You can consider Dark Web as the shadow side of the internet. The regular internet has all the networks and web pages systematically listed and indexed. On the contrary, all the data on the dark web is encrypted and there is no listing or indexing of the web pages, websites, or networks. You need to have the precise correct address to visit or contact a page or a person on the Dark Web. Privacy, anonymity, and the undiscovered ability of the Dark Web is on purpose. You will need special software or a special browser. As you can see, this level of secrecy has immense potential to foster cybercrime. We will explore more about it in the further sections of the blog.
of the whole internet consists of dark web accounts.
of the information available on the dark web could harm big companies if it came out.
of listings on the dark web are for illegal drugs.
is the rise in dark web activities over the last 3 years.
Like the open web, the creation of the dark web was also an involuntary process. Accumulation of dark net accounts, private networks, and secret online marketplaces laid the foundation for the dark web. It evolved gradually over time and became a much more complex entity. The secretive sites
were incorporated for security and protection purposes and eventually turned into the seedy underbelly of web browsing. After the introduction of The Onion Router (Tor) and the Tor Browser, the dark web became accessible to the common web user.
The top three reasons to use the dark web are:
1. Anonymity: There are various reasons why someone wants to hide their identity online. It might be to protect their identity if they are doing something that is forbidden. For instance, there are a few countries where you do not have a free press and political censorship is there. Dark Web can work as a platform for free expression in such circumstances. Dark Web also works as a security mask for people who are cyberstalked.
2. Accessing Hidden Services: Services where not only the user but also the service provider (the website itself) has their identity hidden. You cannot identify the IP (Internet Protocol) address of the site, or any other information about the host, location, or content location.
3. Illegal Activity: Unfortunate and the dark truth of the dark web is that it is explicitly used by hackers for malicious and illegal activities. Selling weapons and drugs are a common proposition over the dark web.
No, it is not illegal to surf the dark web or the Tor browser to surf or explore. It is just like a secret online place where you can do your thing with secrecy and anonymity without any monitoring. However, it is a volatile place to be. The dark web attracts criminal activities quite easily. You can become a victim if you are not aware of how to tread safely through the dark web. Moreover, the legality of using the platform is dependent on your purpose and intent of using it. If you are using the dark web for research and browsing, it is completely fine. But selling weapons or drugs to teenagers or stalking someone is a crime even on the dark web.
Dark Web can play a significant role in understanding the mindset and attack strategy of hackers. Cybersecurity professionals who are directly involved in the protection of sensitive systems against cyber-attacks can benefit by studying dark web activities. It might help them understand how exploiters operate and they can use the information to tackle business threats. Security methods like Application Penetration Testing and vulnerability assessments work better when the security professionals are aware of the hacker mindset.
The following are the key benefits of the dark web for cyber security: