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      The Dark Web Exposed: What is it and how does it work?

      Dark Web

      The dark web is the hidden layer of the internet that enables anonymous web surfing and usage. Though thousands of people use this portion of the web, their identity is always hidden. So, cybercriminals utilize it largely to execute their activities of stealing and misusing the online data of users.   

      Data reflects that till 2023, over 2.5 million people visited the deeper spectrum of the web regularly. Among them, the majority (23.5%) of individuals belonged to the age group of 36-45. Malicious employees of companies, cybercriminals, ransomware groups, and hackers are the common users of the dark internet.   

      Cryptocurrency transactions are very common on the dark net, which accounts for 98% of trading on it. This blog shall simplify the topic dark web and trace why cybercriminals are using it, alongside discussing how it works.   

      What is the Dark Web?  

      The dark web or the dark internet is the unrevealed part of the web where users can easily hide their identity. Here, the pages stay unindexed in the search engine, so, opening such pages and websites requires specific browsers and software. This web layer includes several websites, marketplaces, and forums accessible only through browsers such as The Onion Router (Tor).  

      The web is divided into three parts: 4% surface web, which is accessible through general browsers and software, 90% deep web, where the sites are encrypted and not searchable, and 6% dark web, which needs particular browsers and software for information access.   

      Both legal and illegal activities occur on the dark net, including selling stolen data to recovering lost data. Moreover, drug dealing, fake ID creation, explicit video circulation, illicit content promotion, and gun dealing are common practices on the dark internet.  

      How Does the Dark Web Work?   

      People often consider the dark net an illegal and risky space to explore and to be in. It includes anonymity methods and hides the identity of the users by covering their IP addresses. Such activities elevate privacy concerns for people. In simple words, people use such mechanisms to keep their online activities private from others.   

      Here are a few phases of the dark web that users need to consider beforehand:   

      Networks: Usually, in the dark net, overlay networks are applicable that Tor offers. Invisible Internet Project (I2P) is another browser that offers an overlay network to maintain the anonymity and privacy of the users. These browsers encrypt browsing data by directing internet traffic through several voluntarily operated servers. The process makes it challenging to identify the sources of the traffic.   

      Anonymity: The overlaid networks assist in hiding the IP addresses of the users and obscuring their online activities using those browsers. This means that while accessing the dark net using overlay networks, no one can trace the users and their browsing history.   

      Dark marketplaces and forums: On the hidden layer of the web, there are several marketplaces and forums where people sell and buy elements of their interest legally or illegally. Drugs, guns, stolen data, cybercrime tools, etc., are common components of dark marketplaces. Such forums are also a destination for private communications and whistleblowing.   

      Why are cybercriminals using the Dark Web?  

      Cybercriminals leverage the dark web for multiple purposes, including malicious software development and hiring people to join their criminal groups. The sites also allow cybercriminals to sell stolen data and accessibility to other parties.   

      Recruitment is one of the significant activities on the dark net where hackers and similar criminals try to enlarge their teams by hiring people with skills and competencies. Money laundering is another practice of cybercriminals on the hidden web where criminals try to raise funds illegally through fraud, drug trafficking, and similar activities.  

      Summing Up!  

      The hidden layer of the internet was primarily formulated for government communications, where maintaining privacy is mandatory. However, with time, it received public exposure. Due to its anonymity nature, criminals found it safe to carry out their illegal trading activities.   

      Alongside technologies like AI, cyber-attackers are gaining more power on the dark web. Nevertheless, there are also positive aspects to this spectrum of the internet, such as learning about prohibited subjects and finding stolen information. Refer to our articles to stay updated with the latest cybercrime technologies and trends.   

      You may also like to read:

      How to Secure Your Business from Cyber Threats?

      Data Protection for Small Business: Easy Steps to Take




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