Hidden services

What are hidden services?

Hidden services are websites hosted within proxy networks – sometimes also called the dark web. These websites are challenging as the location of the hosting server cannot be traced using normal methods.

  • In 2020 we identified 734 new hidden services, up from 288 in 2019. This is an increase of 155%.
  • Hidden services entered our top ten hosting locations for the first time in 2020. This was due to an increased number of reports from the public flagging these websites.

What can we do about this?

We work with the National Crime Agency (NCA) Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Command to share intelligence on any new hidden services which are displaying child sexual abuse imagery. With this intelligence, NCA-CEOP can work with national and international law enforcement agencies to investigate the criminals using these websites.

Other trends


Commercial hidden services