Did you know that only 4% of the Internet is accessible through a conventional browser, like Google or Bing? The darknet – a network commonly used by cybercriminals and other folks with bad intentions — comprises a big portion of this hidden resource.
The nefarious types who use the darknet build websites there. This specialized, largely criminal grouping of sites is called the dark web. Conventional search engines don’t index (examine and keep track of) sites on the dark web, which makes it easy for criminals to use this resource freely. They leverage it for making drug deals, finding hitmen, and selling everything from stolen data to military secrets and kidnapped people. Needless to say it’s a hacker’s favorite hangout.
The dark web is a layer of the world wide web (WWW), just like the “surface web,” which most of us think of as “the web.” (There is a third layer to the WWW, called the deep web, that is used to transmit and maintain common services such as webmail, online banking, video on demand, and many more. It’s generally not a place where illegal activities take place.)
The average person will never visit a site on either the dark web or the deep web. However, if you get an opportunity to surf the darknet or the dark web, don’t accept it. Not only does access require a special tool, but just visiting it can be illegal. If the search or visit is conducted on a computer that isn’t properly secured, your trip to the dark web could increase the chances of your data being stolen.
In our recent white paper, we discuss the darknet and dark web in greater detail. It’s a fascinating journey — we invite you to come along.