The dark web is a part of the internet (or a small part of the deep web) that isn’t indexed by search engines. The dark web contains a large amount of illegal and criminal content (from various aspects). Online marketplaces for drugs, exchanges for stolen data, and other illegal activities get most of the attention. For example, you can buy login credentials to a $10,000 Bank of America account for $100 in dark web. Of course, you should not think that everything on the dark web is necessarily illegal. No, many legal activities also take place on the Dark Web.
The famous Tor network is just one of the networks that can be used on the dark web. This network uses the traffic anonymization technique of onion routing under the network’s top-level domain suffix .onion. In fact, specific browsers, such as Tor Browser, are required to reach the dark web. Once you install a dark web browser on your device, it functions just like a regular browser: type in a URL, and off you go. Many dark web sites simply provide standard web services with more secrecy, which benefits political dissidents and people trying to keep medical conditions private. In fact, dark web makes it easier to set up and access websites that offer a high degree of anonymity for everyone involved. Dark web website publishers are anonymous thanks to special encryptions provided by the protocol.
What makes it possible to do business on the dark web? Financial transactions use Bitcoin.
Sometimes, the dark web is also called the dark net. It’s wrong. The deep web includes all the pages that don’t pop up when you run a web search (including everything requiring a login, such as pay sites, and file hosting services). We can say that deep web contains mostly harmless data and digitized records but the dark web is just one part of the deep web, and also it usually hosts illegal contents.
Dark web website addresses end with .onion instead of the surface web’s .com, .org, or .gov, for example.
Black Markets on Dark Web
The dark web is home to many a black marketplace, where all sorts of goods can be sold and bought.
Silk Road was one of the first well-known black markets on the dark web. It was launched in 2011. Users openly talked about drug-use on the site and uploaded photos of their products. Also, this online black market sold illegal drugs. Finally, this website was shut down in 2013. Founder Ross Ulbricht was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
AlphaBay was another online black market, launched in 2014. Alleged founder Alexandre Cazes was arrested. He was found dead in a Thai jail cell.
Hansa expanded after AlphaBay was shut down but Dutch police shut down this black market in 2017.
Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Websites
In dark web, almost everything is paid for with cryptocurrencies. The currency is tied to the value of a decentralized digital ledger, such as the blockchain protocol. Cryptocurrencies are not like regular currencies because their value and history of exchanges is visible on the blockchain.
So, cryptocurrencies make anonymous exchanges possible that are ideal for shady business on the dark web.
Criminal Activity on The Dark Web
Here it is better to mention a number of illegal and destructive activities that are on the dark web:
- Infection or attacks: Including all types of malware, Phishing and scams attacks, and DDoS attacks.
- Espionage: Including services, and targeting
- Stolen information: This information can include Social Security numbers, bank card numbers, customer data, financial data, log-in credentials, and more.
- Illicit substances: Illegal drugs, toxic chemicals, prescription drugs.
- Disturbing and dangerous items and services: Things like gore, human trafficking, child pornography, body parts, and guns for sale, and almost anything you can imagine.
- Terrorism: There are at least some real and fraudulent websites claiming to be used by ISIL (ISIS).
Why Don’t Countries Stop The Dark Web?
- The first reason: During these years, the dark web has become far more decentralized and the power of this network causes that it cannot be turned off from just one location.
- The second reason: The dark web is also one of the best tools for political activists in countries under authoritarian rule.
- The third reason: Dark web is being used as a channel for covert communications by intelligence agencies.
Browsing The Dark Web
Dark web browsing can be as insecure as it is secure. Many people have suffered huge losses as a result of surfing the dark web. In fact, the dark web is a very narrow line between security and insecurity. So, be sure to educate yourself on the dangers of the dark web. Make sure you install and run strong security software on your computer and devices to help ensure the privacy and security of your data.
Avoid the following in general:
- Malware: Some websites could infect your devices with viruses.
- Hackers: A lot of hackers would be willing to hack your devices. Of course, you can also a hire computer hackers to do illegal activities.
- Webcam hijacking: A website on the dark web may try to hijacking your webcam. So cover your webcam with a piece of paper if you’re not using it.
What’s Hidden Wiki?
The Hidden Wiki provides links to search engines and websites, so user can navigate the dark web more easily.
You can find the Hidden Wiki by copying the following URL into your Tor browser: http://zqktlwi4fecvo6ri.onion/wiki/index.php/Main_Page. The web addresses on the dark web do change constantly, but there are many websites on the surface web that will provide you with the right up-to-date URL for this particular page.
A botnet is a network of infected devices that can be operated by the hacker that controls them. The hacker in charge of the botnet can use the devices to spread viruses, phish for private information, or facilitate DDoS attacks. On the dark web some hackers sell the botnets they have created.