Monday 17 July 2017

Darknet : Your Guide to the Badlands of the Internet


Darknet – Totally Diverse Being

If there tends to be something peculiar going on online, then the same could be taking place on the darknet such as hacked login details, cybersecurity exploits put up for hire and much more. In 2013, Target had been hacked and details of customer card had turned up on darknet marketplaces. Hackers had also attempted to do the same with login credential of Yahoo as well as details of O2 phone network customers in the UK.

One will find cybercriminals also selling security exploits. With the growth of bitcoin, the currency of choice on the darknet and unidentified payments seems to be much easier than before. A news enquiry in Australia had recently discovered that an unidentified darknet user had offered up access to the Medicare records of `any Australian’ for only 0.0089 bitcoin - $22, AU$30, £18. Europol has mentioned that the darknet together with the other peer-to-peer networks are yet the `main platform’ for the purpose of sharing child abuse material.

For users using Chrome or Safari to get online, the darknet is said to be a totally diverse being and how could it be diverse from the `surface web’ which we are aware of? What is it that users need to be aware of in advance should one intend to wade in?

`Darknet’ Not Same as `Deep Web’

We need to know that the darknet is not the same as the `deep web’, which is referred to any area of the internet which is not noticeable by search engine. However that does not mean that is suspicious and there are several other sites one would visit in their daily browsing which may fall in this classification. When a user tends to log in to internet banking, they are navigated to a particular location online and one that is not assisted in Google results.

The same could go for various pages which may tend to pop up in webmail services such as Gmail or educational databases on a university network. It seems to be complex in estimating presently how big the deep web could be though the generally cited research, (from 2001) has placed the deep web at 400 to 500 times the size of the `surface web’.

It is said that if the surface web could be the tip of the iceberg and the deep web, of what lies below the water, then the darknet would be what one would find deep in the blackest water beneath. The darknet itself is the network while the dark web the content which is served up on these networks.

Hidden Crime Bazaars

According to researcher Brian Krebs, it is here that one would find a type of open market which tends to pursue their trade in illegal wares, the hidden crime bazaars which can only be accessed through special software that obscures one’s true location online.

Last month the UN had observed that though the drug trafficking over the darknet seems to be comparatively uncertain, drug transaction has increased by 50% annually from September 2013 to January 2016. Moreover in early 2016, Loretta Lynch the then-US Attorney General had cautioned that some gun sales had been shifting to the dark web in order to stay beyond the reach of regulations.

 Here the main key is secrecy and whistle-blowers, activists together with political insurgents definitely tend to a valid reason to obscure their online location and post secrecy on the deep web as well as the darknet, though that level of secrecy has also been sought by the criminals.

Precise Software/Devoted Browser

This does not seem to be a matter of issues to `’ and to spy one would need precise software together with a devoted browser. Most probably the Tor software and its dedicated Tor Browser are the most famous of these but there are other comprising of I2P and Freenet.

By utilising software initially called The Onion Router, Tor tends to secure traffic by routing it via a network of secure relays which anonymize traffic. These relays are said to be run by volunteers all over the world who donate their server bandwidth. Considering it as a network of safe house, one travels through underground tunnels which run along the line of the street above and tend to pop out where you desire safe houses donated by fellow network users.

However with links on the darknet, it is usually only alphanumeric stings of gibberish and could be very difficult to know what you’re getting. It is significant to recall that Tor is not illegal software, only as torrenting software, does not do anything illegal till one tends to use the same in sharing pirated movies.

Tor states that plenty of `normal people’ tend to use its service together with citizen journalists, whistle-blowers, law enforcement agencies and as per Human Rights Watch, Chinese dissidents. As per the estimates of Tor only around 4% of traffic over its network is for hidden services and the rest is people accessing regular internet sites with greater secrecy.

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