We’ve already seen Kilos — just under a different name. Essentially, it is a search engine, much like Google. But there’s a twist: it’s for dark web markets.
Kilos was created back in November 2019 and quickly got quite popular among cybercriminals. They mainly use Kilos to find answers to their queries and search for mostly illegal services that can’t be accessed via regular search engines.
For example, if someone wanted to buy cocaine under the counter, typing only a couple of relevant keywords would present them with hundreds of search results. That’s made possible by Kilos’ advanced filtering options that work just as well as Google’s.
The platform, however, only acts as an extension of what had already existed on the dark web — Grams.
Digital Shadows researchers have found that Kilos is essentially an evolved version of Grams. In case you’re unfamiliar with it, this infamous search engine used to function the same way as Kilos.
At first glance, both Kilos and Grams appear to imitate Google’s design and functionalities. Some would even go as far as to say that they’re nearly identical, especially since both of these search engines employ a naming technique that’s based on units of measure. Nevertheless, only one of the “twins” is active today.
Grams had served as a dark web marketplace for cybercriminals since April 2014. It quickly gained more users than AlphaBay, Valhalla, Wall Street Market, Hansa, and others. These used to be the most popular cybercriminal marketplaces at one point. However, it’s no longer active; its indexing got blocked by admins in December 2017.
Since its creation in November 2019, Kilos has constantly been undergoing some changes. It started indexing more platforms and now has many more search functions than Grams ever had.
Still, users’ anonymity and security are Kilos’ top priority. The platform has also introduced captcha to make sure that no bots come its way.
How Is Kilos Different From Other Dark Web Market Search Engines?
Kilos’ developers certainly weren’t the first to come up with such a groundbreaking idea. Platforms like Torch and TorLinks will give you pretty much the same results.
What makes Kilos so different, then? Well, it offers a number of filtering options. Researchers say that it can locate products from up to six different dark web marketplaces.
Digital Shadows states that Kilos is better than its competitors because of its highly advanced interface and extensive search features. For example, Kilos’ most recent update lets users bid on listings and carry out anonymous Bitcoin transactions through the beta Bitcoin mixer.
Another feature that makes Kilos more advanced is its integrated live chat. This option allows users to get in touch with the admins whenever necessary.
Is Anyone Funding Kilos?
We don’t know the answer to this question yet. Still, market support and ads would allow for a great spike in Kilos’ revenue.
Kilos currently offers ad credits for free. It seems that it’s testing the ad functionalities to monetize them later. Thus, the chances that we will start seeing paid ads popping up on Kilos are pretty high.
We are yet to see how Kilos will develop over time. Perhaps law enforcement will see some benefits that come with this platform. After all, it’s evident that its many features would allow for some significant sting operations, for example.