What They are and What Law Enforcement is Doing to Combat Them 

Last week, the FBI joined a number of other U.S. law enforcement agencies in Operation Hyperion, a successful international action aimed at disrupting the operations and infrastructure of illicit DarkNet marketplaces.

The initiative was the brainchild of the Five Eyes Law Enforcement Group (FELEG), an international coalition of law enforcement agencies from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States who share criminal intelligence and collaborate on operations to combat transnational crime. FELEG has a number of working groups that concentrate on specific criminal or functional areas, and one of those groups—the Cyber Crime Working Group—focuses on identifying the sophisticated perpetrators operating key criminal services in the cyber underground marketplace.

But what are these underground marketplaces, and what exactly is the DarkNet? To understand both, you first have to have a basic understanding of the entire Internet.

  • First, there’s what’s known as the Clear Web, or Surface Web, which contains content for the general public that is indexed by traditional search engines (like websites for news, e-commerce, marketing, collaboration, and social networking). The FBI’s own public website is part of the Clear Web.
  • But there is a vast amount of web content out there on the Internet, and much of it is not indexed by traditional search engines—that part of the web is known as the Deep Web. Its content is still available to the general public, but it’s harder to find unless you have the exact URL. Examples of Deep Web content are websites and forums that require log-ins, websites that don’t allow for indexing or aren’t linked to anything, and databases.
  • And finally, there’s the DarkNet, which is a subset of the Deep Web. DarkNet content is not indexed and consists of overlaying networks that use the public Internet but require unique software, configuration, or authorization to access. And this access is predominately designed to hide the identity of the user.

There is some criminal activity—like fraud schemes—that takes place on the Clear Web and on the Deep Web. And there are some legitimate uses—and users—of the DarkNet. But because of the anonymity it offers, many criminals and criminal groups gravitate toward the DarkNet, often doing business through online marketplaces set up for nefarious purposes.

What’s available for sale through illicit DarkNet marketplaces? Typically, products and services involve child sexual exploitation; drugs; guns; chemical, biological, and radiological materials and knowledge; stolen goods; counterfeit goods; and computer hacking tools. Payment for these goods and services is usually through virtual currency like bitcoin, also designed to be anonymous.

On illicit DarkNet marketplaces—just like on legitimate online marketplaces on the Clear Web—buyers can also provide feedback on products and services, communicate through internal messaging, and take part in website forums. The difference, of course, is that the feedback, internal messaging, and forums on DarkNet marketplaces focus on topics like the quality of child pornography images, the potency of a particular poison, or the speed at which a cache of guns is mailed to its buyer.

Screenshot of a listing taken from the website of an illicit DarkNet marketplace featuring the various categories of illegal merchandise that buyers can browse through.

Shown is a screenshot of a listing taken from the website of an illicit DarkNet marketplace featuring the various categories of illegal merchandise that buyers can browse through.

In its investigative efforts against DarkNet marketplaces, the FBI—much like in our other criminal priorities—focuses its resources not on individual criminals but on the most egregious criminal organizations and activities.

Illicit DarkNet marketplaces, by their very nature, are difficult to penetrate. But not impossible. The Bureau, with its partners, uses all available investigative techniques to target buyers, sellers, marketplace administrators, and the technical infrastructure of the marketplaces themselves. And we have had success doing it.

For example, in November 2014, federal law enforcement took action against more than 400 hidden service DarkNet addresses, including dozens of illicit marketplace websites operating on what is known as the Onion Router, or Tor, network, which was designed to make it practically impossible to physically locate the computers hosting or accessing websites on the network. One of the most prolific websites taken down as a result of those investigative activities was Silk Road 2.0—and the website’s operator was arrested and charged.

Successes like this are vital. Yes, they allow us to dismantle illicit websites and go after those responsible for them. But they also enable us to develop actionable intelligence on other websites, criminals, and criminal organizations. And the knowledge we gain from these investigations helps us create more sophisticated investigative tools to shine a brighter light into criminal activity on the DarkNet.

Source : fbi

Categorized in Deep Web

The deep web and its inner recess, the dark web — those less well-trodden parts of the internet beyond the reach of Google and Bing — are not for the faint-hearted or untrained. With the right tools, however, there's little to fear and plenty to discover. Here's how you can start exploring the deep web without having to worry about your digital well-being.

There are a few ways to approach this, but we're going to focus on one of the most straightforward and secure for simplicity's sake. We're going to be using Tails OS, a bootable operating system that includes everything you need to get down to those hidden parts of the web.

If you're still unclear about what the deep web is, it's any part of the internet that's not indexed by search engines — anywhere you can't get from just clicking links. A large part of the deep web is made up of .onion sites (like the infamous Silk Road), which use a special top-level domain only reachable by a special browser called Tor. Technically, the dark web is a more illicit subsection of the deep web, though the terms are often confused.

For the curious or privacy-conscious internet explorer, it's worth checking out to see what lies beyond the internet we interact with on a day to day basis. But please note: you should be extra careful when clicking links on the deep web as some can lead to illegal sites. Browse at your own risk.

Downloading and installing Tails

How to Search the Deep Web Safely

Fortunately Tails has an installation wizard that guides you step-by-step through the process of setting up the software — if you want to create a bootable USB copy of Tails (which we do) then you need a Windows machine and two 4GB+ USB sticks (the first is for an "intermediary" version of the OS).

You're also going to require Firefox, the Tor Browser or a BitTorrent client in order to verify the initial download and confirm it is what it says it is. On top of that you need a Universal USB Installer utility, which the installation wizard directs you to, which will take care of creating the first USB stick using your downloaded Tails ISO.

How to Search the Deep Web Safely

After that's done, boot from this newly created drive to configure the second one. This official guide takes you carefully through the process. Use the Install by cloning option in the Tails Installer to create your second USB stick, which includes some security enhancements and extras not built into the first one.

Finally, remove the first USB stick, keep the second in place, and boot from it. You're now ready to start venturing out into the deep web. If you run into trouble (and we hit one or two obstacles along the way), then a general web search for your issue or the official Tails support portal should get you moving again.

Browsing the deep web

How to Search the Deep Web Safely

The Tor Browser is your gateway into the dark web — you can actually use it on Mac and Windows too, but Tails OS adds an extra few layers of security, and comes with Tor included. The browser is based on Firefox, so you shouldn't have many problems finding your way around, and will open the Tails OS homepage by default.

As you might expect, browsing the deep web isn't quite as simple as clicking on a few links or searching Google. The best way in is through 'hidden' wikis like this one (note you won't be able to click through on any onion links without the Tor browser) and various others you can find via Reddit or with some clever web searching on sites like DuckDuckGo.

How to Search the Deep Web Safely

Of course the whole point of the deep web is that casual internet users can't simply fire up Google or read a guide like this to get started easily — so finding working, up-to-date links and directories can take some time. Forums, plenty of patience, and occasionally the Torch search engine are your best bets for finding a way into new communities.

The deep web has a reputation for shady activity, but it's also a place for whistleblowing, bitcoin exchanges, and political discussion away from the glare of the public internet. It's changed a lot in recent years as security agencies have become more aware of its presence, and it will continue to evolve in the future.

Staying safe on the deep web

How to Search the Deep Web Safely

The Tor browser protects you by routing your traffic through various different IP locations (and you'll probably notice your web connection slows down a lot as a result).

And as we've already mentioned, Tails OS includes extra security features like built-in encryption, and because you're running it on a USB stick you really are leaving no trace. Tails itself stands for The Amnesiac Incognito Live System, which just about sums up why it's one of the best options for some deep web browsing.

How to Search the Deep Web Safely


Don't compromise that security and anonymity by giving away personal details, including email addresses and so on, and keep downloading to a minimum. Once you've setup Tails, it's generally common sense — but if you're up to something illegal, you can't rely on these security measures to protect you.

As for whether using Tor will get you in trouble with the authorities on its own, it largely depends where in the world you live and what you're doing with it, but it's worth bearing in mind that nothing is ever 100 per cent anonymous and secure. For the most paranoid, there's always the option of tape over the webcam — but sometimes even that might not be enough.

Source : lifehacker

Categorized in Search Engine

The function of the dark web is to provide anonymity to those who would like to protect their privacy and keep their real-world identity unknown.

Cyber criminals have always taken advantage of this aspect leading to the dark web being associated with mostly illegal activities including but not limited to drug dealing, weapons, and stolen data are among others.

However, operating within the dark web platforms does not guarantee safety from the law.

On October the 5th, a man from Wallingford, Connecticut was arrested by the federal authorities due to a criminal complaint that was filed against him.

Michael Richo, 34, is being charged with crimes such as access device fraud, identity theft, money laundering, wire fraud and computer fraud.

The complaint is in regards to his involvement in an elaborate phishing scheme targeting bitcoin users on the dark web.

This announcement was made by Special Agent Patricia M. Ferrick and Deirdre M. Daly, a day after Michael Richo’s arrest.

Agent Ferrick is the one in charge with New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation while Daly is The United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut.

Michael was allegedly caught illegally acquiring the identities and digital currencies of dark web users, this activity threatens to hand him more than 50 years imprisonment.


A 34-year-old man from is being charged with operating a dark web phishing scheme that was designed to steal bitcoins from the accounts of unsuspecting users.
A 34-year-old man from is being charged with operating a dark web phishing scheme that was designed to steal bitcoins from the accounts of unsuspecting users.

He would then log into the real dark net markets using the usernames and passwords and monitor their bitcoin transactions.

At this point, it was very easy for him to withdraw the bitcoins once a user deposited them to the actual marketplace.

He had his own account where he would transfer the bitcoins before the dark web users could make purchases with the crypto currency.

He proceeded to trade the bitcoins to other dark web users in exchange for fiat US dollar.

The fiat currency was later deposited to a bank account under his control.

At the moment, there is no information from the authorities on the exact number of bitcoins that were stolen or their total value in US dollars.

According to the complaint, Michael Rico managed to acquire more than 10,000 passwords and usernames using the phishing scheme, all of which he had saved on his computer.


Michael Rico is currently a free man on a $100,000 bond after appearing before a Magistrate Judge in New Haven.

He was released on the same day he was arrested.

Federal authorities stated that the maximum sentence he would serve in prison if he is found guilty of all the aforementioned charges is 57 years.

The prosecutor is Neeraj N. Patel, Assistant U.S. Attorney.

Although, there is a small possibility that he may not be given the maximum sentence if convicted.

The Department of Justice and law enforcement agencies have been bold in their efforts to tracking and bringing to justice the cyber criminals operating on the dark corners of the internet.

This will not be the first case related to the bitcoin crypto currency that the Department of Justice will be dealing with.

An almost similar case was handled by a federal grand jury earlier this year and was the first bitcoin-related dark web case for the Department of Justice.

In that case, three men from New York were charged with operating an unlicensed money transmitting business (bitcoin exchange business), this includes money laundering conspiracy, transacting in criminally acquired property among others.

Two of the men were given the maximum sentence for the said crime.

Michael Richo’s case could go in the same direction.

The wire fraud and money laundering charges carry a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years each.

The access device fraud and computer fraud have a maximum prison term of 10 years and 5 years respectively.

The charge with the least prison term is the aggravated identity theft charge that warrants a mandatory two-year sentence.

Michael Richo’s case is still under investigation by the FBI and as it stands, he cannot be considered guilty of any of these crimes yet.

Source : darkwebnews

Categorized in Deep Web

What is the Deep Web? What is the Dark Web? These are questions that tend to arise when we hear the term in many popular spy movies and TV shows today. It is a term that is used to describe a collection of websites that are visible but are very masterfully hidden from the general public. Most of these websites hide their IP addresses, which makes it impossible to identify who is behind the screen. 


These websites can’t be accessed via your standard browsers like Chrome and Firefox. These websites are not indexed on Google or Yahoo either. Some of these websites are useful and some I would not dare visit again. You can buy anything illegal from many of these websites;

you can buy a gun or a kilo of marijuana from Mexico. You can hire a hitman or even buy yourself a fake identity. The Deep Web is a murky place and I happened to explore it at length to find out what the fuck goes on in there. 

How Does it Work?

Almost every website in the Dark Web uses an encryption tool called TOR. It also acts as a browser and many of these websites have a .tor domain, something you cannot access through any regular browser.  Tor or Onion Routing is a free software that was developed by the United States Naval Research Lab for anonymous communication. The reason why it is also known as Onion routing is because the Internet is much like an onion and has many layers. 

What is The Dark Web?

The internet that we know of consists of 8 billion websites from all over the world, and what’s shocking to know is that traffic to websites like Facebook, Google, Amazon and any other page that uses HTTPS or .com as a domain, only contributes to only 4% of web content on the internet.  These websites are only on the ‘surface web’. 96% of the digital universe is predominantly present in the deep web. These websites are protected by passwords and cannot be traced to their owners. 

What is The Dark Web?

Not all Dark Websites in the Deep Web use TOR encryption. Some websites like the all-new Silk Road Reloaded use a similar service called I2P.  Silk Road was (maybe still is) a website for purchasing and selling recreational drugs.  Silk Road was the first modern black market website that caught too much heat and the owner was arrested and was incarcerated recently.  We will be talking about online marketplaces in the Deep Web a bit later. 

Is it the Deep Web or The Dark Web? 

You might think the terms are co-related but these terms tend to be different in definition. They don’t mean the same thing, as Deep Web is a term used for ALL websites that are present in the network including ‘Dark Web’ sites. Deep Web consists of all sorts of data which is boring and present for mundane reasons. 

However, it is exciting and scary to talk about Dark Websites in general. 

What Is The Dark Web And What The Hell Is Going On In There?

The Dark web is a part of the Deep Web and it requires specialised tools and equipment to access. These websites are deep underground and the owners of the websites have very good reason to keep their content hidden. 

Because of its nature, we cannot possibly fathom or determine how many websites actually exist with malicious content, but as I was researching the Deep Web, I came across some horrific websites that I would like to elaborate on. 

Online Black Market Marketplaces

What is The Dark Web?

The most visited websites in the Deep Web are mostly marketplaces that sell illegal drugs, pharmaceutical products and even pirated games. According to Trend Micro, an internet security firm, the user base that visits these websites normally like to buy and sell the following drugs:

What is The Dark Web?© BCCL

What is The Dark Web?© BCCL

What is The Dark Web?

The deep web provides a platform for anonymity and that is the best motivation for people to engage in illegal activities. There is a cybercriminal underground and these activities can have drastic effects in the real world. Recently, the founder of Silk Road, Ross William Ulbricht, or better known as Dread Pirate Roberts, was accused of money laundering, murder for hire, computer hacking, conspiracy to traffic fraudulent identities and conspiracy to traffic narcotics. You might be asking why? That’s because his website ‘Silk Road’ enabled people to sell all of these services. Think of Silk Road as the Amazon of illegal substances and services. 

What is The Dark Web?

The availability of illegal drugs is easily accessible and varies a lot on the Deep Web. Many of these websites sell cocaine, cannabis, and psychedelics amongst others. 

What is The Dark Web?

What is The Dark Web?

The Dark Web Is A Fucked Up Place Where You Can Buy Illegal Guns, Fake Money, Have People Killed. This Is What We Found

There’s even a search engine called ‘Grams’ that indexes and allows people to easily search Deep Web sites that sell illegal drugs. Hell, they even mimicked the Google logo to set themselves apart from other competing websites.  

Money Laundering and Counterfeiting 

In the Deep Web, you never use your regular credit card or your debit card to buy stuff. Hell, you don’t even use PayPal for these services. A virtual currency called ‘Bitcoin’ is the dominant mode of payment and it is a currency designed keeping anonymity in mind. It is the ideal currency for illegal activities which is outside of the control of traditional banks and governments. 

What is The Dark Web?

There are services available on the Deep web which makes it even harder for authorities to track your Bitcoin transactions. These services mix your Bitcoins through spidey networks and return them to you. Of course, they charge a small processing fee but this way it remains impossible to track. 

What is The Dark Web?

Bitcoins can be exchanged for real cash; however, there is a wide availability of fraudulent currency on the Deep Web. This counterfeit cash is available to buy in bulk or per order basis. They are almost identical to the real thing and are made of 100% Cotton Linen Paper, which is used in most paper money today.

These bills even have the appropriate watermark to make them look legit and can also fool any infrared checker that you commonly see in Bank today. Most of these bills can be detected by an infrared scanner but that does not prevent people from buying or selling it. These websites offer $20 Bills for half the price and other websites also offer Euros and Yen. 


According to research by Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), the most popular items sold on the dark web are illegal drugs. MDMA and Marijuana are the most popular items sold, however, the sale of guns and other forms of weapons are catching up.  There is a dedicated website called The Armory, where users can buy all kinds of illegal firearms and explosives. And get this...they ship it all over the world!What is The Dark Web?

These sites have made it hard for authorities to effectively monitor them and it seems like the situation is not going to get better anytime soon. 

Passports and Citizenships 

What is The Dark Web?

Owning an American or an EU passport is one of the most valuable assets when it comes to travel and citizenship benefits. Being an American or an EU citizen certainly has its perks. They act not only as a document that will let you cross borders but one can open bank accounts, apply for loans, purchase property and even get state benefits if you are a citizen of a specific country. Unique documents like Passports and other powerful documents are faked and sold on the dark web. There are plenty of websites that claim to sell identical passports and driver licenses. They vary in price from country to country. 

What is The Dark Web?

What is The Dark Web?

In fact, the founder of Silk Road, Dread Pirate Roberts, was caught because he ordered dozens of Fake IDs on the deep web in order to hide his identity from the FBI. These fake IDs were caught by the FBI and showed how extensive and accurate some of these documents can be. 

Child Pornography 

I am not even going to dignify this topic with a full blown paragraph, since it is simply inhumane and disgusting even talking about this. Child pornography is present in stupendous quantity and it needs to stop right now. Just make sure you don’t click on that Twitter logo if you ever decide to explore the dark web. 

The Deep Web was invented with the sole purpose of fulfilling the genuine need of freedom and anonymity. It’s used by Governments to communicate with each other during a crisis, and journalists use it to leak documents that wouldn’t normally be available on the surface web. Civilians used it during the Egyptian crisis and it denotes that the Deep Web has far more use for good than evil. 

What is The Dark Web?© BCCL

Cybercrime has emerged to be the dominant form of usage for users from across the globe. It is the platform for obscurity and protection these cybercriminals need in order to operate. It gives them an edge over law and order and they have been polluting a space that might be the future of anonymity in due time. 

We here at Mensxp pay no heed to the Dark Web and we do not endorse or encourage you to start taking part in any illegal activity or immoral behaviour.   

Source : mensxp

Categorized in Deep Web

Good news for security teams in businesses and government organizations all around the world, Matchlight is now available for public use.

Terbium Labs has recently announced the release of the automated data intelligence system for general use.

Here is how the release of Matchlight is going to affect data theft, which is one of the building blocks of the dark web.


Ever since the inception of its beta version in June 2015, Matchlight sparked the interests of numerous security firms within organizations as it offered very innovative and highly effective information security measures.

Following its public release, small and medium-scaled businesses can finally catch a reprieve as it offers highly effective information security measures at a fraction of the original cost.

Prior to Matchlight, detecting an information breach on the dark web takes an average of 200 days in addition to numerous resources and the manpower required to track down leads.

In comparison, Matchlight takes a matter of minutes to detect an information breach with pinpoint accuracy and runs 24/7.

The automated data intelligence system can be privatized within organizations using data fingerprinting technology that allows the user to create a one-way digital signature in order to protect any sensitive information that is detected on the dark web.

Matchlight is based on a massive dark web search engine which scans every recess of the encrypted platform for any information it has been programmed to detect.

Matchlight poses a significant threat to the growth and continuity of dark web which is heavily based on stolen credit card information among other sensitive organizational data.

Round-the-clock monitoring and the low cost affordability of the information security software remains a tantalizing prospect especially for small and medium scale businesses with limitedresources that undergo a significant number of attacks from hackers.

Matchlight to Improve Data Breach Response Time

Matchlight is an automated intelligence system from Terbium Labs which allows a company to monitor their most critical information through a user-friendly API.
Matchlight is an automated intelligence system from Terbium Labs which allows a company to monitor their most critical information through a user-friendly API.

Data response delays can have adverse effects on an organization especially following the breach of sensitive information by hackers and other malicious parties on dark web.


A speedy response is the key to controlling the damage caused by the loss of an organization’s sensitive information and Matchlight seeks to drastically shorten the amount of time it takes to detect a data breach.

Organizations using the information security software will have at their disposal swifter data breach detection, round the clock monitoring and enhanced privacy which, when compared to hiring teams of data analysts and security specialists, is a lot more cheaper.

Automated System Constantly Updates as the Dark Web Expands

One notable edge Matchlight will have over tradition data breach intelligence is that the information obtained will be 100% authentic.

Digital signatures play a huge role in ensuring that the users only get alerted when fingerprints of the monitored information becomes available on the dark web.

As for the rapidly expanding dark web, the automated information security system is well-equipped to keep up with the growth of the dark web, enabling you to gain access to numerous data sources.

Better yet, organizations will benefit from the user-ready information which saves a lot of time and resources spent to crunch raw data into something that can actually be of use to the organization.

Key Features

Included in its suite of services are the following features:

  • Retrospective search.
  • Data analysis for enhanced data monitoring.
  • Live data feeds which include the monitoring of highlighted keywords, credit information and identification numbers.
  • Private exact-string fingerprint monitoring with a resolution of as low as 14 characters.

Matchlight currently attracts a monthly fee of $5 per record and enables search access for up to 600 records every month.

Terbium Labs has effectively stepped up the war against information theft and possibly commenced the decline of the dark web itself.

Source : darkwebnews

Categorized in Deep Web

One of the main issues that affect Information and Communication networks today is the increasing prevalence of cybercrimes.

Cybercrimes are deliberate efforts to access and leverage information technology networks by unauthorized parties primarily for unlawful reasons.

The main motivation behind cyber-attacks is often damage, sabotage, ransom or theft.

In September 2016, The Los Angeles Times published a report about a hacking incident on WestPark Capital, an investment bank based in Los Angeles, California. 

The hacking attack was orchestrated by the hacking group known as TheDarkOverlord, who has leaked around 20 documents online.

According to reports, the CEO of WestPark Capital, Richard Rappaport, declined to pay the initial ransom that the hacking group requested.

This decision prompted TheDarkOverlord to release the files, and it threatens to disclose much more if their demands are not met.


At the moment, the real identity of TheDarkOverlord remains unknown. It is even not clear whether this entity is a group of hackers or a lone hacker.

TheDarkOverlord, conveniently named after a comic book villain, came into the public limelight when the hacking group attempted to extort healthcare facilities in June this year.

The hacking group claimed to have stolen 10 million patient’s insurance records including three medical databases containing information relating to more than 600,000 patients. The data contained everything from social security numbers, contact information, addresses, medical records, and insurance coverage.

TheDarkOverlord threatened to sell this information on the online black market if the ransoms were not paid.

The ramifications of this data breach were significant as the information could be easily used for criminal activities including fraud and identity theft.

True to their word, the hacking group did put the information on offer in batches going upwards from $100,000.

These events earlier this year show that TheDarkOverlord is serious about leaking the WestPark Capital’s data.

During the healthcare systems hack, this hacking group apparently called a number of the patients and informed them that their information was going to be leaked or sold online.

A journalist who communicated with the hacker through an encrypted chat was a testament to this.

As such, the data breach at WestPark Capital could have serious consequences for the affected parties.


The WestPark Capital hacking incident reveals a worrying direction in cybercrime.

TheDarkLord released about 20 files, containing background checks on key individuals, Social Security numbers, non-disclosure agreements, contracts, reports, internal presentations, and private stock offering information.

According to estimates by John Bambenek, the initial ransom that the hacking group demanded was more than $1 million.

Bambenek is the threat systems manager for Fidelis Cyber Security.

This amount could be the “handsome proposal” made to Richard Rappaport that TheDarkOverlord was referring to during their online chat with Motherboard.

The bank’s failure to pay this amount is probably the motivation behind the hacking group leaks.

It is relatively safe to assume that investigations are currently underway to find out exactly how the hacking group managed to execute the data breach.

According to a report by FTSE Global Markets, Jamie Moles, a cyber-security consultant, speculates on the possible weak link that could have facilitated the hack.

Moles pointed out the network perimeter security implemented by WestPark Capital.

The investment bank’s failure at limiting the number of IP addresses authorized to access their network remotely could have been their undoing.

The hacking group themselves stated that their access to WestPark’s data was aided by vulnerabilities in Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol lending credibility to Jamie Moles’s speculations.

However, without conclusive data from the investigations, the hacking methodology remains open to debate.

This attack stands out as it adds to this year’s trend in online extortion.

For some time, institutions have mostly been focusing on ransomware attacks. Ransomware attacks are whereby cybercriminals encrypt company data and demand ransom for its decryption.

While these types of attacks can be mitigated through backup systems and other cyber security measures, the WestPark Capital attack where data is stolen is much more difficult to manage.

Since hacking groups like TheDarkOverlord usually threaten to damage a company’s reputation, payment of the ransom would be the path of least resistance for many organizations.

It seems like cybercrime is getting more and more sophisticated and may prove to be a major networking pain point in years to come.

Source : darkwebnews

Categorized in Deep Web

The internet has no doubt revolutionized the way we communicate. It has also increased the allure of committing a crime.

This is how Zhe Wang, a former University of Buffalo engineering student, found himself committing offenses he’d never imagined.



How you ask?

Zhe Wang had used the dark web, a collection of internet websites that are encrypted, to purchase drugs, and then sold most of it to make a profit. When the authorities aren’t watching, anything goes on the dark web.

From selling stolen data to drug trafficking, the dark web has become a breeding ground for criminals.

But how do they conduct the transactions undetected? Bitcoins are the primary currency used on the sites. Bitcoin is a form of digital currency that is not regulated by any authority.

You buy bitcoins of a particular value and use them for transactions. Although bitcoin is not intended to be used for crime, the anonymity it gives continues to make it a favorite among criminals.

Last year, in 2015, Zhe Wang had purchased Xanax worth about seventy-four thousand dollars in bitcoins from an online marketplace on the dark web.

He intended to resell the control substance to earn a good profit. Xanax is a tranquilizer commonly prescribed for anxiety and panic attacks.

It causes the user to have a feeling of relaxation. When used together with alcohol, it increases the effects of alcohol causing the user to get “high” faster. It is a very addictive drug.

The high rates of substance abuse in campuses makes the sale of Xanax a very profitable trade.

Could the high number of Xanax users on campus have pushed Zhe Wang’s decision to sell the drug?

Zhe Wang, a 20-year-old Queens resident, was born in China but moved to the United States with his parents at the age of four. He was one of the three individuals held in custody.

He pleaded guilty to two federal counts in Buffalo Federal Court. Wang admitted to charges leveled against him of conspiracy to distribute controlled substance and money laundering.

When asked by US District Judge Richard J. Arcara how he got involved in something like this, he answered, “I ask myself the same question every day.”

Source : darkwebnews

Categorized in Deep Web

Five hackers are behind the most recent tech company hacks, according to a report from a cybersecurity research firm. This finding was announced after the recent Yahoo breach where a link was discovered, connecting the breach to previous exploitations.

Andrew Komarov, Chief Intelligence Officer of InfoArmor claims many of the reports on recent database breaches are considerably inaccurate. The hacks executed against Yahoo, Dropbox, LinkedIn, and Tumblr are all attributed to “Group E,” a small European hacking group. The Group E hackers perform large-scale database breaches and profit from selling the information to the highest bidder.

In an interview with the The Register, Komarov says that Group E deals with brokers to sell the massive data hauls. One such broker is registered on several underground communities as “tessa88.” Tessa88 was the first recorded individual to mention Yahoo had been hacked and that accounts were for sale. The broker then acted as a proxy between Group E and potential buyers on the deepweb.


Shortly after the LinkedIn breach was publicized, tessa88 posted on an underground forum that Yahoo credentials were available. By following conversations on these hidden forums, InfoArmor was able to discover the aforementioned connection between breaches.



The forum user who routinely interacted with tessa88 proceeded to list the database dumps for sale on various marketplaces. In this case, the listings were posted on TheRealDeal marketplace.

InfoArmor explains:

The actor “Peace_of_Mind” (PoM), well known for his activities at “The Real Deal Market” (TRDM) and “The Hell” forum, after identifying his post regarding the stolen data at one of the underground forums, contacts tessa88 and proposes some sort of cooperation [partnership] in exchange for some of his data.

Subsequent to this engagement, the databases initially published for sale by tessa88 are then resold by Peace_of_Mind in TOR network at TRDM. This is an interesting example of cooperation between a Russian speaking threat actor and an English speaking actor, demonstrating that cybercrime is an entirely transnational issue.

By following this pattern, InfoArmor found that the most recent database breaches ended up for sale on TheRealDeal or the Hell Forum. The vendors who published the listings directly corresponded with tessa88. Komarov says tessa88 is the main connection between Group E and a second group known as “For Hell.”


The second group of hackers, using the same broker, consists of high profile hackers behind similarly scaled data breaches. One of the most recognizable members is thedarkoverlord (TDO), the notorious electronic healthcare record hacker. TDO hacked millions of healthcare records from companies spanning the United States and is the subject of several major investigations.


The majority of the data sold by the For Hell group of hackers is simply data redistributed from Group E. An example of this can be seen in the relationship between Peace_of_Mind (POM) and tessa88. Following forum exchanges between the two, POM lists breached databases on TheRealDeal marketplace.


The relationship between POM and tessa88 has been well-established by InfoArmor. However, the security firm identifies some distrust between tessa88 and the For Hell group:

Peace_of_Mind also makes claims regarding tessa88, as he determined that some of the acquired data was misrepresented or falsified, not including any additional information regarding successful decryption of hashes and/or having absolutely no relationship to resources he was claiming had been exposed. For example, “LeakedSource,” another partner of tessa88 acquired the same data through the chain of proxies and mentions that the published Dropbox dump for sale is actually Tumblr.

In August, POM listed the Yahoo dump on TheRealDeal marketplace.


Yahoo never announced or acknowledged a hack until after POM began advertising the Yahoo dump. While the validity of POM’s dump is still unknown, Komarov claims the Group E attack compromised likely double what Yahoo announced. Evaluating the Peace_of_Mind claims regarding 200,000,000 compromises, the actual database includes 500,000,000 Yahoo users. The entirety of the database hacked by Group E has not been published online.

The Yahoo dump sold by POM is provided in the following structure:


Source: deepdotweb.com

Categorized in Deep Web

You may often read or hear things about the so-called deep web and dark web, but often it is not explained as to what these are exactly and if there actually a difference.  In a nutshell, the deep web refers to the whole background behind the 4.7 plus billion websites on the internet, while the dark web is a subset of that.  Read on to learn a little more about these two terms and when they may be used.

Deep web:  When people talk about the deep web what they are actually referring to is all the emails, social media profiles, subscriptions, and all the information you need to fill out a form to access. It is all the stuff that makes up the internet that most users don’t see as is hidden from search engines and for that reason are often subject to a various criminal activity being carried out through it.

Dark web:  As mentioned previously, the dark web is a subsection of the deep web as is where the various criminal activity takes place including those involving pedophiles, drug dealers and terrorists and the dark web’s marketplace is said to generate more than $500,000 per day. This is made possible through the lack of DNS and IP addresses and allows near total anonymity for those hosting the websites.

The dark web is only accessible through special software that allows users to become untraceable to most people.  However, the dark web is constantly monitored by the FBI to a certain degree, and it’s very easy to get caught up in something illegal if you visit it.  So, to keep safe and on the right side of the law, don’t bother with it.  It really isn’t worth it.

Source : trendintech

Categorized in Deep Web

The results of a survey conducted by Centre for International Governance Innovation, a think-tank body in Canada, have shown that people wanted the dark web to be shut down.

The dark web is a collection of websites that are not indexed by popular search engines and it can be accessed only by using specialized software.

So much so, it has been used to secure many a dubious deal: from selling stolen identities and arms to dangerous and banned drugs.

However, the reputation of the dark net amongst the public has been on a downslide with the suspected connection of the online anonymity offered by these websites and the recent terror attacks.

Results of a survey that were released recently pointed to the fact that about 71 percent of the survey respondents stated that they wanted the dark web to be shut down.

The survey encompassed 24,000 individuals in over 24 countries. Of those Americans whose opinions were taken, about 72 percent surveyed responded that the darknet should be shut down.

The basic perception of the darknet tended to be negative among the majority that responded and the feeling that it is harmful was predominant. According to Eric Jardine, a Tor researcher and a CIGI fellow, most respondents felt that darknet did not belong to the class of useful technology.

However, the CIGI researchers offered a three-line description about the dark web: as a part of the web that may be accessed using specialized browsers and as a place that can be used by journalists, whistleblowers, and rights activists to put down corruption and exercise freedom of expression.

It was also a place used by cyber criminals for child abuse or to sell illegal drugs and arms and hide from law enforcement agencies. This was done to give a clear idea to the respondents as to the current status so that they can answer the survey questions with clarity.

Even with the researchers’ prompt in mind about the dark web, most of the respondents of the survey gave the opinion that it should be shut down.

Countries that were most negative in their responses were Indonesia, Mexico and India wherein 4 out of 5 favored shutting it down.

Even darknet-friendly nations such as Hong Kong and Sweden had close to 61 percent of the respondents voting for its shutdown.

According to Jardine, the negative perceptions have not been removed even after the close-down of Silk Road 2.0 and other bitcoin drug marketplaces and child porn sites.

Jardine also opines that the overall opinion of the respondents to close down the dark web is just a knee jerk reaction when they hear that it is being used for criminal purposes.

It clouds the mind to such an extent that the possibility of using the same dark web to rally against repression of human rights does not find a place in their minds at all.kate-krauss

kate-kraussThe Tor Project spokesperson Kate Krauss however, opined that Tor allowed for freedom of human expression. This was in response to the CIGI survey.

Whereas countries that had a tradition of protest were more in favor of the dark web (e.g., Hong Kong), some other countries like Mexico and India where there were recent incidents of drug-related or terrorist violence were of the opinion that dark web should be shut down.

Though the CIGI survey took place earlier in time than the Belgium and Paris attacks, 76 percent of French respondents wanted dark web to be pulled down.

The numbers have gone up after the darknet related comments issued by the French Interior Minister after the Brussels airport attack. It was initially reported that the ISIS Paris attackers had purportedly purchased their arms from the darknet market though this was later discredited.

According to the survey, some respondents who felt that dark web should be closed down also had a feeling that they were being monitored when they were online (62 percent) and information was being censored (54 percent) by governmental agencies.

Paradoxically, the dark web tools are designed to counteract these two very problems.

Source : Dark Web News

Categorized in Deep Web

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