CyberSecurity

What is the Dark Web, and why it is Dangerous?

Dark Web

Beneath the surface web, which everyone has access to, is the Deep Web. There is a very large number of pages active on it at any given time. It’s hard, if not impossible, to say exactly how many. 

The Dark Web is part of the Deep Web. The two are not the same. The Deep Web hosts retirement accounts, banking accounts, social messaging and email accounts, legal files, private enterprise databases, and medical documentation. 

Background check services such as Check People can access information on the Deep Web, but not the Dark Web. More information about the difference is provided below. 

Deep vs. Dark Web 

The Deep Web comprises 93% of the internet. It includes business databases, school intranets, and internal company sites. The Dark Web, on the other hand, is a clandestine website network.

In general, you can access websites on the Dark Web using the right browser. One popular choice is Onion or Tor for short. Because Tor isolates the websites that users visit, ads and other third-party trackers can’t follow them. 

Using Tor itself is not illegal, but the Dark Web is beyond law enforcement’s reach. Initially, it was used as a way to browse the internet without revealing your identity.

To this day, the Dark Web tends to be a platform for political dissidents, which isn’t to say everyone uses it to perpetrate activity that is illegal in their location. 

The Dark Web is home to a vast number of virtual marketplaces, where innumerable types of services and products are available. These include weapons, drugs, hacker services, personal data stolen by hackers, and viruses ready to be installed.

Hackers, scammers, and stalkers lurk in this part of the internet, trying to get your information and sell it and frequently succeeding. 

Also Read: How Much of the Internet is the Deep Web?

Data Leaks 

Data leaks are among the biggest dangers the Dark Web poses, threatening the financial and digital security of millions. If a government agency fall victim to a data leak, the consequences can be devastating.

These agencies store multiple information categories for each person in their database. Malevolent entities will aim to monetize the information away from prying eyes. The Dark Web is one such place. The Dark Web costs businesses billions of dollars in damages every year.

Sources of Data on the Dark Web

So who leaks the info? There are five main sources of information on the Dark Web and members of organized crime groups are just one.

Others include nation-states, anarchists, and disgruntled employees. The fifth source is so-called script kitties, people who use tools, code, or scripts illegally to access a computer network or system.

The “kitties” part comes from the fact that they don’t actually understand how the network or system is designed or how the tools they’re using function.  

Stolen Social Security numbers, bank accounts, and credit card data are up for sale on Dark Web marketplaces.

Hackers obtain this data from bank, shore, or restaurant breaches and sell it on the Dark Web or trade it for other goods. Sellers and buyers often barter or sellers sell data for cryptocurrency. On the Dark Web, very few fiat currency exchanges take place. 

There are a few ways to purchase stolen data. You can make a one-off purchase, buy in bundles, or buy in bulk, just like with regular goods.

Data is available for sale through messenger services, chat rooms, and forums apart from marketplaces. Apart from cryptos, you can use escrow services as a form of payment. 

The Dark Web is also home to educational forums for hackers, enabling them to discuss and exchange ideas. 

Malware, Ransomware, and More 

There are additional risks to reckon with when using the Dark Web, including phishing, keylogging, malware, and ransomware. These exist on the surface web too, but the Dark Web is practically rife with them.

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