Dark web investigation requires a unique browser that helps to keep the investigators identity anonymous and protects their device. It can also be a valuable resource for investigative agencies.
Among the goods and services offered are fake credit card numbers, weapons, drugs, counterfeit money and hacked Netflix accounts and software to hack other devices. Many hackers discuss their trade secrets in these forums.
What is the Deep Web?
The deep web is the part of the internet that contains pages and content that are not indexed by standard search engine programs. As a result, these pages cannot be found by searching for them using the normal methods on the clear net (aka the surface web).
To access this hidden portion of the internet, you will need a special browser called Tor that establishes an anonymous connection and masks your IP address. The main purpose of the Tor browser is to provide privacy and security on the deep web. However, it has other useful purposes, including protecting children from pornography, allowing journalists to conduct uncensored research and helping people in countries with poor digital privacy laws get around government blocks on certain websites.
Generally, the deep web is used for activities that people want to keep secret. For example, someone might log into their bank account or private database with personal information that they wouldn’t share with just anyone. Likewise, it’s also a place where illegal transactions and services can be found. The most popular hub for this is the Silk Road marketplace, which has been closed down numerous times by authorities, but there are still smaller ones where you can buy anything from drugs to guns and even gruesome child pornography.
Many of us are using the dark and deep web without realizing it. Every time you check the balance of your online bank account, visit a medical website or stream TV on your laptop or smartphone, you’re connecting to the deep and dark web.
What is the Dark Web?
The dark web is a hidden section of the Internet that can be reached only by using a special browser and VPN connection. It’s impossible to access via regular search tools like Google. In fact, you have to be a bit tech-savvy to know that there’s a different world out there — and it’s not all salacious YouTube stories or racy tweets.
It’s home to illegal marketplaces where you can purchase all sorts of illicit goods and services ranging from stolen credit card information, weapons, fake identification cards, drugs, hacking tools and even hacked Netflix accounts and bitcoin wallets. These sites are accessed through a specialized internet browser called Tor, which masks your identity with a random series of letters and numbers. The Tor network also routes searches or messages through multiple nodes, which means that it’s hard to track where a search or message originated or who is sending it.
It can also be a platform for whistleblowers and terrorist groups, and it’s not uncommon to see sites that promote or support racist, neo-Nazi and white supremacy rhetoric. But the dark web isn’t all bad, and it can provide valuable privacy protections if used correctly. For example, you can find alternative operating systems that are geared towards privacy and security (or simply provide instructions for how to install one). And you can even access full-text editions of books, academic research and political news that would otherwise be behind paywalls on the surface web.
How can I access the Dark Web?
The Dark Web is hidden from standard search engines like Google, and it requires a special browser to access. It isn’t illegal to use, but it can be dangerous if done incorrectly. It can also be difficult to understand and navigate without the proper training and tools.
It can be accessed through a browser like Tor, which routes your traffic through many servers and encrypts your data to protect your privacy. It can take a while to connect, and browsing speeds will be slower than you’re used to. Additionally, there are some risks to using it in a corporate environment.
For some, it provides a way to conduct illicit activities anonymously, including hacktivism, propaganda and disinformation campaigns, child pornography, sex trafficking, and the exchange of stolen credit card and bank account numbers, CSAM files, and weapons. For investigators, it can be a valuable source of information for investigating threats and crimes on social media and forums.
For example, in the Dark Web, you can buy login credentials for hacked banking and email accounts, counterfeit $20 bills, guns, and even a lifetime Netflix premium account. Often, these purchases are made via I2P, which is a darknet with an internal communication network that can’t be traced by outside sources. However, I2P isn’t the only option available, and you can access the Dark Web through a number of other specialized browsers.
How can I conduct a Dark Web investigation?
The Dark Web is comprised of websites that are hidden from search engines and require a specific browser. These include email inboxes, online banking services, job intranets, and many other types of data that are accessed behind login credentials or through specific Internet services. Criminals, paedophiles, and terrorists are among the users of these sites and can steal our information and use it for illicit purposes. This is why conducting a Dark Web investigation is crucial. The good news is that there are several tools that allow us to conduct a Dark Web investigation and stay one step ahead of cybercriminals.
Some of these tools allow users to conduct a Dark Web investigation without giving away any identifiable information, such as the tool Silo, which allows users to access the darknet without leaving a trace on their device or revealing their IP address. Others offer the ability to conduct searches for stolen information such as database breaches or password leaks, and report on their findings. Some tools are also capable of alerting users when their information is listed on the Dark Web.
Regardless of the tool chosen, it is important to follow best practices for conducting a Dark Web investigation. This includes using a private and secure search platform, keeping records of all actions taken while investigating the Dark Web, and ensuring that your investigations are compliant with all local and international laws.