The Dark Web: Small Heaven
Cyberattacks often seem unreal until they happen to us. The cybercrime industry is more significant than you can imagine. For instance, cybercriminals use advanced technology to carry out malicious activities. Also, the dark web is a small heaven for criminals who trade illegal goods and services.
Besides, the dark web protects political dissidents, privacy advocates and whistle-blowers. So then, the darknet is not all bad. Therefore, this brings a challenge to regulators and law enforcement agencies.
What is the Dark Web?
The dark web is the worldwide web that is on overlay networks that use the internet. Sometimes referred to as the darknet, it is infamous for illegal activities. In addition, criminals prefer the platform because it allows anonymous exchange and transactions.
The darknet can only get accessed via specific software and configurations. For example, the Tor browser anonymizes your web traffic hence protecting your identity. Note that Tor itself isn’t illegal. Yet, you could get flagged for suspicious activity if someone discovers that you’re using it.
Moreover, it operates differently from a VPN and uniquely guards your privacy. That way, private computers do their business in private without their identity revealed. Since search engines don’t index the darknet, it requires configuration and approval to get accessed.
The Difference Between Dark Web and Deep Web
Most times, the dark web gets confused with the deep web. However, the two are totally different. In fact, the darknet is a subset of the deep web that is challenging to access. But the two are similar in that neither of them gets indexed by search engines.
Still, you can access the deep web from any browser if you know the URL. On the contrary, the darknet requires Tor to access the content. Tor enables untraceable transactions for many websites to carry out illegal activities.
For clear understanding, imagine the internet in three different layers. The surface layer is the most used for reasons such as electronic banking and e-commerce. After that, there is the deep web that Bing, Google, or Yahoo don’t index. The final layer below is the dark web.
A Small Heaven for Criminals
Whether it involves human beings, drugs, or money, any type of crime can be committed in the dark net. Illegal activities carried out on the dark web include:
The sale of fake digital certificates
The trade of child pornography
The sale of stolen data
The sale of illegal drugs and weapons
Money laundering services
In 2018, about 144,000 Britons alone used the dark web to access child pornography. In case you are wondering, the numbers have not gone any lower. Also, the black market has a site called Besa Mafia, a marketplace for contract killings.
Cybercriminals involved in such activities take precautions while carrying out transactions. Aside from using Tor, they also protect their privacy by using cryptocurrency in their transactions. Cryptocurrency is harder to track. Hence it favors the trade.
Law enforcement is working its way on how to curb criminal activities on the dark web. Moreover, governments are investing in the training of junior and senior officers. Even so, cybercriminals are not lowering down their guard.
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