In the second quarter of 2020, the dark web saw a slew of data dumps.
For example, Cyble discovered a government database containing the personal information of over 20 million Taiwanese individuals for sale on an underground web marketplace at the end of May.
The Economic Times reported on a dark web data leak involving BEML, an Indian public sector company, less than two weeks later.
These occurrences depict a picture of the web as a dangerous place where criminals trade personal information.
Is that, however, all there is to it?
This article will attempt to answer those questions as well as others.
However, it is critical to begin slowly. As a result, it will begin with a definition.
What Is the Dark Web and How Does It Work?
The black web is a subset of what’s known as the “deep web,” according to CSO Online.
This section of the Internet contains everything that has not yet been indexed by Google or other search engines.
As a result, content on the deep web, which is estimated to make up to 99 percent of the Internet, is not searchable using these common “surface web” search engines.
As a result, the black web refers to the portion of the deep web that is purposefully hidden for the purposes of privacy. It isn’t particularly large. “Most estimates place it at about 5% of the total internet,” according to CSO Online.
Meanwhile, threat intelligence firm Recorded Future discovered that dark websites accessible through The Onion Router (TOR) Project made up just 0.005% of the whole internet.
What Is the Purpose of the Dark Web?
The dark web is suitable for anything that necessitates more anonymity than that provided by the surface web. That isn’t to suggest that consumers’ privacy on the surface web isn’t enough. More generally, it’s an issue of how much governments and law enforcement agencies use the surface web in an attempt to combat “threats.”
Some of these hazards are more dangerous to society than others. Consider the aforementioned data breaches. Millions of people’s digital and financial security are at risk as a result of such security incidents.
On the dark web, data leaks aren’t the only form of destructive conduct that malevolent individuals aim to engage in. Malware makers can take advantage of the dark web’s anonymity to sell a variety of attack tools.
Phishing kits, Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) platforms, remote access trojans, exploits, botnets, and other new threats are among these capabilities.
Drugs, child pornography, counterfeit goods, and/or sex trafficking are all possible uses for the dark web.
In an F&D piece, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) makes the following point:
The dark web is a lifeline for people living under oppressive regimes that block substantial portions of the internet or punish political dissent. It provides access to information as well as protection from persecution. It can be a key whistle-blowing and communication tool in more liberal societies, protecting people from retaliation or judgment in the workplace or community.
Many organizations, including The New York Times and the Central Intelligence Agency, have websites on the TOR Network, according to the IMF.
Individuals can communicate sensitive information on these websites without having to reveal their identities.
Individuals can choose to become sources on their own initiative in this way.
What Is the Best Way to Get Into the Dark Web?
Ordinary people should consider hard before accessing the black market, given the concerns listed above.
They should never access it unless they have a legitimate reason for doing so.
Users can, however, take some precautions to ensure that their excursion to the dark web is as painless as possible. The following are some of the safeguards:
Don’t Expect TOR to Protect You by Itself: A person can access the dark web on iPhone using the TOR browser. However, the program can only provide so much security.
Take the Required Precautions Ahead of Time: A user should ensure that their machines are as secure as possible before using the TOR browser. They can do so by updating the operating system on their computers to the most recent version.
Don’t Go Back to the Surface Web Right Away: Users should turn off their computers once they’ve finished visiting. They should next closely monitor their PCs’ startup activity and scan them for viruses. Users should only consider enabling their computer’s normal functionality and accessing their apps if no unusual activity is visible.