In today’s online world, a lot of Internet users do not have any idea of how large the worldwide web has become over the years. There are so many things on the Internet that the typical Internet user cannot access no matter how hard they try, in fact, what you see while surfing the web is only one percent of what is contained on the Internet.
The whole idea of the underground Internet where any form of transaction can be carried out might sound like a hoax to some. However, the fact remains that this world does exist and it is practically hidden away from major search engines and inaccessible by regular Internet browsers.
You can picture it this way; the Internet is like a deep, wide ocean and we are busy fishermen. In a standard case scenario, our nets primarily scrape the surface to capture everything we need. However, there are mysterious depths which cannot be reached under normal circumstances. This is what we call the “Deep Web.” in most cases, the deep web is also a marketplace for certain categories of content such as weapons, drugs, stolen data, child pornography and what not. Sites like this make up a subsection of the deep web known as ‘Dark Web‘.
So What Is The Dark Web?
The “Dark Web” is that part of the web that cannot be accessed without special software. The moment a user gets inside, websites, as well as other services (mostly illegal), can be accessed via a browser in a similar way as the regular web. Taking a look at this, you’ll find that the main reason people access these sites is to stay hidden or anonymous.
How and Why Was The Software Developed?
In the online world, every digital device connected to the web possesses a unique Internet Protocol address. While the name and physical address of a person can be captured via an Internet service provider with legal permission, the IP alone allows anyone to identify the location of the connected device. Hence, it is very easy for an interested or unprincipled party to find a particular Internet user.
So, the burning desire for anonymity, especially by the government seeking to secure confidential data and networks led to the creation and development of the software known as The Onion Router (Tor). It was developed by the United States Naval Research Laboratory staffs.
The software was freely released to the general public in 2004. Tor ensures the privacy of users by encrypting and directing web traffic through a series of virtual tunnels, dispersing transactions over random computers on the Internet. Hence, no single computer connects a user. This is done so no not even a single computer connects a user to that user’s destination. The use of a network such as Tor led to access the Internet resulted in the creation of “dark web,” and it is not a place you visit for any legitimate reasons.
Dangers or Threats Associated With The Dark Web
Just as the name implies, the Dark Web is a place filled with so much dark stuff. As I mentioned earlier, the dark web has a market where people sell illegal products such as drugs, firearms, among other dangerous weapons. It is also a home for cyber criminals as anyone can choose to enter and this is made possible with their ever-growing malware toolsets available to the newbie. There is even a section where individuals can hire an assassin to kill anyone in the real world. Also, there is a crowdfunded “Assassination Market,” where users can agree and pay towards having someone assassinated.
Also, because of the dark web’s entire anonymity issue, it has been a home for groups wanting to stay hidden online from law enforcement agencies. Terrorist groups and jihadists have done their best to make the most of what darknet markets offer, no thanks to their new breed of young and tech-savvy recruits. This group have provided support to destructive groups such as ISIS and have extended the global coverage of the terrorist group. To make things darker and scarier, the dark web is also a home for psychopaths and pedophile groups who upload the vilest videos of unnatural acts. Guys the dark web is dark!
So, I guess some people might be curious to know if what we’ve said so far is true, well, we’re all humans, and we love to see proof so we can believe. If you plan on accessing the dark web, you have to do it with caution.
Cautions In Accessing The Dark Web
For the regular Internet user, the dark web can be a scary place. Accessing its hidden sites without precaution might be compared to bleeding in the deep blue sea filled with sharks. As we know, anonymity increases illicit activities such as the sale of fake IDs and passport, drugs, stolen equipment. Also, sites on the dark web also advertise the services of killers, hackers, and counterfeiters.
Also, many websites are created by law enforcement agencies to monitor and keep track of potential criminal activity. So one cannot be so sure of whom they interact with on the dark web.
There is also a high possibility of users infecting their systems with malware. The level of malware in the dark web is high, and one can easily get infected unless necessary precautions are taken.
Also, a dark web visitor who attempts to visit a politically oriented site should be aware and concerned about attracting the attention of government authorities and becoming an official subject of unwanted surveillance.
All in all, the dark web can be a place to keep your confidential data from prying eyes as this is the practice of most prominent organizations all over the world, thanks to the anonymity it offers. However, one has to be careful so as not to fall a victim of the worst while hoping for the best. Stay safe folks!