The dark web is posing major threats to cybersecurity all around the world for years. FBI has taken down many such links but they are many, still active. These are completely illegal and popularly known as the hotbed of criminal activity.
One would need a flashlight to understand the realities of Hidden internet. “Dark web site is not fixed,” says Vineet Kumar, founder and head of Cyber peace foundation.” Anonymity makes it tough to track down and when able to do so, it changes into a clone site within minutes. There is a big network working behind it.” Says Vineet.
What is the Dark Web?
Underneath our ordinary internet lurks a pungent network of encrypted sites known as Dark web. It is not visible to search engines and requires the use of an anonymizing browser called Tor. Simply, it is a part of the internet, not indexed by search engines. Vineet says, there are many special operations conducted and such sites took down but they are lot and lot in number.” “Contents like drugs, child abuse material, prostitution, trafficking are all done anonymously through these sites.” He added.
It is a threatening network of shadowy hackers on a look for stealing company data, overthrowing governments, and selling drugs. The concealed and encoded internet enables hackers, activists, and criminals. Their network is slowly increasing although events of special operation, law enforcement are taking place.
The Legitimate side of Dark web
There is a possible legitimate side of the Dark web too. For example, one can get books that are not available easily or can join a chess club or black book, a social media network described as the “Facebook of Tor.” It is also a source for dreadful headlines and sensational YouTube stories, and a communication and privacy attractive platform. Dark Web is as captivating as it is enticing.
Vineet cautioned every one and said “Many forums are available free of cost but one never knows that malware is attached with such free things. There is a lot of security issues to it. Attack and hacking can be caused even when accessing the site. It is better not to open them in case of curiosity too.”
Dark web and Deep web, both can get a netizen confused. No doubt the words are so close that one can confuse and interchange them.
Deep web refers to anything on the internet which isn’t indexed by traditional sites social media posts, pages with no follow search tags and intranet sites. It includes things behind the paywall or requires sign-in credentials. It hovers the Clearnet, the traditional internet, and mobile net used by billions of people around the world.
The Clearnet is secure and encryption used to move sheltered data from place to place. But the very nature of the clear internet is that anonymity is rare. IP addresses are constantly logged and easily traced. Cookies help web marketers track online activity and analyze customer behavior.
The dark web is a subset of the deep web that is deliberately hidden, demanding a specific browser-Tor-to-access it. No one really knows the size of the dark web. It is basically a network of sites with encrypted content, accessible only with a secure suite of secure browsing tools, like Tor.
Not all the dark webs are used for illicit purposes despite its ominous-sounding name.
It gives the memorable glimpse at the seedy underbelly of human understanding without the risk of sulking around in a dark alley.
Dark web Browser
Navigation in dark web is not easy. The place is chaotic and messy as one would expect when everyone is anonymous. Considerable of them are out there to fraud people. Crime is reckless. Black markets enable the morally libertine to profit handsome Bitcoin.
Tor is the Key to unlock the dark web. It is not completely malicious but not a safe place to visit.
Tor browser rotates web page requests through a series of proxy servers operated by thousands of volunteers around the globe, rendering IP address to unidentifiable and untraceable. Tor works like magic and so is its experience: unpredictable, unreliable, and maddeningly slow.
Dark websites look pretty much like any other site, but there are important differences.
One is the naming structure. Instead of ending in.com or.co, dark web sites end in .onion.
Tor browser offers the best-unidentified web browsing accessible today and researchers are hard to work improving Tor’s obscurity properties.
Scams: Be alert
It uses the scrambled naming structure that creates URLs that are often impossible to remember. Many dark websites are set up by scammers, who move around to avoid the wrath of their victims.
Even commerce sites that may have existed for a year or more can suddenly disappear if the owners decide to cash in and flee with the escrow money they are holding on behalf of consumers.
The anonymous nature of the Tor network also makes it susceptible to DDoS. Sites are constantly changing addresses to avoid DDoS. This makes for a very dynamic environment, as a result quality of search varies widely, and a lot of material is outdated.
Is Dark web Illegal?
“Dark web is not known for any positive thing. It is highly known for its illegal stuff. Although in many countries voices raised by media and activists are suppressed. They then participate through the dark web. But anything done here is illegal.” Says Vineet.
Everything on dark web is not despicable or illegal. Tor network began as an anonymous communications station, and it still sequences a purpose in helping people communicate in environments that are hostile to free speech.
There is also material that one would not be surprised to find on the public web, such as links to a full-text edition of hard to find text, collection of political news from mainstream websites, and a guide to the stream tunnels under the Virginia Tech campus. One can also conduct a discussion anonymously. Wikipedia has a dark web version as WikiLeaks and even Facebook has a dark web site. There is also plenty of practical value for some organizations.
Law enforcement agencies keep an eye on the dark web looking for stolen data from recent security breaches that might lead to a trail to the offenders. Many mainstream media organization monitors whistleblower sites looking for news.
“Dark web is known as a service network for cybercrime. Human rights and press freedom are the only good things found. But a lot of content like drugs, prostitution, child abuse, financial fraud, and cybercrime as a service is promoted. It is something like the Black market, once trapped is hard to come out. My advisory is very simple and clear. Stay away from Dark web” said Vineet.
Good knowledge is what matters, but one can get trapped in crime easily. No one can predict what may occur. Just do not buy anything on the dark web. The threats are much greater than the adventure. There is no clear answer to the dark web, but to browse safely.