What is the Dark Web?

The Dark Web is the websites that the owners don’t want you to find, unless they specifically give out an invitation. These sites are not on Google or other search engines because they have never been registered  and deliberately don’t have links from other sites that Google or other search engines know about.

It’s true that most of the Dark web is about illegal activity including fraud, phishing, terrorist activities, drugs, hacking etc. However, there is some activity on the Dark web that people don’t want to be seen but is not illegal such as whistle-blowers preparing or sharing information, things that are legal in some jurisdictions but not in others, unmonitored communication in countries with totalitarian controls etc.

Darknet websites are accessible only through networks such as Tor  and I2P (“Invisible Internet Project”). Tor browser and Tor-accessible sites are widely used among the darknet users and can be identified by the domain “.onion”.

These route the users’ data through a large number of intermediate servers, which protects the users’ identity and gives anonymity. The complicated system makes it almost impossible to decrypt the information even  layer by layer. Communication between darknet users is highly encrypted allowing users to talk, blog, and share files confidentially.

Web Based Hidden Services in January 2015

Directories 2.5% Blogs 2.75% Pornography 2.75% Hacking 4.25%
Searches 4.25% Anonymity 4.5% Counterfeit 5.2% Whistle blowers 5.2%
Wiki 5.2% Email 5.2% Bitcoin 6.2% Market 9%
Drugs 15.4%

There are markets similar to Amazon but that sell illegal items such as drugs, weapons, hacking software, viruses, etc. Many hackers sell their services individually or as a part of groups. Various government bodies around the world try to track activity on the Dark Web but it is not easy.   There are numerous forums where credit card details and identities are sold.

Amongst the numerous illegal activity sites are scam sites that defraud people trying to carry out illegal activity.

See http://www.fightbackonline.org/index.php/guidance/12-explanations/69-the-dark-web-what-is-it for further information.

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