As the name suggests, Dark Web is the illicit part of web unapproachable to many. Many folks take it as a base for all the criminals, hackers and mafias. That may be partially true but there’s more to it than the eyes, or the ears meet(pun intended).
What is the Dark Web?
Dark Web is the World Wide Web that exits on a network known as Darknet, overlays network that requires internet but isn’t accessible to everyone. Access to Darknet may be acquired by specific software, configurations or authorization to access. Dark Web, a constituent of Darknet, beholds small peer-to-peer as well as popular networks like Tor, Freenet, I2P and Riffle. Dark Web users address regular web as Clearnet because of the unencrypted nature. The dark web is a part of the internet that isn’t indexed by search engines. Dark Web comprises of many illegal business like fraud services, hacker groups, phishings and scams, etc. about which we’ll discuss further.
How do I access the Dark Web?
Dark web(Darknet) is only accessible through certain networks known as Tor (“The Onion Router“) and I2P (“Invisible Internet Project“). Tor browser and Tor-accessible sites are most famous among the Darknet users and can be identified by the domain “.onion”. Tor provides untraceable access to the Darknet while I2P specializes in providing anonymous access to websites. Identities of the Darknet users stay unknown due to the layered encryption of the network. The Dark Web isn’t a fairy land or a thrilling place, its filled with chaos and filth so beware before you take a dive in.
What is there in the Dark Web?
The most important is “What is present in this weird sounding place?”. Let me break it to you, it is a hub for illicit deeds and deal reinforced with layers and layers of encryption. On combing Darknet, you will find child pornography, hacker groups, botnet, whistleblowing sites, blackmarkets, while some of the forums are for political discussions, blackbook and chess clubs.
Another question arises, “How do you access all this ?”. Yes, you guessed right, Dark Web has its own search engine, but its not as easy to navigate as your. One of the best search engine, Grams, is irrelevant most of the times. There are other options like The Hidden Wiki, but it isn’t a delight if you hate 404 error.
The working and addressing of website is same as the Clearnet, but the addressing is a lot complex. For example, a popular commerce site called Dream Market is addressed as “eajwlvm3z2lcca76.onion.” Dark Web isn’t for blindly trusting people, as many sites are set up by scammers in a hope of trashing a victim. Commerce site also disappear fleeing with the escrow money.
Dark secrets of the Dark Web
Everything owns something dark inside, but nothing can beat the dark secrets of the Dark web. I am going to lay down some of them –
BOTNETs – Botnet(Combination of Robot and Network) is a number of network connected device, used to perform DDoS attack, steal data,send spam and allow the access of the device and its connection. They generally create large amount of traffic on Dark Web increasing the risk of DDoS.
BITCOIN SERVICES – Bitcoin services are present for money laundering by tumblers, often present on Tor. And sites such as Grams offer Darknet market integration.
DARKNET MARKETS – Markets are filled with drugs, weapons, slaves, software exploits, cryptocurrencies, contraband and every type of illegal thing to shop for.
HACKING GROUPS – Hackers serve am individual or a group for the sake of money. Some of them are famous hacking groups like xDedic, hackforum, Trojanforge, Mazafaka, dark0de, etc. They may sell from credit card numbers to private data of the victim. Use of Internet-scale DNS Distributed Reflection Denial of Service (DRDoS) attacks have also been made through leveraging the Dark Web.
TERRORISM – Traces of terrorism has been found, while some claim to be ISIS others are found to be connected to some terrorist attacks providing untraceable help.
ILLEGAL PORNOGRAPHY – Flooded with illegal pornography, sexualised torture is common on Dark Web. From child pornography to revenge porn and animal killing brutality.
PHISHING AND SCAMS – These are most common one of all, fraudulent URLs in skin of appealing advertisements will lead you to them.
As interesting ans thrilling as it sounds, it should not be accessed out of curiosity. A simple click can give access to each an every data of your system. Utmost care should be paid before any step and a general base of network security knowledge is recommended.