The Dark Web is that part of the Internet where cyber-criminals run message boards and sell everything from malware exploit kits, rainbow tables of cracked passwords, and botnets for rent, to child pornography, pharmaceuticals, illegal drugs, and weapons. Time was it was a hard place to find, many sites available by invitation only and reached via the TOR network.
Recently, international law enforcement agencies have had an increasing number of significant successes taking down some of the most pernicious sites including:
- Silk Road
- Silk Road 2.0
- Italian police take down another marketplace in “Operation Babylon”
- Take down of a child pornography exchange.
- The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has released its Memex browser tool to allow anyone to access and search the Dark Web.
- And just today – Dark web marketplace Agora suspends operations due to TOR vulnerability
Seems like the Dark Web is not so dark anymore. In fact, while researching for this article, I Googled the term “dark web links” and came up with several lists of sites available through TOR on the Dark Web. So just how dark is that?
Before you go all crazy and start exploring on your own, understand that these sites are run by people who may not be the nicest folks you will ever meet. Traveling in the Dark Web may be hazardous to your computer and your identity. But recent successes by law enforcement seem encouraging, and over time may result in a decrease in the the number of criminal exploits that are launched from the Internet.
For more information:
- Sophos – Law enforcement is learning to navigate the Dark Web
- Sophos – FBI again thwarts Tor to unmask visitors to a Dark Web child sex abuse site
- CSO Online – Italian police shutter Dark Web marketplace
- The Hidden Wiki – Deep Web links
- Sophos – Dark web marketplace Agora suspends operations due to TOR vulnerability
About the Author:I am a cybersecurity and IT instructor, cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. I am an owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, I also conduct security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. I also teach Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. I work as an information technology and cybersecurity instructor for several training and certification organizations. I have worked in corporate, military, government, and workforce development training environments I am a frequent speaker at professional conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at http://wyzguyscybersecurity.com