What is the dark web? Here’s how to access it and what you’ll find

dark web

The black web is unsearchable. The “dark web” is really a hub of illegal activities. Over five weeks in 2015, King’s College London researchers Daniel Moore and Thomas Rid categorised 2,723 active dark web domains and discovered 57% contain unlawful content. 

Into the Web of Profit, a 2019 research by Dr. Michael McGuires at the University of Surrey, indicates deterioration. Since 2016, 20% more business-harming dark web listings have appeared. 60% of listings—excluding drug listings—could hurt businesses.

Credit card data, narcotics, firearms, counterfeit money, subscription passwords, hacked Netflix accounts, and malware to get into other people’s computers may be bought. Buy $50,000 Bank of America login credentials, counterfeit $20 notes, prepaid debit cards, or a “lifetime” Netflix premium account. Hire hackers to hack computers. Buy usernames and passwords.

Deep web vs. dark web: Differences?

hidden wiki deep web and dark web are sometimes used interchangeably, however they are different. Search engines like Google cannot index the deep web. Deep web content includes paywalls and logins. It comprises web crawler-blocked material.

The deep web includes medical data, fee-based material, membership websites, and private business websites. The deep web is estimated to comprise 96%–99% of the internet. The “clear web”—a small section of the internet—is accessible via a normal web browser.

The black web, a subset of the deep web, is purposely hidden and requires Tor to access. Most estimates place the dark web around 5% of the internet. Despite its menacing reputation, not all dark web activity is illegal.

Darknet services 

Into the Web of Profit listed 12 kinds of tools or services that might cause a network breach or data compromise:

  • Malware, DDoS, and botnets.
  • RATs, keyloggers, and exploits
  • Espionage—services, customisation, and targeting
  • Tutorial support
  • Credentials
  • Phishing Refunds
  • Customer, operational, and financial data
  • New dangers

The research included three risk factors per category:

Devaluing the company via brand trust, reputational harm, or losing position to a rival

DDoS assaults or other malware that disrupts corporate activities

Defrauding the business, such as IP theft or espionage that hurts a company’s competitiveness or finances.

Since REvil and GandCrab emerged, dark web ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) kits have grown far more deadly. These gangs create sophisticated malware, often using pre-existing tools, and disseminate it via “affiliates”. 

Affiliates propagate ransomware on the dark web. Data theft and dark web release are common in these assaults. 

Profitable company model. In 2020, 29% of IBM Security X-Force ransomware engagements used REvil. Malware developers take 20%–30% of affiliate profits. IBM thinks REvil made $81 million last year.

Dark browser

This lively bazaar may make you believe the hidden wiki dark web is simple to navigate. It’s not. When everyone is anonymous and a significant minority is out to swindle others, the area is chaotic. 

Use Tor to access the dark web. The Tor browser hides your IP address by routing online page requests via hundreds of proxy servers run by volunteers worldwide. Tor works like magic, but it’s as unstable and sluggish as the black web.

For those prepared to endure the inconvenience, the dark web offers a remarkable view into humanity’s seedy side without the danger of skulking in a dark alley. 

Searching dark web

The finest dark web search engines struggle to keep up with the ever-changing terrain. It seems like late 1990s online searches. Grammes, a top search engine, delivers repetitious and irrelevant results. Indexes like The Hidden Wiki also have many timed-out connections and 404 errors.

Darknet sites

Dark web sites seem like normal sites, but there are key distinctions. Naming structure. Dark web websites are.onion. “A special-use top level domain suffix designating an anonymous hidden service reachable via the Tor network,” according to Wikipedia. Only browsers with the right proxy may access these sites.

Dark web URLs are likewise jumbled. Dream Market, a prominent shopping site, with the nonsensical URL “eajwlvm3z2lcca76.onion.”

Scammers routinely change dark websites to evade their victims’ anger. If the proprietors cash in and escape with customer escrow money, even commerce sites that have been around for a year might evaporate.

Law enforcement is better at locating and punishing illegal site owners. In 2017, a team of cybercops from three nations took down AlphaBay, the dark web’s biggest contraband marketplace. Many merchants moved elsewhere.

Patrick Tiquet, Keeper Security’s Director of Security & Architecture and DDoS specialist, said the Tor network’s anonymity made it particularly susceptible. He stated sites change IP to prevent DDoS, creating a dynamic environment. Thus, “The quality of search varies widely, and a lot of material is outdated.”

Darknet sale

Bitcoin, a crypto-currency that allows anonymous transactions, has helped the dark web grow. Tiquet thinks bitcoin and the dark web have both grown.

Most dark web commerce sites use bitcoin, but that doesn’t make them secure. Scammers and criminals flock there, but what do you expect when purchasing firearms or drugs?

Dark web commerce sites contain ratings/reviews, shopping carts, and forums, but they vary from e-retailers. Quality control. Ratings are unreliable when buyers and vendors are anonymous. Sellers with extensive track records have been known to abscond with their customers’ crypto-coins and reappear under a new name. Ratings are readily altered.

Most e-commerce companies retain consumer payments in escrow until the goods are delivered. Don’t anticipate smiles in a quarrel. Buyer and seller negotiate. Every transaction needs a PGP key since every communication is encrypted.

Completed transactions do not ensure delivery. Customs agents are targeting suspect shipments as more cross borders. Deep.Dot.Web is full of customers who were arrested or incarcerated for attempted purchases.

Stolen data’s price swings with the market. Privacy Affair’s Dark Web Price Index 2021 lists the latest costs for dark web data and services:

  • PIN-cloned credit card: $25–$35
  • Details of a $5,000 credit card: $240
  • Online banking accounts having at least $2,000 stolen: $120
  • PayPal theft: $50–$340
  • Coinbase hack: $610
  • Social media hack: $1–$60
  • Gmail hack: $80
  • Good eBay account hacked: $1,000

Dark web illegal?

We don’t want you to think the dark web is evil. Tor still helps individuals connect in free speech-restricted contexts as an anonymous communications medium. “Many people use it in countries where eavesdropping or internet access is criminalised,” Tiquet added.

The dark web may teach you about privacy and cryptocurrencies. Private email services, anonymous operating system instructions, and advanced privacy recommendations are available.

Links to full-text copies of hard-to-find literature, mainstream political news, and a tour to the Virginia Tech steam tunnels are also available. Intel Exchange allows anonymous political chats. Whistleblower sites include the dark web Wikileaks. Pirate Bay, a BitTorrent site routinely shut down by law authorities, remains active there. Facebook has a dark web presence.

Tiquet said more reputable online firms are setting up shop there. “It demonstrates their awareness, cutting-edge, and knowledge.”

Some organisations may also benefit. Police monitor the dark web for stolen data from recent security breaches that may lead to the offenders. Mainstream media watch whistleblower sites for news.

Monitoring the hacker underworld

Patrick Tiquet of Keeper checks in often to be abreast of hacking underground events. Will stated he uses the dark web for situational awareness, threat analysis, and monitoring. “I want to know what information is available and have an external lens into the digital assets being monetized—this gives us insight on what hackers are targeting.”

If your information appears on the dark web, you’ll know you’ve been hacked. Bottom line: Visit the dark web if you can handle its poor performance, unreliability, and occasional shock factor. Avoid buying there.

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