DarkBERT: Shedding Light On The First Dark Web Trained AI


Can you imagine a world where there are no rules and regulations or no law enforcement? What would it mean? More crimes, more fraud, more exploitation, and less Safety. The dark net needs no introduction. The secret hidden underneath the Internet is the dark web, where crimes have no limits and users have no choice. Until DarkBERT is in the market, it could be the potential rescuer that limits crimes in the dark world of the Internet.

Before we jump to our main topic, what DarkBERT AI is, here are some stats to highlight the size and number of illicit activities that are placed on the dark net:

  • What we say today on the surface web is only 4% of the total Internet. The rest, 96%, belong to the deep and dark web.
  • If this data is leaked, 60% of the data on the dark net (60% of 75,000 TB) can harm big organizations.
  • Approximately 27.48 million credentials are on the dark net and belong to employees of thousands of companies.
  • The illegal content on the dark web is almost 56.8%.
  • On the 10 most active dark web hacking forums, there are more than 8 million users, and numbers have been rapidly growing since the pandemic. Thanks to the lockdown and, most significantly, the Tor network’s complicated layers that conceal users’ IP addresses.

To sum up all these concerns in one word: Trouble

Functions of AI

On the standard level web, we have tools for SIEM solutions integrated with UEBA and SOAR capabilities to help us fight against cyber threats. But what can we do on the dark web, where anonymous users exchange sensitive information in encrypted languages and sell stolen PII typical data breaches, forged data from well-known companies, malware, botnets, and exploited individuals?

Identifying and monitoring these activities seemed impossible until a few days ago when some researchers from South Korea came together to create a generative artificial intelligence exclusively for the dark world called DarkBERT.

To understand this AI revolution, we first need to understand its predecessor. So, let us step down a bit and dive a little deeper.

What is NLP?

NLP (Natural Language Processing) is the branch of computer science that humanizes computers. It helps computer programs understand and transcribe the human language, like syntax, semantics, and lexicons. We use NLP programs on a regular basis, like autocorrect, voice assistants, and chatbots. So, how does an NLP program understand, translate, and communicate in human language?

For this, it works with the help of language models. Several language model architectures exist today like Feedforward, n-grams, neural networks, and many more. Transformer is another prime instance of an architecture based on which many language models have been built. The BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representation from Transformers) and GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) are two well-known types of transformer architecture.

The Models of BERT

BERT is a pre-trained language model based on the transformer structure. Pre-trained languages are languages that are trained on vast amounts of data. BERT was first introduced in 2018 by Google and soon became an insurgent language model.

Unlike DarkBERT predecessors, it could work on bidirectional data, which means it had a good understanding of sentences and the content in which they were interpreted. BERT utilizes the masked language model tactics to distinguish itself from other language models. It conceals random words of a sentence and based on the query as well as the words surrounding the sentence. BERT completes the sentence by adding the right word or phrase.

Fully Optimized BERT Approach

With the BERT framework, Facebook researchers developed a model called RoBERTa (Robustly Optimized BERT Approach). In the comparison of BERT, this model was better because it was trained on a data set approximately 10 times bigger. Moreover, Roberta was equipped with better-masked language model tactics, as the training included concealing text multiple times rather than just one. The training also involved next-sentence forecasts, which allowed Roberta to predict if two sentences were actually relevant or not.

Therefore, these models work extremely well on the standard web, and they could never decode the language of the dark net as they were never trained for this reason. While the discussions on the clear web are in human language, the dark world uses encrypted or code languages to share anonymous messages. It was RoBERTa’s model that performed as the base structure during the creation of DarkBERT AI.

DarkBERT: A New AI Generation

It is the dark version of the Google BART AI, and the hackers said it would be based on an LLM (large language model) known as DarkBERT. The South Korean data-intelligence company S2W created it with the goal of fighting cybercrime. It is currently restricted to academic researchers, which would make malicious access to it notable.

It trains with the RoBERTa model with MLM (Masked Language Model) of text collected from the dark net. The Corpus compilation is a dynamic challenge in training DarkBERT. S2W, the developer of DakrBERT, is renowned for its capabilities of gathering and analyzing dark web data and dead ringers on the Darknet, a vast dark net text collection perfect for training. The quality of the collection was filtered by removing redundant pages, duplicates, or low-quality information.

Key Features of DarkBERT

It can automatically detect threats on the dark web. Its current potential includes:

  • Analyzing dark web pages to select which pages to focus more on.
  • Determine a threat from conversation between members of groups. In other words, it can detect a probable attack on a company from the messages and data exchanged on several forums.
  • It recognizes a data breach discussion thread with the use of numerous keywords.
  • DarkBERT classifies thread-related keywords. It uses MLM tactics to detect the right word contextually where fill mask functions are applied. (The fill mask term refers to masking specific words in a phrase to make AI’s exact in their forecasts.)

Implications of DarkBERT

The researchers found DarkBERT’s cutting-edge functionality to be useful in a multitude of cybersecurity applications. It can detect websites engaged in selling ransomware or leaking confidential data. It has significant features to strive against the dynamic landscape of cyber attacks.

Moreover, DarkBERT’s potential expands to track the uninterrupted flux of dark web forums and cautiously identify and scrutinize illegal information forums.

It emerges as a ray of hope in the never-ending battle against malicious online fraud. By utilizing the power of NLP (natural language processing) it dives into the mysterious world of the dark web. This alarming AI model provides extraordinary insights, allowing cybersecurity professionals to act against cybercrime with great efficiency.

This remarkable tool helps in a new era of flexibility and surveillance, securing the digital environment against the secret forces lurking within.

How does DarkBERT Function?

Currently, this AI tool is still in the developing phase. The developers are presently working on the AI to understand better the language that might be being used on the hidden part of the Internet. The researchers will be training the tool by crawling via the Tor network.

It has also been reported that the pre-trained AI model will be classified well and reduplicated—data processing capabilities into the model to discover potential threats and concerns from the expected sensitive data.

 A lot of things have been going on as the DarkBERT is being crafted. The researchers will be using multiple languages in the pre-trained model. This AI model’s performance is expected to be better with the use of ultra-modern language in the pre-trained model. it allows the crawling of additional information.

How Does DarkBERT Help You Stay Safe On the Dark Web?

  • Dark Web Page Classification: The dark web is a hub of millions of pages full of content dedicated to multiple kinds of cybercrime. Automatically identifying pages based on their content is crucial for the dark web illicit environment. DarkBERT performs well on the dark net page classification task, which aims to classify webpage content into topics like Pornography, Hacking, and Violence. Its page classification schema sheds new light on the language of the dark web.
  • Ransomware Leak Site Detection: Ransomware attackers often use leak sites to share confidential data of uncooperative victim organizations. Finding these sites quickly is invaluable to collecting intelligence on high-profile ransomware groups. DarkBERT achieved futuristic performance in automatically finding leaky websites.
  • Noteworthy Thread Detection: Underground forums are commonly used for sharing and selling illegal information and goods. Monitoring dark net forums is challenging because countless users can publish posts on any topic. Classifying posts to find significant threads, such as buying/selling confidential data or malicious hacking tools, is beneficial for excellent surveillance.
  • Threat Keyword Inference: Some familiar words or phrases may have totally different meanings in the dark world. DarkBERT is trained to understand slang or coded language used by, hackers, or threat actors. It allows us to understand word usage in dark net contexts fully.

How to Stay Safe When Using Dark Web AI ChatBots

Just like with any other online service or software, you need to take precautions when using AI chatbots. You could face a malware attack from fake ChatGPT apps or even disclose sensitive information, as employees at Samsung recently did.

Before using any AI chatbots, you must ensure that you are actually accessing the right website. If you are searching for a ChatGPT, Bing Copilot, or Google Bard app, you won’t discover one as yet, as OpenAI, Microsoft, and Google have yet to release official applications for their AI chatbots.

However, if you are searching for DarkBERT, it is currently not accessible to the public; it is only available for researchers. So don’t click on any links in illicit Telegram groups or emails to access this amazing tool; it’s all a scam, and you could face malicious or ransomware attacks. Moreover, ads about AI chatbots also need to be ignored, as scammers often use fake Google Ads and other ad services to take unsuspecting users to phishing websites.

For an extra layer of security, when using an AI chatbot or any other dark web website, you should be using the best antivirus software for your PC or smartphone. This way, if a link to a website or AI chatbot does redirect you to malware, your antivirus software will catch it first before malware harms the device.

DarkBERT could represent state-of-the-art AI models that are trained in one specific niche to make them much more specialized. With its high popularity, we would not be surprised if we saw the same or more advanced AI models developed in this way.


Q. What is DarkBERT AI?

It is an AI model created by the South Korean SW2 Company to explore and understand the depth of the Internet, especially the dark web.

Q. Does this AI really work?

DarkBERT is the first dark web AI-trained model trained to understand and identify complex dark world phenomena. It works to identify malware links, ransomware activities, and thread deduction to protect dark web users against the harmful intentions of bad actors.

Q. Can I access DarkBERT?

No, it is not publicly accessible. It is a specialized artificial intelligence tool crafted by South Korean researchers for monitoring the hidden depths of the Internet.

Q. What is the purpose of DarkBERT?

It is developed to explore and analyze the dark world, identifying secret online activities that are usually illegal and far away from the public eye.

Wrap Up

DarkBERT is the latest technology, and it is still being crafted. However, it has the potential to mitigate the risk of cybercrimes. This AI tool continues to grow; it is likely to become an even more remarkable model for cybersecurity professionals, researchers, and law enforcement officials.

It is difficult to say what the future holds for the cybersecurity tools industry and information technology. But if there is one thing that remains the same for cybersecurity weapons, it is that they need to stay informed of their enemies at all times. With the development of an AI model like DarkBERT, the future is full of potential, and what may come of it will be for the betterment of people.