Estimated reading time: 11 minutes
The dark web is a hidden part of the internet, accessible only by using special software. This “hidden” part of the internet contains content that users are not able to find in search engines, like federal crime listings, child pornography, and weapons trafficking.
Though the dark web is not officially part of any other parts of the internet, it does fall under the “underground” internet category.
In general, only a small portion of Internet users can access the dark web because most people cannot afford or investigate this type of computer network. Access to the dark web can be gained with special software or through an “access key.”
The major darker sites can let users log in with free access keys, but most sites provide their own free keys for searching. The FBI reports that in 2017 more than 50 million Americans accessed these sites.
Who is using the dark web?
- Drug dealers
How do you access the dark web?
The most common way is using the Tor browser or other special software like i2p or Freenet. At least 30% of all internet users have accessed websites on the dark web. It attracts a certain type of user, those that are looking for privacy and safety. This is why a lot of hackers and gun runners are using the dark web to get their products out on the market.
What are some common sites on the dark web?
A typical user will use the Tor browser or another anonymity software to access sites like Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, and even Wikipedia. They can gain access to these sites without the worry of being traced back. Many hackers and gun runners are using their own sites to traffic products out on the market.
What is Tor?
Tor is a browser that allows you to browse anonymously. It hides your IP address and covers your tracks, you won’t be able to be tracked by internet service providers (ISPs). The Tor network was created by the U.S Department of Defense (DOD) in 2004 which means it is as secure as it gets.
There are over 7,000 relays and exit nodes located all over the world providing high-quality anonymity services for internet users worldwide.
How is Dark Net different from Tor?
The key difference between the two is that Dark Net is only accessible through special software. Dark Net also works with IP addresses while Tor does not. Tor works just like a regular browser, but it routes all your internet traffic through a network of nodes or relays. These nodes are then encrypted and re-encrypted until they can no longer be traced back to you.
This process is called onion routing, and it is much more difficult to see how many relays there are in the network because instead of having an IP address associated with your account on Tor, you have one for the relay they are connected through which allows you to keep your activity private.
What are the benefits of using the Dark Web
The main benefits of using this type of content are privacy and anonymity. Accessing content on the dark web can help users to keep their identity and personal information safe. Knowing that your information is private can help users feel more secure.
Anonymity is another large benefit of using the dark web. With sites like Facebook, users have their information shared and altered by other people on a regular basis, in ways they may not agree with or even be aware of. However, on the dark web, there are sites that allow users to hide everything about themselves.
In some cases, users can even create an entirely new identity for themselves, without fear of being noticed by any third party.
What are Dark Web Markets?
Darknet markets are similar to regular markets but they have special features for people looking for illegal or dangerous goods.
A dark web market is essentially an e-commerce site where goods are sold on the dark web. The items being sold on these websites vary from drugs, stolen credit card information, and other forms of illegal goods. Websites like AlphaBay, Dream Market, and Hansa Market are considered dark markets due to these criminal activities that take place there.
Dark web sites allow users to browse through listings without revealing their IP address or personal information as they would be tracked by law enforcement agencies in this day in age of constant surveillance.
This type of anonymity allows for the sellers on these websites to sell their goods at a more affordable price so that more people can afford them whereas if this type of goods was sold on the normal web, it would be out of most people’s price range.
How to get started on a dark web market?
- Set up TOR Browser and an email account (such as Protonmail) and bitcoin wallet (Coinbase is a good choice). This is all you need to get started.
- Find an online drug marketplace where you can purchase drugs online without having to set up additional accounts or upload any information on yourself. Find markets at Dark.fail
- Once you have found one that suits your needs, register by providing a username, password, email address and connecting your mailbox through PGP encryption (use Tutanota or Cleopatra).
- Purchase your drugs using your bitcoin wallet.
- Contact the vendor and purchase goods. Make sure to encrypt all communication with 4098 bit or higher PGP.
- When the order is complete, contact the vendor to arrange pick up of the merchandise or have them shipped to you at a later time.
- Don’t forget to keep your initial cryptocurrency wallet intact as that is where all your funds will go when you receive your package or goods from the vendor (it’s not necessary to keep a second wallet for this).
- Once you have received your order, contact the vendor and make arrangements to pick up or ship the merchandise back.
- Don’t forget to write a review for you vendor in your review section on the site (this will also help other users find vendors they like).
What else can you find on the Dark Web?
There are also free products and services that can be found on the dark web. Users can download content, like music and movies, for free without having a credit card or computer. Purchasing of these goods is done with bitcoin.
Many of the resources available on the dark web come from various software downloads or from information found on wikis. The people who provide these websites claim they are just giving something away for free because they can and want to help people out. Some resources may be copyrighted materials that have been posted online illegally.
There are also malicious programs that can be found on the dark web, such as hacking tools and malware. The programs on the dark web may have back doors that let hackers control computers. Malware is a type of program that lets criminals remotely control your computer without your knowledge.
Hidden websites containing child pornography are another disturbing part of the dark web. These images are not shared with other people, like on regular sites, but the website itself is set to share them. There have been arrests from this type of activity, though they are few and far between because of how difficult it is to police this content.
Sites with illegal activities can choose to hide and not be accessible by traditional search engines like Google. Authorities cannot find these sites until users tell them where they can be found.
The dark web also contains a collection of terrorist sites. However, these sites have not been useful in any investigation as of yet. Terrorists are able to communicate with others through the dark web without being noticed by federal authorities.
There are calls to shut down the dark web because it is used to access harmful content and there is no way to control this information. However, some say that it has helped law enforcement solve crimes and catch criminals in the past. Some people believe it should be shut down because it can be used by terrorists for planning attacks or communicating with each other.
What is a Deep Web Search Engine?
A Deep Web search engine gives you access to the Dark Web and everything that you haven’t been told about through other search engines.
The Deep Web is a lot more than just porn sites and hacker markets. The Deep Web is a vast, anonymous world of informational data that you don’t need to log in to in order to access. It has many deep web search engines which are not indexed by regular search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Websites like DuckDuckGo and Anonymous let you use the dark web without knowing your IP address or any personal information. This ensures that your searches are always anonymous and no one can track them.
Besides these two, there are many other deep web search engines such as K-proxy, Tor Browser, I2P Search Engine, Anonymizer among others which provide their services on the Dark Web with an algorithm that avoids loading certain resources for less important searches.
This also ensures that it uses the least amount of storage space possible when storing its index of all the information stored on various nodes within the web.
Some of these search engines also provide you with a list of recent searches so you can quickly find the information again.This search engine also provides you with a list of recent searches so you can quickly find the information again. The search engine does not collect any information on its users so it is not at risk of being hacked.
Some of the most popular dark web search engines are:
Privacy and Safety on the Dark Web
The Dark Web is a specific subsection of the internet that is designed to protect user privacy and prevent government interference. However, it remains unclear how safe any person’s data actually is while using a program like Tor (The Onion Router). It appears that law enforcement agencies know how to identify illegal activity on the dark web, but there are not many studies confirming this.
What we do know is that there doesn’t appear to be a legitimate way for users of an anonymous browsing program to remain completely anonymous as long it stays on the dark web. They are, however, working hard to fix these issues.
Jurisdiction Issues on the Dark Web
Though many consider the Dark Web to be a decentralized network of anonymous users who do not care about where their data ends up as long as it is secure; this is not completely true. Because Tor and other similar programs exist, privacy and anonymity are possible.
However, because Tor is not entirely anonymous, the people who run the dark websites understand that there are certain jurisdictions that can track user activity and go after them legally. This is why they move to countries with strong privacy laws like Switzerland and Germany to host their operations or use “non-government” servers located in places like Canada.
How Law Enforcement Deals With Illegal Activity on the Dark Web
Law enforcement agencies are working hard to fight cybercrimes and illegal activity on the Dark Web. They are taking down websites, catching criminals, and working to create a safer and more secure internet for people everywhere.
The Trump administration has even given a member of the FBI a seat on the NSA’s advisory panel which aims to help them understand how to combat cyber-terrorism. And, of course, they are working to crack down on child pornography and anything else illegal.
The dark web may be a useful resource for some, but it is not always safe. People looking to find products or information concerning illegal or dangerous activities should always do so in a safe location and with people they trust. However, the dark web is not so bad, click the image below to read 8 not-so-bad things about the dark web.
Sources:[“https://www.darknetmarkets.co/“, 1 April 2018] [“https://www.darkreading.com/cloud-security/fbi-50-million-americans-stumble-upon–or-explore–the-darkweb/d/d-id/1330588“, 1 April 2018] [“https://www.darkreading.com/attacks-breaches/internet–s-hidden–darknet—how–and–why—part1/d/d-id/1329449“, 1 April 2018)]