What is the dark web?
Have you heard of the ‘dark web’? You probably picture a guy in a hoodie, slumped over a keyboard peering at a screen of numbers with an evil smile upon his face. Oddly enough, it’s really not as dark and creepy as the media portrays. However, the scary part is the information you can find on the dark web. Don’t think the worst, I haven’t seen any body parts for sale on the dark web, I can assure you if any of your important data has been stolen. It’s likely for sale on the dark web. The dark web is named that because it’s part of the Internet that is not indexed by search engines. This certainly makes the anonymous illegal activity easier, but the dark web does host a few legitimate social networks.
What’s on the dark web?
As mentioned before, if you’ve ever had your data compromised, it is possible it’s floating around the dark web for sale. Or if you’ve heard of the latest malware attacks that have stolen millions of usernames and passwords (like the Collection #1 breach last January). There are a plethora of items to purchase. Some of the most popular are breached usernames and passwords that have been de-hashed. You can buy credit card numbers, drugs, and hacked accounts to name a few. I have personally viewed 6 stolen credit cards for the cost of $100. No guarantees they had money on them or were still valid, but I suppose it’s worth a try for a hacker. You can even hire a hacker to carry out a job for you. Most of the dark web takes some kind of crypto-currency and has boomed since currencies like Bitcoin have taken hold of the Internet.
How do you access it?
You can’t just type in “dark web” on Google and expect it to take you there. In fact, your network may even get flagged or the antivirus on your computer will prohibit it. The way people are accessing the dark web now it through a search engine named torproject.org. Now keep in mind, this organization created Tor in order to allow everyone privacy during their browsing experiences. Many countries are unable to access the Internet without someone eavesdropping on them or simply being unable to take part in free speech. Also, keep in mind that these dark web sites look just a normal as a regular website. Sometimes the only way you can see the difference is that dark web sites use a scrambled naming structure that creates URLs that are often impossible to remember. For example, a popular commerce site called “Dream Market” goes by the unintelligible address of “eajwlvm3z2lcca76.onion.” Its surprisingly easy to access, just remember what kind of people you’re dealing with. If they stole from other people, they’ll steal from you too.
Staying ahead of the dark web
Most people will never have the need or the courage to check out the dark web. However many IT industry experts peruse the dark side to look out for current and future hacking trends. It’s always good to know what is making money and what assets scammers are looking for. If by chance you stumble upon your own data, there’s little you can do about it. (Although, we’ve heard stories of people buying back their data). But at least you’ll know what’s compromised. Check out the dark web at your own risk, but whatever you do – save yourself the trouble – and don’t purchase anything.