Google and other search engines recognize only 1% of sites on the web. You may ask, what about the other 99%? Majority of this percentage (about 90%) consists of the deep web. These web pages contain an illegal subcategory known as the dark web, which hackers use to retrieve information from companies like yours for personal gain.
So how easy is it to use the dark web?
The answer to this is simple. Anyone can easily access the dark web with the correct browser and URL links. Dark web browsers such as TOR, a strong encryption, allows a user to surf the web anonymously making it easy for anybody to protect their identity and traffic throughout sites. Browsers protecting hacker's identity doesn't stop there. In fact, if a user’s IP address happens to be traced back to them, using a virtual private network not only encrypts your traffic in websites, but also hides your IP address fully protecting your identity. That’s it! Once a user has the TOR browser, they can easily access websites on the dark web and progress with all its services.
What is available on the dark web?
Infiniwiz took a dive into the dark web to research services and chose direct images to show you.
The Bright Side
While many believe that the dark web contains only illegal services, it also contains other legitimate services if used properly. Services include but are not limited to:
Blogs and News
The dark web is made up of articles where you can keep up to date with what's going on in the world. Whether it is group chats, live podcasts, etc. These conversations can be about the latest trending celebrity, international news, ways to maneuver around the dark web, security, or even learning how to make good use of gadgets. There is always a conversation on the dark web where you can discover cool ideas and news from the internet.
Whether you are looking for the latest tech products that may be out of stock or even cheaper prices for tech products such as PC’s, cellphones, gaming systems, etc. There's a good chance you'll find the product you're looking for on the dark web (provided you're careful with some vendors, they're scammers and will run away with your money). Websites such as Apple shop, and Samsung Store allows you to buy the latest gadgets without fear of scammers. However, we advise that a user purchase their phone from trademarked services that are reputationally trusted.
Another service offered by the dark web is free speech activism. There are many users who can connect with other like-minded people. Many users use websites such as RiseUp to advocate for social change and communicate securely with each other without outsiders intruding. Others use the dark web for freedom of writing. Many journalists use ProPublica as a writing outlet where controversial topics are freely expressed.
Entertainment and TV
The dark web also consists of streaming services where you can access virtual games, radio stations, etc. Websites such as chess games, Tor, or even sports updates allow users to communicate with others as well as enjoy their virtual hobbies.
The Dark Side
While there is good content to surf, illegal activities are usually a user's first impression of the dark web. The criminal side of the dark web is important to be attentive to as illegal activities, plus the perks of anonymity puts corporations as well as people in possible danger. Whether it's a marketplace to buy illegal items, or a discussion thread about drugs, weapons, terrorism, etc., users have easy access to carry out these illegal activities with the dark web’s services. These are included but not limited to:
Illicit Drug Selling
The dark web is an ideal place for criminals to create drug markets. In fact, most illegal activities on the dark web are drug trafficking. For example, websites such as Brainmagic and Cannazone allow a user to have access to any drug that they may be looking for. A user can find any drug that they may be searching for.
Users can also buy fake documents such as degrees, passports, driver's licenses, passports, etc. Many criminals use these documents to receive job offers, avoid age restriction, travel with a new identity, and much more. PrivacyAffairs.com has provided a list of prices of fake documentation and how much hackers are charging for specific services.
If it doesn’t get as dark as what you have read, users are also able to sex traffic, find hitman services, and other activities that can occur if a criminal is hired. Because users are anonymous, it is much harder to track these illegal and inhumane activities.
Users are not only able to buy any weapon on the dark web, but they are able to smuggle and trade weapons that they may have. Although a small portion of illegal activities on the dark web is the trafficking of weapons, many people use this service to buy weapons for a cheap price, are underage, or are looking to harm others. We saw this conflict in 2016, when the terrorist of the Munich mass shooting bought his weapon from the dark web.
Hacking services are a company’s main concern for their business’ private information. Not good at hacking? The dark web provides this service as well. A non-hacker can buy a hacker to attack anybody. If a user wants to access secure data, hackers are available with speedy services to help one gain the information they need to affect a person or company maliciously.
While the dark web can be an interesting place to catch up on the latest news, connect with others, allow free speech, etc., it is important to understand the dangers of illegal activities and services nobody can really prepare for.