Australia was one of 11 countries to send representatives to a unique training course in the 'dark web' run by global law enforcement agency Interpol.
Interpol said it had designed a specialised training course - what it called a first of its kind - to help law enforcement officers learn how to navigate the so-called dark web and take down cyber criminals.
It said it had developed the course as the use of such sites - like the recently taken-down Darkode forum - amongst criminals grows.
As part of the training program, Interpol's cyber research lab created its own private dark web network, cryptocurrency and simulated marketplace to recreate virtual “underground” environments.
During the five-day training course in Singapore last week, participants took on the role of vendors, buyers and administrators, which "improved their understanding of the technical infrastructure of the Tor network hidden services", marketplaces and crypto-currencies, Interpol said.
The training involved live law enforcement site takedowns of the created marketplaces, as well as penetration testing on marketplaces to determine whether systems were vulnerable.
Australia, Finland, France and Japan, along with seven other countries, sent representatives for the training. Another iteration of the course will be held in November in Brussels.
“Darknets are fast emerging as the preferred trading venue for organised crime networks and individuals to carry out illicit activities, with cryptocurrencies the preferred medium for paying for these criminal services,” Madan Oberoi, Interpol’s director of cyber innovation said in a statement.
“The specialised training provided by Interpol equips law enforcement with the understanding and tools they need to take very real action targeting criminals in the virtual world."