There's a reason why the term "dark web" sounds scary. Because it isn't indexed on the internet and requires specific applications and configurations to make it accessible, the dark web is a section of the internet comprising of hidden websites that are inaccessible using conventional web browsers.
When we come across this phrase - “dark web”, there are a lot of questions that spring to mind:
What is it?
How does someone access it?
Is it safe to access?
There’s a lot of mystery around this part of the internet. The dark web’s websites utilize encryption software to keep their visitors and owners anonymous and hide their location.
According to a study conducted, it was found that things on the darkweb have become really bad. Since 2019,the number of instances that would cause harm to an organization through dark web registries has increased by 20%
On the Dark web, you can engage in the following illicit activities:
1. Child Pornography
2. Buy stolen Credit card information
3. Buy Arms or Ammunition
4. Counterfeit Money
5. Stolen Passwords / Credentials
6. Softwares that helps you break into other people’s computers and the list goes on…
Once you have ample information on what lies within the dark web; you would be curious on how you'll access it.
To begin, you would download and install the Tor browser. Tor websites on dark web end with in.onion and have complex names which cannot be searched with traditional search engines like Google or Yahoo. You would need to use special web search engines like DarkSearch,Ahmia,Haystak, Torch.
In case, if you decide to surf the dark web, take the necessary steps to safeguard yourself. It’s easy to stumble into questionable content on the dark web, so don’t leap in without educating yourself ahead of time .
Dark web has now developed into a center for illegal transactions, creating a threat to the cyber world. Anonymous users on the dark web make it harder to detect web patterns like browsing history, geographic locations as it is used by them to conceal their identities and carry out illegal activities.
Amongst the most difficult issues that are faced by the law enforcement agencies is that the dark web is essentially anonymous, making it impossible to collect adequate information to aid in the fight against cybercriminals who are using it.
The dark web's major financial transactions are conducted in cryptocurrencies, which guarantee even more secrecy. Bitcoin's blockchain technology is a fully decentralized record of transactions with blocks that are cryptographically protected. It stores data in a way that makes changing or hacking the system incredibly difficult.
Cryptocurrency transactions have enabled cybercriminals and terrorists to fund a wide range of illicit activities on the dark web, making it almost impossible for authorities to track the path of money to obtain verifiable proof. Only the legitimate usage of cryptocurrencies may be regulated, but a significant chunk of them can also be utilized for malicious purposes.
Darkweb is commonly used by news agencies and other activists throughout the world to communicate anonymously and securely in order to protect individuals' right to liberty of information and internet privacy. Simultaneously, it is abused by criminals, resulting in a plethora of crimes.
To maintain the advantages of this area while also eliminating criminal activities, federal authorities must adopt a more nuanced strategy.
Collaboration between entities can help handle the dark web's key emerging technological problems in providing solutions like new cryptographic techniques, among other things. Advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other advanced technology should be aggressively used by federal authorities.
A limit on the amount of personal data acquired by different firms and their automated destruction after a set period of time might considerably increase cyber systems' efficacy in safeguarding data and preventing repeat tragedies.
The issues posed by the dark web's transnational character can be addressed through exchanging intelligence data across industries, agencies, and organizations.
In this sense, global cooperation in the form of regional and international exchanges via conferences, workshops, and cooperative strength exercises is extremely advantageous.