Ahmia is a clearnet search engine for Tor's hidden services created by Juha Nurmi. Together with VPN and Tor, this technology is crucial in exploring the dark web, which is reported to be about ten times bigger than normal web content.[1]


Developed during the 2014 Google Summer of Code with support from the Tor Project, the open source[2] search engine was initially built in Django and PostgreSQL. It collects the peculiar anonymous identifier called .onion URLs from the Tor network and feeds these to its index except those containing a robots.txt file.[3] The search engine filters out child pornography[4] and keeps a blacklist of abusive services.[5]

The service partners with GlobaLeaks's submissions and Tor2web statistics for hidden service discovery[6] and as of July 2015 has indexed about 5000 sites.[7] Ahmia is also affiliated with Hermes Center for Transparency and Digital Rights, an organization that promotes transparency and freedom-enabling technologies.[8]

In July 2015 the site published a list of hundreds of fraudulent fake versions of web pages (including such sites as DuckDuckGo, as well a dark web page).[9][10] According to Nurmi, "someone runs a fake site on a similar address to the original one and tries to fool people with that" with the intent of scamming people (e.g. gathering bitcoin money by spoofing bitcoin addresses).[11]


  1. ^ Websites | 0 |, Dark Web. "Top 3 The Dark Web Search Engines | Dark Web Websites". Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  2. ^ Greif, Björn (14 July 2015). "Gefälschte .onion-Websites spähen Tor-Nutzer aus". ZDNet. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Google Can't Search the Deep Web, So How Do Deep Web Search Engines Work? : Networks Course blog for INFO 2040/CS 2850/Econ 2040/SOC 2090". Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  4. ^ juha (7 September 2014). "Ahmia search after GSoC development". Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  5. ^ Messier, Ric (2017-07-14). Network Forensics. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781119329183.
  6. ^ "About us". Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  7. ^ Leyden, John (7 Jul 2015). "Heart of Darkness: Mass of clone scam sites appear". The Register. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  8. ^ "The new search engines shining a light on the Deep Web". The Kernel. 2014-09-28. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  9. ^ MacGregor, Alice (1 July 2015). "Hundreds of Dark Web mirror sites 'booby-trapping' Tor users". Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  10. ^ Marwan, Peter (14 July 2015). "Anonymität von TOR-Nutzern durch Fake-Websites gefährdet". ITespresso. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  11. ^ Weissman, Cale Guthrie (July 2, 2015). "Someone is creating fake websites on the dark web to try to lure in and hack people". Business Insider. Retrieved 2019-03-07.

External links

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Deep web

The deep web, invisible web, or hidden web are parts of the World Wide Web whose contents are not indexed by standard web search engines. The opposite term to the deep web is the surface web, which is accessible to anyone using the Internet. Computer scientist Michael K. Bergman is credited with coining the term deep web in 2001 as a search indexing term.The content of the deep web is hidden behind HTTP forms and includes many very common uses such as web mail, online banking, and services that users must pay for, and which are protected by paywalls, such as video on demand and some online magazines and newspapers.

The content of the deep web can be located and accessed by a direct URL or IP address, and may require a password or other security access past the public website page.

List of Tor onion services

This is a categorized list of notable onion services (formerly, hidden services) accessible through the Tor anonymity network. Defunct services are marked.

List of search engines

This is a list of search engines, including web search engines, selection-based search engines, metasearch engines, desktop search tools, and web portals and vertical market websites that have a search facility for online databases. For a list of search engine software, see List of enterprise search vendors.

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Web directories
Search engines
File storage and peer-to-peer
file sharing
Email and
instant messaging
Social media and forums
Cryptocurrency tumblers
News, whistleblowing,
and document archives
Nonprofit organizations

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