The Dark Web: What Is It

Discussion in 'Tutorials & Guides' started by BoraMurdar, May 20, 2016.

  1. BoraMurdar

    BoraMurdar Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 30, 2012
    Doctor of medicine
    Windows 10
    You may have heard about this mysterious place on the Internet called the ‘Deep Web’. Interest in the deep web and dark web has been on the rise following a few high profile data leaks, a growing interest in online privacy, references in mainstream media, or the widely publicized FBI investigation into online marketplace Silk Road that exposed the extent of online drug trafficking.

    But what is exactly the deep web? Well it’s not actually a 'place' but rather anywhere other than the visible web that is crawled, indexed and accesed through links fetched by search engines like Google. The deep web is actually several times bigger than the indexed web, and it encompasses a lot more than the illegal or otherwise questionable activities that it is often associated with -- though there's certainly a lot of that going on, too. Let's start by clearing up some of the confusion among the different terms that tend to be thrown around while discussing the Internet's underground.

    Surface Web, Deep Web, Dark Web
    In simple terms, the Surface Web is anything that a search engine can find by crawling links and identifying content online, while the Deep Web is anything that a search engine can’t find. The Dark Web on the other hand merely represents a smaller portion of the deep web that has been intentionally hidden and is inaccessible through standard web browsers.


    To exemplify this a bit further, the deep web can actually include things like academic databases, which can be accessed through a normal browser but are not accesible to search engines.

    It also includes content within mainstream websites that is simply not set up to be accesed through a search engine. For example content posted on Facebook that is only available to the poster's friends, not the general public, or results for specific queries on a travel booking website -- you simply can't get to the content by clicking through links like a search engine would.

    Accessing the Dark Web
    The Tor network is the most commonly known place where dark web content resides. This anonymous network consists of thousands of servers located all over the world run by volunteers and online privacy advocates. Its name is an acronym for ‘The Onion Router’ in reference to its namesake routing technique, which creates a path through randomly assigned Tor servers, or nodes, before reaching whatever website you are visiting. During this process data packets are wrapped in successive layers of packets that get "peeled off" at each node until reaching the destination.

    Here is a more technical explanation, but in concise terms, the result is that no one node knows the complete path between your computer and a website, only the last place the packet was, and the next place it will be. This makes it almost impossible for anyone to trace the traffic back to you.

    While finding content on the dark web can take time and plenty of patience, technically, accessing the Tor network isn't that complicated at all. You simply need to download and install the browser available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. It is no different from installing any other piece of software and it's very simple to use as it's just a modified version of Firefox.

    For those that want to take extra precaution there's also Tails OS, a bootable operating system that's already preconfigured to maximize privacy and that you can run from a USB stick or a virtual machine. Tails has an installation wizard that guides you step-by-step through the process of setting up the software so that shouldn't pose much of a challenge either.

    Tails received a lot of press when it was disclosed that Edward Snowden was using it to avoid NSA snooping. Its sole purpose is preserving your privacy and anonymity online by relying on the Tor network and other tools to keep your activity secret.

    What Will I Find Inside the Dark Web?
    Almost any type of illegal and legally questionable products and services can be found in the seedier corners of the web. One of the most prominent examples is the Silk Road, the now defunct online marketplace where you could score anything from drugs and have them mailed to you, hire a hitman, buy passports and credit card information, weapons -- you name it. Several copycats have sprung and fallen since the Silk Road was taken down in 2013.


    But even though technologies such as Tor are used to facilitate illegal activities, the technology itself isn't inherently good or bad. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that Tor was created with financial support from the US government as a tool for fostering democracy in represive regimes, and that's exactly what it's used for a lot of the time. It's become popular with journalists and activists and even regular citizens who value privacy and freedom of expression.

    Where to Get Started Once You're Inside
    Finding content inside the deep or dark web is somewhat reminecent of the early days of the world wide web before search engines like Altavista and Google made finding content way easier. You can traverse link directories like OnionDir and The Hidden Wiki which list sites under a range of categories covering various services and interests -- blogs, hosting, forums, warez, hacking, to name a few.

    There are also a few search engines like DuckDuckGo and you can find some guidance or related information on reddit, too. There will be a lot of sites that have been taken down or are offline so finding working, up-to-date links and directories can take some time.

    Nothing is 100% Anonymous or Secure
    Even though the Tor browser protects you by routing your traffic through various different IP locations, and Tails OS includes built-in encryption, nothing is 100% anonymous or secure. Tor and Tails' websites list a number of recommendations and best practices for remaining anonymous as best possible, like using HTTPS versions of websites, avoiding browser plugins or torrenting over Tor, and of course, not giving away personal details on websites you visit.

    Finally, using Tor shouldn't get you in trouble with the authorities on its own but merely being a Tor user can arouse suspicion with the law. The anonymous network has long been a target of government agencies like the NSA and the FBI, which have successfully de-anonymized criminals before. So to be clear, if you are up to something illegal it could land you in legal trouble.

    From Techspot
    All credits to Jose Vilches
  2. King Mellow

    King Mellow Level 25

    Jun 21, 2013
    Manila, Philippines
    Windows 10
  3. LabZero

    LabZero Guest

    It is like the "wild West" and here you can find: botnet, exploit kit, 0day, crypter, DDoS, doxing, spam, malware, and other delights.:D
  4. King Mellow

    King Mellow Level 25

    Jun 21, 2013
    Manila, Philippines
    Windows 10
  5. jamescv7

    jamescv7 Level 61

    Mar 15, 2011
    Web and FileMaker Developer
    Windows 10
    An area which no one should dare to visit it because of extreme explicit content.

    Honestly people will just suffer different emotional problems since anything will be very unusual.

    It's not collection of malware or virus but those shocking content will witness without any limitation.
  6. King Mellow

    King Mellow Level 25

    Jun 21, 2013
    Manila, Philippines
    Windows 10
    Dang! It gives me the creeps just thinking about it. :eek:
  7. LASER_oneXM

    LASER_oneXM Level 21
    Content Creator

    Feb 4, 2016
    Germany / Poland
    Windows 8.1
    #7 LASER_oneXM, Jul 24, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2016
    ..... always wanted to take a look at the Dark Web.... but i did't really expect that the content is that "shocking/weird"......
    I thought that (maybe) the connection and the special Dark Net browser (i guess its the "onion browser") are not safe enough
    for browsing the Dark Net: thats the reason i've never tried before to take a look at the Dark Net...The security risks were too high for me.....
    I also din't really know which kind of security risks i had to expect when i just start browsing in the" Dark Net".... But after collecting some informations about the "Onion browser" i must say that this browser seems to be very safe: even much safer than other popular browsers...... but i guess there are still too many unexpected/unknown security risks.....
  8. Exterminator

    Exterminator Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Oct 23, 2012
    Windows 10
    It would be in your best interests to avoid it.Although many say they use it for anonymity it contains not only exploits but many other things that are very illegal and immoral by most peoples standards.
    Whether or not you are there out of curiosity or looking for anonymity it is constantly monitored by law enforcement and clicking on the wrong thing might put you on somebody's radar.
    I prefer to stay up top and avoid visiting the dark side.
  9. adyblueboy

    adyblueboy Level 2

    Feb 15, 2014
    Windows 10
    Realities of navigating on the dark web are more complex than that(tor etc).Swimming outside of http/https protocol involve many things.... Exterminator 20 and jamescv7 said two good reason to stay away.
  10. TerrakionSmash

    TerrakionSmash Level 16

    Nov 17, 2016
    Somewhere underwater or over water. I am water!
    Windows 10
    Dark is usually referred to something unknown. Dark matter, dark ages, etc.
  11. Winter Soldier

    Winter Soldier Level 25

    Feb 13, 2017
    PLC programmer - Robotics industry
    Windows 10
    I don't recommend to navigate the deep web without specialized knowledge. This is a crazy world without law. The possibility of being scammed or encountering content outside of imagination are many. In addition, if you are not able to hide your identity, the risk of being tracked are very high.
  12. ahity

    ahity Level 1

    May 16, 2017
    Windows 10
    for manytimes im going to deepweb or darkweb just want to know. dont have idea for im looking for ..
    MalwareTracker likes this.
  13. frogboy

    frogboy Level 61

    Jun 9, 2013
    Heavy Duty Mechanic.
    Western Australia
    Windows 10
    A good place to stay away from I suggest. :eek:
  14. SBI-boy

    SBI-boy Level 1

    Sep 21, 2014
    Troll Science
    PE - Lime - Wealthy Mountain
    BoraMurdar, frogboy and spaceoctopus like this.
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