy to set up and maintain, including taking care of the necessary servers. However, HP researchers Billy Hoffman and Matt Wood plan next week to demonstrate a browser-based darknet called "Veiled," which they claim requires little proficiency to set up and run.
"This will really lower the barriers to participation," Wood told ZDNet UK. "If you want to create a darknet, you can send an encrypted e-mail saying, 'Here's the URL.' When (the recipient visits) the Web site, the browser can just get (the darknet application) going."
Hoffman and Wood are scheduled to demonstrate the technology next week at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas.
Wood said HP does not want to turn the project into a commercial product. While the company does not plan to make the source code available, the researchers do plan to open source their idea, so to speak, so other security researchers can "pick up the baton."
"HP has no desire to patent or copyright or release any code," Wood said. "Black Hat is one of the top security conferences, and we want to get this cool idea into the hands of people who are really smart."
Businesses could use browser-based darknets to set up workgroups to exchange commercially sensitive information, or to have a means of making anonymous suggestions to management, Wood said. "I like the idea of a suggestions box on the Web," he said. "It provides an anonymous way to make suggestions to your boss."
This will have applications to the Iranian and Chinese censorship.
NEED TO FAST TRACK IT.