We explain the Dark Web, how it differs from the Deep Web, and how to access the Dark Web using Tor.

The internet is a much, much bigger place than you probably realise. You know about Facebook, Google, BBC iPlayer and Amazon, but do you really know what's lurking beyond those user-friendly and respectable websites? 

This is but a tiny corner of the internet, and the Dark Web and the Deep Web loom in much shadier corners. Using Tor you can access them, but should you even want to visit the Dark Web or the Deep Web?

Let's take a tour to help you make up your mind.

What is the Dark Web?

The Dark Web is a term that refers specifically to a collection of websites that exist on an encrypted network and cannot be found by using traditional search engines or visited by using traditional browsers.

Almost all sites on the so-called Dark Web hide their identity using the Tor encryption tool. You may know Tor for its ability to hide your identity and activity. You can use Tor to spoof your location so it appears you're in a different country to where you're really located, making it much like using a VPN service.

When a website is run through Tor it has much the same effect.

Indeed, it multiplies the effect. To visit a site on the Dark Web that is using Tor encryption, the web user needs to be using Tor. Just as the end user's IP address is bounced through several layers of encryption to appear to be at another IP address on the Tor network, so is that of the website.

There are several layers of magnitude more secrecy than the already secret act of using Tor to visit a website on the open internet - for both parties.

Thus, sites on the Dark Web can be visited by anyone, but it is very difficult to work out who is behind the sites. And it can be dangerous if you slip up and your identity is discovered.

You can also read our in-depth guide to using Tor if you want to know more about using the web anonymously and sending messages securely. 

Why would I want to use the Dark Web?

Not all Dark Web sites use Tor. Some use similar services such as I2P, for example, the Silk Road Reloaded. But the principle remains the same. The visitor has to use the same encryption tool as the site and - crucially - know where to find the site, in order to type in the URL and visit.

Infamous examples of Dark Web sites include the Silk Road and its offspring. The Silk Road was (and maybe still is) a website for the buying and selling of recreational drugs and a lot more scary things besides. But there are also legitimate uses for the Dark Web. (Also see: Is it legal to buy drugs online?)

People operating within closed, totalitarian societies can use the Dark Web to communicate with the outside world. And given recent revelations about the US- and UK government snooping on web use, you may feel it is sensible to take your communication on to the Dark Web.

The Dark Web hit the headlines in August 2015 (and many times since) after it was reported that 10GB of data stolen from Ashley Madison, a site designed to enable bored spouses to cheat on their partners, was dumped on to the Dark Web.

Hackers stole the data and threatened to upload it to the web if the site did not close down, and they eventually acted on that threat. Now the spouses of Ashley Madison users have received blackmail letters demanding they pay $2500 in Bitcoin or have the infidelity exposed.

In March 2015 the UK government launched a dedicated cybercrime unit to tackle the Dark Web, with a particular focus on cracking down on serious crime rings and child pornography. The National Crime Agency (NCA) and UK intelligence outfit GCHQ are together creating the Joint Operations Cell (JOC).

What is the Deep Web?

Although all of these terms tend to be used interchangeably, they don't refer to exactly the same thing. An element of nuance is required. The 'Deep Web' refers to all web pages that search engines cannot find.

Thus the 'Deep Web' includes the 'Dark Web', but also includes all user databases, webmail pages, registration-required web forums, and pages behind paywalls. There are huge numbers of such pages, and most exist for mundane reasons.

We have a 'staging' version of all of our websites that is blocked from being indexed by search engines, so we can check stories before we set them live. Thus for every page publicly available on this website (and there are literally millions), there is another on the Deep Web.

The content management system into which I am typing this article is on the Deep Web. So that is another page for every page that is on the live site. Meanwhile our work intranet is hidden from search engines, and requires a password. It has been live for nearly 20 years, so there are plenty of pages there.

Use an online bank account? The password-protected bits are on the Deep Web. And when you consider how many pages just one Gmail account will create, you understand the sheer size of the Deep Web.

This scale is why newspapers and mainstream news outlets regularly trot out scare stories about '90 percent of the internet' consisting of the Dark Web. They are confusing the generally dodgy Dark Web with the much bigger and generally more benign Deep Web.

What is the Dark Internet?

Confusingly, 'Dark Internet' is also a term sometimes used to describe further examples of networks, databases or even websites that cannot be reached over the internet. In this case either for technical reasons, or because the properties contain niche information that few people will want, or in some cases because the data is private.

A basic rule of thumb is that while the phrases 'Dark Web' or 'Deep Web' are typically used by tabloid newspapers to refer to dangerous secret online worlds, the 'Dark Internet' is a boring place where scientists store raw data for research.

How to access the Dark Web

Technically, this is not a difficult process. You simply need to install and use Tor. Go to www.torproject.org and download the Tor Browser Bundle, which contains all the required tools. Run the downloaded file, choose an extraction location, then open the folder and click Start Tor Browser. That's it.

The Vidalia Control Panel will automatically handle the randomised network setup and, when Tor is ready, the browser will open; just close it again to disconnect from the network.

Depending on what you intend to do on the Dark Web, some users recommend placing tape over your laptop's webcam to prevent prying eyes watching you. A tinfoil hat is also an option. If you're reading this to find out about torrent files, check out our separate guide on how to use torrent sites in the UK.

The difficult thing is knowing where to look on the Dark Web. There, reader, we leave you to your own devices and wish you good luck and safe surfing. And a warning before you go any further. Once you get into the Dark Web, you *will* be able to access those sites to which the tabloids refer. This means that you could be a click away from sites selling drugs and guns, and - frankly - even worse things.

Aggregation sites such as Reddit offer lists of links, as do several Wikis, including http://thehiddenwiki.org/  - a list that offers access to some very bad places. Have a quick look by all means, but please don't take our linking to it as an endorsement. It really isn't.

Also, Dark Web sites do go down from time to time, due to their dark nature. But if you want good customer service, stay out of the dark!

And do heed our warning: this article is intended as a guide to what is the Dark Web - not an endorsement or encouragement for you to start behaving in illegal or immoral behavior.

Source: This article was published techadvisor.co.uk By Matt Egan

Categorized in Deep Web
For more than 20 years, researchers have worked to conceptualize methods for making web searching more comprehensive—going beyond the surface sites that are easily accessed by today’s search engines to truly create a system of universal access to the world’s knowledge. The task is proving to be far more complicated than computer scientists had thought. “The existing approaches,” notes one recent analysis, “lack [the ability] to efficiently locate the deep web which is hidden behind the surface web.”

Today, it is estimated that more than 65% of all internet searches in the U.S. are done using Google. Both Bing and Yahoo continue to be major players as well.

Avoiding the Dark Side

We all want searching to be more comprehensive, targeting the exact information that we need with the least amount of effort and frustration. However, nestled near the abyss of the information ocean is the dark web, a space where hackers and criminals create fake sites and conduct their commerce. The dark web continues to frustrate efforts to control illegal activity, including credit scams, drug sales, and the exploitation of international relations. Clearly, this isn’t what we are looking for in information retrieval.

By analyzing available data, Smart Insights says that more than 6.5 billion web searches are made each day around the globe. Current hacking scandals are making it clear that the concept of safe searching is more than just about protecting children from predators. There are a variety of search options that have been designed with privacy in mind:

  • DuckDuckGo, which bills itself as “the search engine that doesn’t track you”
  • Gibiru, which offers “Uncensored Anonymous Search”
  • Swisscows, a Switzerland-based option that calls itself “the efficient alternative for anyone who attaches great importance to data integrity and the protection of privacy”
  • Lukol, which works as a proxy server from Google and removes traceable entities
  • MetaGer, a German search engine that removes any traces of your electronic footprints and also allows for anonymous linking
  • Oscobo, a British product that does not track you and provides a robust option of search types, including images, videos, and maps

And there are others as well, demonstrating that concern for privacy over profits is creating reliable solutions for searchers across the globe.

Going Deeper

Google and other standard web search engines can be infuriating when you’re trying to do intensive background research, due to their lack of deep searching into the content of the databases and websites they retrieve. Given the amount of information on the web, this isn’t surprising, but we need better performance if we are truly able to rely on web searching as a legitimate option for research. Information professionals are used to the structured searching of verifiable information. What is missed is that deep web content—the “meat” of information that searchers need and expect.

Researchers Andrea Cali and Umberto Straccia noted in a 2017 article, “the Deep Web (a.k.a. the Hidden Web) is the set of data that are accessible on the Internet, usually through HTML forms, but are not indexable by search engines, as they are returned only in dynamically-generated pages.” This distinction has made reaching the content in these databases very difficult. The most successful sites, to date, have been targeting specific types of hidden data.

Working largely from public data, “whether researching arrest records, phone numbers, addresses, demographic data, census data, or a wide variety of other information,” Instant Checkmate is a fee-based service that retrieves data from public databases containing arrest reports, court records, government license information, social media profiles, and more. By doing so, it claims to help “thousands of Americans find what they’re looking for each and every day.” Searches seem to take forever, which, given the size of the databases it is searching, isn’t unreasonable. The data is encrypted to protect the searcher’s identity. Reports are far more detailed than anything we might otherwise be able to find in a more timely manner. Similar services include MyLifePipl, and Yippy.

Information professionals are perhaps most familiar with the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, the front-end search engine to more than 308 billion archived webpages and link addresses to even more. The Internet Archive itself takes up 30-plus petabytes of server space. For comparison, a single petabyte of data would fill 745 million floppy disksor1.5 million CD-ROMs.

And that’s just the size of the information that can be searched. Google Scholar and Google Books are two search engines that are working to dig deeper into the content of websites for scholarly information. Searchers can do their own searching by using the “site:” command; however, this is a tedious and hit-or-miss process, since these search engines are only able to scan the indexed pages linked to some domain homepages.

Deep Web Search Engines

A variety of search engines are working to provide improved access to key information otherwise hidden inside of websites or behind paywalls. Methods to get to this deep web are currently still under development—and are not regulated to protect users from unethical practices. Deep web search engines are able to uncover more information and links and improve the results of a search to include an estimated 500% more information than traditional search engines.

Examples of today’s search engines that are designed to reach these deep web sites include:

None of these are exceptional resources for information professionals that solve our problems of deep searching. These websites pop up and get taken down very frequently, and others pop up in their place. And none of these systems necessarily has staying power.

To thoroughly access deep web information, you’ll need to install and use a Tor browser, which also provides the basis for access to the dark web. The real issue facing researchers is how to control the search process in these huge, individually structured databases.

Creating a Stable Deep Web Search Tool Is Harder Than You Might Think

In August 2017, a deep web search engine was being touted as bringing better quality deep searching while promising to protect the privacy of users. DeepSearch from TSignal was to be the focus of this NewsBreak; however, it recently disappeared from the web—perhaps it was acquired by another company or taken down for more development and testing. This has happened before and probably will happen again. As researchers noted in a 2013 article, “While crawling the deep-web can be immensely useful for a variety of tasks including web indexing and data integration, crawling the deep-web content is known to be hard.”

Earlier this year, two Indian researchers reported on their goal of creating a dynamic, focused web crawler that would work in two stages: first, to collect relevant sites, and second, for in-site exploring. They noted that the deep web itself remains a major stumbling block because its databases “change continuously and so cannot be easily indexed by a search engine.”

The deep web’s complications are many—query design, requirements for some level of user registration, variant extraction protocols and procedures, etc. Let alone the linguistic complications as global searching confronts meanings and connections of terminology across disciplines and languages. Today’s open web search is so ubiquitous that we rarely think about the potential complications; however, the deep web is another animal, and some researchers question whether it would be possible to bridge this divide without doing much work to modify the “present architecture of [the] web.”

Information professionals can easily see the need for better search techniques to handle the complex, evolving nature of the web—and increasingly, so can other professionals. Psychiatrists studying addiction have initiated their own efforts to better access and study the deep web and dark web due to their role in the “marketing or sale or distribution” of drugs and developing an “easily renewable and anarchic online drug-market [which] is gradually transforming indeed the drug market itself, from a ‘street’ to a ‘virtual’ one.”

What can we do as we wait for a better solution to web search? Reliable scholarly databases can easily be supplemented with existing search sites and mega-search engines. Information professionals have always been aware of the complex nature of search, and today, computer scientists and web designers are confronting these realities as well. There is no ultimate solution—which, if nothing else, guarantees the future of our field.

Nancy K. Herther is American studies, anthropology, Asian American studies, and sociology librarian at the University of Minnesota Libraries, Twin Cities campus.

Email Nancy K. Herther

 Source: This article was published newsbreaks.infotoday.com

Categorized in Search Techniques

Tor is a popular tool for activists, hackers, journalists, and anyone who doesn't want their actions online to be tracked to the finest detail. Wochit

Question: What exactly is the "deep Web" and how do you get to it?

Answer: Despite many representations of a nefarious underground operating out of sight, the so-called "deep Web" is actually mostly benign private databases and Web resources not meant to be accessed by the public.

The "surface Web" is essentially what can be indexed by search engines such as Google or Bing, while the deep Web consists of items that can’t be accessed using a search engine on a standard Web browser.

Protected Internet databases such as those for banks and anything past a log-in screen, such as your private files stored in the cloud and data stored by private companies, aren’t indexed by search engines. Websites can also specifically tell the search engines that they don’t want to be indexed, making them relatively "invisible" to the average user.

According to most estimates, the deep Web makes up about 90 percent of the entire Internet, because so much of what is stored online is protected information that requires some form of authentication or knowledge of a hidden Web address.

The 'dark Web'

There is a very small percentage of the deep Web where secret and sometimes nefarious activity is taking place, often referred to as the "dark Web" or the "darknet." The tools used to access the dark Web focus on anonymity by incorporating encryption and specialized privacy browsers such as Tor.

Tor, also known as "The Onion Router," uses a large network of relays to bounce Internet traffic through; it’s much like the layers of an onion, making it much more difficult for anyone conducting any type of surveillance to see who is doing what.

The core technology used in Tor was actually developed by the U.S. Naval Research Lab in the mid-1990s for the intelligence community to protect online communications. To this day, Tor and other similar tools are used by governments, activists and whistleblowers to communicate anonymously.

The Tor Project states: "Tor users include 'normal people' who wish to keep their Internet activities private from websites and advertisers, people concerned about cyber-spying, users who are evading censorship such as activists, journalists, and military professionals."

Using Tor alone doesn’t mean you’re completely anonymous and, for most users, the trade-off in slow performance isn’t worth the increase in privacy for daily surfing.

Tor's dark side

Tor and other similar tools are also used for illicit activities such as buying and selling drugs, stolen credit-card numbers and IDs; money laundering; and more via black markets only accessible on the dark Web.

One of the most famous dark-Web marketplaces was called Silk Road, which was shut down by the FBI in 2013. The site’s founder, Ross Ulbricht, was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

Despite law enforcement's attempts to control illegal underground marketplaces, when one is shut down, two more seem to pop up.

To be fair, not all dark-Web resources operate in an illegal manner, and much of the activity is vital to our law-enforcement and intelligence community’s efforts. As with any technology, it’s impossible to control its uses for only legal purposes so, as always, it’s the good with the bad.

Ken Colburn is the founder and CEO of Data Doctors Computer Services. Ask any tech question at: Facebook.com/DataDoctors or on Twitter @TheDataDoc.

Categorized in Deep Web

The dark web isn’t just for buying drugs and hiring assassins. It’s a massive network of websites and communities that exists outside of mainstream internet culture, and there’s plenty to do on the dark web without breaking any laws—from book clubs to crisis preparation.

Here’s a look at some of the weirdest and most subversive dark web sites that won’t lead a team of federal agents to bust down your door.

What’s the Dark Web and How Is it Different From the Deep Web?

Before we dive in, it’s worth clearing this up. The two terms “deep web” and “dark web” get mixed up a lot, but the difference between them is pretty simple.

The deep web refers to anything you can’t access in a search engine, either because it’s protected behind a password or because it’s buried deep within a regular website. The dark web is a subsection of the deep web that you can only access with a special browser like Tor to mask your IP address. It includes illegal markets like the infamous Silk Road, along with plenty of other less-objectionable websites.

Below, a few of the dark web’s more wholesome offerings—though you’ll need to download Tor to actually access them.

Join a Book Club


Reading communities have been a fixture of the dark web for years. Even Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht (AKA the Dread Pirate Roberts) had a hidden webpage where people discussed literary classics like Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man alongside more controversial materials like Anarchist Cookbook.

Ulbricht’s online book club is no longer operating, but there are plenty of other options on the dark web, including sites like Jotunbane’s Reading Club and the Imperial Library of Trantor. A big part of these sites is downloading illegal copies of popular books, but you can also find active discussions and some useful un-copyrighted reading material as well.

If you’re looking for something a little less intellectual, Motherboard also recommends “Blog about stories,” a dark web site where people share real and fictional stories about spanking.


Prepare for the End of the World

If you’re hitting the dark web in search of more concrete information, check out the Strategic Intelligence Network. It’s packed with information for how to deal with any sort of crisis anywhere on earth, from natural disasters to riots or all out war.


If you’re still not satisfied, head to Hidden Answers, basically the dark web’s version of Yahoo Answers with topics like government, law and financial services, along with drugs and erotica, according to MakeUseOf. The dark web even has its own news outlet, Flashlight, which focuses on bitcoin, online privacy and other similar subjects—you can actually check out Flashlight without a special browser right here.


Get Social

The dark web is a lot like the regular internet we know and love—just with a higher ratio of anarchists. It has its own email service, social networks and even online games.

If you’re looking for a super secure email provider check out AnonInbox, which charges a fraction of a bitcoin per year and promises total privacy in return. There’s also Operation Genesis, a social network with hundreds of thousands of users, according to Dark Web News. Finally, head to TheChess to square off against players from around the world in the classic board game.


There’s plenty more to do on the dark web, but these sites should help you get a taste for what the lighter side of the darker side of the internet has to offer—without risking any jail time in the process.

Source: This article was published lifehacker.com By Jacob Kleinman

Categorized in Deep Web

The realities of the dark net are very different to community expectations, says criminologist James Martin.

Drug trading on the dark net generally elicits images of sinister underworld figures, dimly lit rooms, locked doors and perilous cloak-and-dagger dealings -- a veritable "house of horrors". But according to one leading dark web researcher, the reality is quite different.

In fact, Australian criminologist James Martin believes the dark net has significant potential to promote a more responsible drug culture and lessen the violence associated with street dealing and criminal gangs.

"The conventional illicit drug trade is pretty dangerous and in the absence of a legal, well-regulated drug market, it looks like the dark net actually offers a lot of potential benefits both to users and dealers, and to the general public," he told HuffPost Australia.

The dark net is not actually all that dark."

A senior lecturer in criminology at Macquarie University, Martin will be presenting his subversive take on the online drug market at TedxMelbourne's 'Rebels, Revolutionaries & Us' next Tuesday, September 19.

So just what is the dark net, and how are people using it to buy illegal drugs?

What is the...

Surface web (or clear net) - "That's basically any part of the Internet that you can access through a search browser (i.e. it comes up in a Google search), so you're talking media websites, your Hotmail or whatever it may be."

Deep web - "Beneath the surface web, you've got the deep web. This is the vast majority of the Internet, and it's basically anything that isn't immediately accessible through a search browser, such as Intranets. It's not necessarily anything nefarious."

Dark net (or anonymous web) - "Beneath that, you've got the dark net or the TOR network... this is a different thing entirely. It's an encrypted subset of the Internet that's only accessible through a TOR browser... Once you start using this browser, you can access a whole lot of different websites that you can't access otherwise -- dot onion sites. You can also send, host and receive information without revealing your IP address, so you can't be monitored by the authorities."

Because it's almost untraceable, the dark net is used by many parts of the criminal underworld, including by terror groups and for exchanging child exploitation material, illegal firearms and stolen credit cards, but the bulk of the people on it are seeking illegal drugs.

To access the dark net, users download an encrypted web browser -- the TOR network being the most common -- which provides access to illicit websites. These sites are protected, so they won't appear in a Google search or through typing a URL into a regular web browser.

Users' data and IP addresses are encrypted, making them very difficult to trace.

But researchers actually know more about the types, quantities and price of drugs sold on the dark net than they do of physical illicit drug supply lines.

"One of the weird things about the dark net is that it's not actually all that dark," Martin said.

"These sites are publicly available and anyone can download TOR and see what they look like."

One fifth of the illicit drugs sold on the dark net are prescription medications.

For example, we know that cannabis is the most common dark net drug in Australia, accounting for a quarter of all sales, followed by prescription drugs (20 percent) and ecstasy (16 percent). Methamphetamines such as 'ice' account for 12 percent of Australia's online drug trades, while heroin makes up just three percent.

Illicit drugs are paid for using bitcoin or another encrypted currency, and mailed through the post.

But despite this accessibility, law enforcement agencies have found it extremely difficult to crack down on the online trade.

"Conventional anti-drug operations usually revolve around things like buy-and-bust operations where you've got an uncover police officer who pretends to be a customer and once an exchange takes place then they can affect an arrest," Martin explained.

"That's a really simple but very efficient kind of police operation when you think of it from an evidence perspective.

"You've got the offender, you've got the drugs, you've got the money, and usually you've got some sort of form of surveillance as well and that makes a very compelling package that you can present in court."

But on the dark net, this kind of police operation isn't possible.

Both the communications and the financial transactions of drug deals are encrypted, and buyers and users need never meet in person.

The drugs are commonly sold in small quantities and are frequently mailed across international borders, making tracing them through the postal service both costly and impracticable.

"For a transnational policing operation to take police -- so say someone buying drugs from the UK to Australia –- that requires a lot of international police cooperation and law enforcement. It would be difficult to justify the kind of expense associated with that for small quantities of illicit drugs," Martin explained.

The criminologist has been researching the dark net drug trade since it first made news headlines with the establishment of the Silk Road in 2011.

Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht (who went by the pseudonym Dread Pirate Roberts) has been sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for creating the underground drug-trading site.

Since then, he's watched the disintegration of major drug suppliers -- most notably, Silk Road in 2013 -- as policed were able to trace them through real-world links.

But instead of the life imprisonment of Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht scaring dealers away from the dark net, large-scale syndicates have been replaced by smaller, harder-to-trace operations. Martin estimates that Australia alone has around 150 online traders.

So how can a more accessible illegal drug store where dealers operate with a large degree of impunity create a less harmful illicit drug trade?

According to Martin, there are three potential benefits: reducing the violence of a bloody drugs war; promoting safer drug-taking practices through online forums; and supplying purer drugs, with fewer potentially deadly adulterants.

The decreased potential for violence stems from the anonymity of the Internet -- not only are the dealers' locations concealed from police, they're also hidden from each other. This makes revenge killings and drive-by shootings impossible.

"What the dark net does is basically protect people from that kind of violence, because no one knows where anyone is physically located," Martin explained.

By cutting out the street dealers and other middle-men, Martin believes the online dark net trade can also reduce the involvement of organised crime in the drug trade -- "or at least change the composition of the groups involved".

This would have flow-on benefits for the wider community, but creating a less armed, less violent society.

Listen to the full interview with James Martin below.

But Martin also sees potential benefits for the users sourcing their illicit drugs on the dark net, who Martin says are generally relatively tech-savvy, affluent and well-educated -- and eager to promote a culture of harm reduction.

Despite several recent high-profile arrests and large-scale drug seizures, a recent report by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission revealed that law enforcement operations are having almost no impact on the availability, price and purity of drugs like crystal methamphetamine ('ice').

This failure of police to end the drug war has lead to calls for an approach based around harm reduction, rather than punitive measures -- an approach facilitated by the dark net.

Drugs ordered on the dark net are delivered through the post, cutting out the middle man.

"All of the cryptomarkets and dark net marketplaces that we see have very active discussion forums with a large percentage of that discussion centred around things like safer forms of drug use," Martin said.

He points to the original Silk Road website, which featured a weekly Q&A session by an anonymous doctor, paid in bitcoins to answer users questions about how to use illicit drugs more safely.

Moreover, because of the eBay-esque rating and feedback system employed by dark net drug traffickers, the drugs are generally of higher quality and less likely to contain potentially deadly adulterants.

"That can be dangerous as well," Martin cautioned.

"If you've got, for example, very strong ecstasy pills floating around there's a higher potential for overdose. But people typically have a better knowledge of the composition of their drugs (online)."

Whatever the benefits and the drawbacks, it's clear that despite law enforcements' best efforts, the dark net drugs trade isn't going anywhere any time soon.

The industry is already worth hundreds of millions of dollars globally, and is growing fast.

Australia is the one of the highest rates of dark net drug dealers per capita in the world, beaten only by the Netherlands. More than a quarter (27 percent) of the world's dark net 'ice' trade is sold through Australian cryptomarket dealers.

The 2016 Global Drug Survey found that eight percent of Australian respondents (around 80 percent of whom report using illicit drugs) have bought drugs off the dark net.

"There will always be that physical market, but if current trends continue, then we're going to see very significant increases in dark net drug trading," Martin concluded.

Source: This article was published huffingtonpost.com.au By Lara Pearce

Categorized in Deep Web

Did you know that there is a Dark Internet? The internet you haven’t ever known of? You probably haven’t. In fact, search engines can only count for about 4 to 10% of the existing internet. What is the other 90%? That is what’s known as the Deep Web (or Dark Net).

What is the deep web?

The deep web contains any website that cannot be accessed by a normal search engine. When you look for something, on google, for instance, you’re actually searching for as much of the internet surface web has been able to ‘find’. By ‘find’, I mean search engines use web crawler software, sometimes referred to as ‘spiders’ to find and index web pages. They start by finding a few webpages at first, then they follow links on those web pages to otherwebpages and so on forth until they have a pretty hefty catalogue of the internet. However, there are some things that those crawlers just cannot access.

What can you find on the deep web?

So, what’s in this nefarious seedy part of the Internet? Drugs? Weapons? Murder? Well, as outrageous as it may sound, these are the easily accessible items. It also has your bank account and all sorts of other catalogues. The deep web is mostly comprised of database-driven websites or any part of the website that’s past the login page. Also, websites can simply choose to be omitted from search engine results; by not using SEOs (Search Engine Optimizers) or tags. Here is the concerning part for you, all the private information in your online phone you think is really secure because you have a password protecting it, hate to break it but it’s all available on the deep web, though it is really hard to access.

The Dark Net

However, there is a small subsection of anonymous networks within the deep web, known as the dark net. A normal person can only access the dark net; the deep web is well secured and just a waste of time because it takes a lot of time to access. The dark net, however, is easy to access and uses free services like Tor network to browse the web and host websites anonymously.

How to access the Dark Net?

It’s quite easy to access the dark net, however, I do not condone the usage of drugs, weapons or any illegal activities. [The writer and Daily Pakistan Global do not take responsibility for anyone’s actions, and this is for educational and informational purposes only.] Moving on, you need to download Tor, a browsing service much like Microsoft edge or google but uses DuckDuckGo as its search engine. Tor uses .onion links that are out of bounds for common search engines. Usual search engines can only access .com, .org, .tech and so on. You can even host your own dark net websites, though due to the volume of hackers, it will probably be hacked in a few hours.

After downloading Tor, the curious ones search for the ‘Hidden Wiki’ to find links to other dark net websites. The community religiously adopts these safety measures”

  1. Uses a VPN app.
  2. Never goes into full-screen mode.
  3. Keeps the webcam covered with a piece of cloth etc.
  4. To remain secure and elusive, an enthusiast downloads TAILS, a Linux-based portable distro which works on RAM and doesn’t take hard drive storage. TAILS basically allows him to be completely safe and anonymous.

What is Tor?

It is basically a portal to the dark net. Tor also provides services that operate on the internet but can only be accessed through the private network. Some of the services have included the internet black-markets such as ‘Silk Road’ where users have access to drugs, weapons and even assassins/hitmen. You can also hire hackers to do various shady tasks. The dark net punters can only use the untraceable currency called ‘bitcoin’, which is basically the internet’s currency.

It is basically a portal to the dark net. Tor also provides services that operate on the internet but can only be accessed through the private network. Some of the services have included the internet black-markets such as ‘Silk Road’ where users have access to drugs, weapons and even assassins/hitmen. You can also hire hackers to do various shady tasks. The dark net punters can only use the untraceable currency called ‘bitcoin’, which is basically the internet’s currency.

Despite this criminal activity, privacy advocates have applauded programs like Tor for their ability to keep online activity hidden within the deep web, especially from government agencies like the NSA.

Like rest of the world, Pakistanis not only visit the deep web or dark net but also engage in business there. They can’t be show offs there, thus anonymity and security keep their cover.

Source: This article was published en.dailypakistan.com.pk By Saalar Ahmad

Categorized in Deep Web

I’ve been hearing a lot these days from friends who are finding it more difficult to find pertinent information from their Google searches? There are many reasons for this, one is the way the search is written. I’m a big advocate of Search Strings, and have a comprehensive list in my full Internet Research workshop. There is a lot more information in the Deep Web if you know how to find it.

These databases and search engines offer a “deep dive” into the Internet and will help you get closer to the specific types of information you are looking. Be aware these don’t respond to typical Google type searches. They will ask you for more information and you will need to spend more time creating your search. However, the result will be more specific than a typical Web search.

  1. SurfWax. This search engine works very well for reaching deep into the web for information.
  2. Academic Index. Created by the former chair of Texas Association of School Librarians, this meta-search engine only pulls from databases and resources that are approved by librarians and educators.
  3. Dogpile. Dogpile searches rely on several top search engines for the results then remove duplicates and strives to present only relevant results.
  4. Yippy. Save yourself the work by using this search engine that looks among major search engines, social networks, flickrfor photos, Wikipedia, and many more sites.
  5. Clusty. Clusty searches through top search engines, and then clusters the results so that information that may have been hidden deep in the search results is now readily available.
  6. Mamma. Click on the Power Search option to customize your search experience with this meta-search engine.
  7. World Curry Guide. This meta-search tool with a strong European influence has been around since 1997 and is still growing strong.
  8. Fazzle.com. Give this meta-search engine a try. It accesses a large number of databases and claims to have more access to information than Google.
  9. Meltwater. Search blogs as well as the general Internet, the news, and more to receive results by posting date.
  10. iZito. Get results from a variety of major search engines that come to you clustered in groups. You can also receive only US website results or receive results with a more international perspective.
  11. pipl. Specifically designed for searching the deep web for people, this search engine claims to be the most powerful for finding someone.
  12. Mensur. Metrics from Scholarly Usage of Resources. The project’s major objective is enriching the toolkit used for the assessment of the impact of scholarly communication.

I hope these additional tools will help you with your search process.

Source: This article was published huffingtonpost.com By Geri Spieler

Categorized in Deep Web

The infamous neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer has been removed from several separate platforms in the past week, but its operators will still likely be able to lurk in the shadows of the dark web.

Several tech companies either shut down or blocked the anti-Semitic blog after it wrote a malicious article mocking the death of Heather Heyer. James Fields, a white supremacist, is charged with second-degree murder for allegedly killing Heyer with a sports car August 12 during a violent rally in Charlottesville, Va.

After receiving public pressure, GoDaddy, the popular domain registrar company, threatened to remove the hateful site late Sunday night if it did not find a new domain. The onus was then put on Google to also purge it from its platform, an action it took in less than 24 hours.

“We are cancelling Daily Stormer’s registration with Google Domains for violating our terms of service,” a representative for Google told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Google also removed Gab, a more obscure social networking site used as an alternative to Twitter, from its app store, saying it “violates the hate speech policy.” Andrew Auernheimer, a somewhat prominent neo-Nazi who contributes to The Daily Stormer, uses the platform to coordinate with other followers of The Daily Stormer.

In a Gab post, he even provided a link to a Tor browser, free software that enables anonymous networks by concealing a user’s location and general usage. Using Tor, people with similar interests can continue to communicate in the shadows of the virtual abyss colloquially known as the dark web.

Despite Google’s removal, Gab is still available to download on its own websiteand mobile devices, just not through the app store.

Cloudflare — another company that manages domain names and offers hacking protection — also ended The Daily Stormer’s patronage, rendering it susceptible to distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Such cyber assaults are when a perpetrator directs several internet-connected devices and the respective unique Internet Protocol (IP) addresses (the numerical label assigned to every device) to targeted online systems, which inundates them. (Imagine a tsunami, rather than the typical waves, hitting a beachfront).

Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince said despite finding the website “vile,” the decision to remove The Daily Stormer makes him “deeply uncomfortable,” according to Business Insider.

Source: This article was published dailycaller.com By Eric Lieberman

Categorized in Deep Web

Many of the components required to commit cybercrime can be bought and sold online if you know the right part of the internet in which to look. These “dark markets” also enable cybercriminals to monetize the fruits of their larcenous labors, from botnet building to credential theft.

In the first part of our cybercrime update we noted more than a dozen arrests and other law enforcement actions against cybercriminals. In this, the second part of the update, we look at some of the “takedowns” that have hit the cyber-underworld this year, beginning with botnet bashing.

Down with malware spamming

One of the commodities that criminals buy and sell online is the ability to distribute malware using spam. This enables digital nastiness like password-stealers and fake antivirus software to be spread far and wide.

But because no self-respecting internet service providers will allow their systems to be used for spam operations, spammers use your systems instead: they secretly recruit them into “botnets”— networks of compromised computers. These bots can be laptops, workstations, even phones and servers. Botnet activity is coordinated through a form of software known as C2, short for Command and Control.


Botnets can use tens of thousands of machines at once to spew out spam. In recent years one of the most notorious botnets was called Kelihos. ESET researchers have previously described some of the characteristics and campaigns wrought by the Kelihos botnet, and its predecessor – known as Storm – in a technical paper: Same botnet, same guys, new code.

Well, in April, the person responsible for Kelihos, a Russian programmer by the name of Pyotr Levashov, was arrested while on vacation in Spain. Levashow has long been on the radar of US cybercrime investigators, having been charged back in 2009 with operating the Storm botnet.

Shortly after the arrest, the authorities moved to disrupt and dismantle Kelihos, blocking malicious domains associated with the botnet to prohibit further infections.

While there are still shady characters who formerly were clients utilizing the services of the Kelihos botnet, the takedown is likely to reduce global spam volumes at least temporarily. Furthermore, a swift conclusion to the Levashov case and a strong sentence (prison time plus asset forfeiture) could encourage some criminal spammers to switch to more legitimate activities.

Deep dark terminology

For those to whom the dark side of the internet is terra incognita, a dark market is a place to buy and sell goods online that is not readily accessible to the public. The FBI uses the following terms to describe this phenomenon. First, there is the Clear Web, the one we’re most familiar with, searchable through Google and Bing, comprising everything from news sites to social media, streaming media, and traditional ecommerce like online banking and stores such as Amazon.

In addition to the Clear Web, there is a whole bunch of internet enabled activity that is not readily searchable and cannot be reached without special software or appropriate credentials. This is the Deep Web and it includes certain member-only sites and forums that are used solely to discuss and transact illegal activity. Markets in the Deep Web are referred to as dark markets.

A subset of the Deep Web can only be accessed with special networking software (for example, the Tor browser). This part of the Deep Web is known as the DarkNet and is a haven for cybercrime. Until recently, this was where you could find two of the largest dark markets, known as AlphaBay and Hansa. Despite the FBI’s efforts to stick to this terminology, it is quite common for people to refer generically to any illicit internet activity as Dark Web (and let’s face it, these are all terms that are evolving over time, without “official” definitions).

Big trouble in dark markets

In June, a combined law enforcement effort took down AlphaBay and Hansa. So, what were the websites doing that bothered law enforcement? They were enabling people to indulge in cybercrime as they tried to buy and sell goods and services that are illegal. For example, in many countries and US states, it is illegal for citizens to own completely automatic firearms with large capacity magazines, but you can buy them in dark markets (Screenshot A).

The sale and purchase of malicious code such as ransomware is also illegal in many jurisdictions, but dark markets make it possible (Screenshot B). Clearly, dark markets that traffic in these items, and others, like child pornography, banned substances, and hacking services, are crime-enabling institutions.

The crime enablement aspect of dark markets is enhanced by the fact that they use crypto-currencies like Bitcoin which make parties to the buying and selling activity hard to trace. So, it is not surprising that law enforcement agencies in many countries are keen to take down dark markets and punish their users and operators.

Dark times for the DarkNet?

You may recall the 2013 takedown of Silk Road, a DarkNet predecessor to AlphaBay and Hansa. Headlines were made when the court imposed a life sentence on its creator and operator, Ross Ulbricht (a sentence that was recently upheld by the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit).

You may also know that new iterations of Silk Road soon appeared to replace the one that was taken down. This was due in part to the fact that a dark market typically hosts a collection of sellers; in other words, it is more of a dark bazaar than a dark department store. If a seller loses a stall in one market, that stall can quickly migrate to a different market.

So it is unlikely that the takedown of AlphaBay and Hansa will end the practice of selling illegal goods on the internet. However, it might well deter some aspiring criminals, particularly if the persons responsible for AlphaBay and Hansa meet the same fate at the hands of the criminal justice system as Ross Ulbricht. (In a tragic twist, the alleged creator of AlphaBay, a Canadian citizen living in Thailand, appears to have committed suicide in prison not long after his arrest.)

The AlphaBay/Hansa takedown is also likely to discourage some dark market sellers, given the way it was carried out: a sort of one-two punch. From studying past takedowns it was clear that customers quickly migrate from the closed market to the next best market that is still open.

So, here’s how law enforcement played it: the Dutch police took full control of Hansa on June 20. However, they kept it open and monitored activity until AlphaBay was closed in early July.


According to CNET, when AlphaBay was shuttered, police saw an eight-fold spike in traffic heading to Hansa. Here’s how Rob Wainwright, the Europol director put it: “We could identify and disrupt the regular criminal activity that was happening on Hansa market but also sweep up all of those new users that were displaced from AlphaBay and looking for a new trading platform for their criminal activities.”

In announcing the AlphaBay takedown the US authorities left no doubt as to how serious they are about prosecuting this type of criminal activity: “The seizure and shut-down of the AlphaBay criminal marketplace and the indictment and arrest of its founder should send a clear message. If you choose to become involved in administering a site like AlphaBay on the dark web, or decide to use it to engage in criminal transactions, you will have federal law enforcement and United States Attorney offices from every District and State across the nation pursuing you.”

Dark aftermath?

If you read what people familiar with dark markets are saying online, then it is seems that this one-two blow may have shaken what you could call “dark market confidence”. When people talk about taking an extended break from purchasing, you know there is an abundance of fear and suspicion, which was clearly one of the goals of the police action (Screenshot C).

It will be interesting to see what impact, if any, the takedowns have on malware campaigns. We know that dark markets have enabled crimeware-as-a-service operations, notably ransomware-as-a-service. Will there be a temporary reprieve? Will a significant percentage of would-be criminals decide to do something more legitimate with their time and resources? Will the more committed criminals simply move their operations to other parts of the Deep Web?

I tend to think some folks will continue to chance their hand in dark markets. A hallmark of predatory criminals is the belief that they will never be caught, and sadly only a small percentage of cybercriminals are being caught (although the list of arrests in the first part of this article was encouraging).

Unfortunately, if you look at how much dark markets have evolved in the last few years, offering “fast, client-facing support”, as well as escrow services and multilingual help (Screenshot D), you get the impression they are backed by some determined people.

The unanswered question is: how many of them are willing to risk a life sentence?

Source: This article was published welivesecurity By STEPHEN COBB

Categorized in Deep Web

Often used interchangeably, deep web and dark web aren’t actually the same things, rather, the dark web makes for a small part of the deep web.

People often confuse both the terms and at other times think they both mean the same thing, but that’s not it.

Mostly, the deep web has been related to something awful on the internet — like the notorious SilkRoad black market — but not everything on the deep web is illegal or bad.

Now before you go on jumping to conclusions about the deep web and how dangerous it can be, let me just explain it in simpler words.

What is the Deep Web?

The deep web is the part of the internet which is inaccessible using search engines like Google and Bing — per se, the search engines can not index them, so they do not turn up when searched for.

Stop Trackers from Tracking Your Gmail

It’s not something out of this world, on the contrary, you are probably accessing the deep web on a regular basis — your emails, online banking transactions, direct messages on Twitter, Instagram and much more.

None of these things turn up on the internet via a search engine, rather are protected behind a paywall or via a password.

Anything that can not be found on the surface of the web using a search engine is part of the deep web.

Given that the billions of internet users in all probability have thousands of billions of online accounts in all, which are either password protected or hold content behind a paywall — all of this comprises the deep web, which many believe makes up for a majority of content on the internet.

The deep web is alternatively also called the Invisible or Hidden web and can be accessed via the normal Chrome or Safari browsers.

What is the Dark Web?

Dark web isn’t an altogether different part of the internet but a part of the Deep web itself but can not be accessed via the standard browsers.

Given that a majority of the Dark web comprises of websites selling illegal products such as drugs or hacked credentials, and also houses websites dealing with weapons and child pornography, it is often referred to as the underbelly of the internet.

The Dark web is also used by internet activists and journalists to stay anonymous while passing or gathering information, especially in countries where the internet is heavily censored.

The search engine for those concerned about their privacy — DuckDuckGo — runs their service on the dark web too.

Websites on the Dark web, which are suffixed with .onion domain, can be accessed using the Tor browser or a similar service.

Note, while it’s not illegal to access the Dark web, beware that a lot many of the websites offer illegal services and accessing them might not sit right with the lawmakers in your native place.

The Dark web isn’t as fancy and interactive as the rest of the surface web — or the Internet as we know and use it — and the websites are mundane and will take you back in time.

In order to access a website on the Dark web, you’ll either need the exact (.onion) URL of the site or can try your luck with the limited search engines for the Dark web such as The Hidden Wiki.

Is the Dark Web Bad?

Even though a majority of the websites on the Dark web deal with illegal activities, websites such as Facebook, The Intercept, ProPublica have a version with .onion URL — nothing illegal happening here.

Journalists, whistleblowers and internet activists use the Dark web to circumvent restrictions as well as to maintain anonymity and privacy while exchanging information.

No tool on the internet is bad in essence, but it’s the reason it’s being used for that makes it so. Similarly, the Dark web isn’t completely a thing of evil.

Source: This article was published guidingtech.com By Prayank

Categorized in Deep Web

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