Let us keep in mind, what is called darknet has a number of markets for illegal activities: services offered (which is what concerns us in this post) may include hacking services, software exploits, and selling of personal information. Content on something called the dark web can include an array of content both legitimate and illicit, including forum and hacking services, drug markets, and bitcoin services.
Due to its nature, many will use the term deep web to describe the dark web, but the two are really distinct: rather than simply consisting of unindexed information, the dark web is usually a private network which users log into and surf anonymously. The term deep web also refers to sites throughout the internet that are unindexed and cannot be reached through search engines. While Google and other search engines index all websites on the surface web, aka clearnet, so they are easier to find, sites on the deep web are found only through word-of-mouth or links.
The dark web, this shadowy world of illegal content which uses the structures of the Internet as we know it, but which can only be accessed with the help of special software, computer setups, or permission, is not only a hotbed for conspiracy theories. The dark web is home to a flourishing e-commerce marketplace — and marketplaces are as popular out there as those out there. While the dark web sounds like a scary place full of malware, cybercriminals, and others out for naught, it is really just one part of the whole internet you cannot really find through search engines. Not every site on the dark web is used for illicit purposes, the anonymity it can afford has made it full of cybercriminals, and the market for personal data definitely makes up a large part of this elusive portion of the internet.
You have probably seen quite a bit of hype surrounding what is called the dark web lately, with recent leaked classified documents regarding the Air Forces drone program, the first-ever nationwide bust of underground vendors selling all manner of illicit contraband, and the massive data breach exposing more than 230 million Americans core personal identifiers (PII). Many people associate the dark web with Silk Road, the online market place you can use to purchase any number of illegal drugs.
The dark web, as you will see in the posts below, is full of information cybercriminals can use to either earn a quick buck or cause damage to businesses. With Dark Web Monitoring, one of the cyber security solutions offered by CoreTech, you can see whether or not the credentials of your employees or other business information are making their rounds in the seedy underbelly of the Internet, the Dark Web. Things like stolen corporate data are not the full picture of what is happening on the dark web — and what you do not know could be harming you, as it could simply be feeding the next cyberattack on your company.
You cannot easily find the identities of the people buying and selling stuff on the Dark Web. You can definitely see the web is a highly secured source for doing illicit things online with others who have similar knowledge.
Some people just choose to not share any information on the web, and they use Tor network for accessing regular websites outside of darknet, or for checking out news sites and forums inside the darknet. The Tor Project says of the 2 million people who use the Tor network each day, only 1.5% are accessing hidden, or dark, websites.
In short, using an anonymous Tor browser (or similar anonymizing web browser) is essential for accessing the dark web, as well as helping you become more anonymous online. Tor can provide access to the entire internet, whether the websites are regulated or not. An anonymizing browser called Tor routes your requests for webpages through a set of proxy servers operated by thousands of volunteers across the globe, rendering your IP address unidentifiable and untraceable.
Users download Tor in order to set up relays, or nodes, which help them access onion services, which are sites configured to only work with Tor. Hackers offer their services for hire, such as accessing email accounts, social media profiles, or other information that could be used to steal identities. The market for cybercriminals is similar to the surface internet, where job listings such as those listed below are also available.
In addition to using your credentials to gain access to your online accounts, cybercriminals will also frequently sell the usernames and passwords obtained from hacking and data breaches to the dark web, which has become an increasingly profitable business. A range of other products are available for purchase on the dark web, including counterfeit passports and degrees, malware, weapons, and sensitive personal information. Because most items are sold, illegal products such as drugs, weapons, and other stolen electronics are present.
Other items which may be found are counterfeit goods, stolen goods, chemicals, child pornography, weapons, exotic animals, etc. Some examples of products on the darknet include drugs, weapons, stolen cell phones, credit card numbers, personal identification, and even services too abhorrent to mention. Illegal goods and services range from databases and credit card information to child pornography to advertisements for hitman services. To mitigate your risk of having your data sold on the Darknet, Warmenhoven advises users to let sites and services gain your trust, since cybercriminals gain loads of data by targeting websites where you have shared data.