There’s another Internet web riding along with the one we normally see. It’s called the Deep Web, a system of overlay networks that use the Internet infrastructure but require specific software, configuration and allowed access or authorization to use. The Deep Web has a number of uses for business but is especially useful for hackers and cybercriminals.
The Deep Web is not indexed and lies beyond the reach of conventional search engines. Therefore, these deep websites are not a part of “clearnet” search results. There may be 500 times more content in the Deep Web than there is in the conventional web.
The Dark Web
The Dark Web is a small part of the Deep Web. The also un-indexed Dark Web uses protected or encrypted traffic. It’s a place where cybercriminals conduct their trade and legit businesses may conduct transactions. Mainly, however, the protected Dark Web is a supermarket for illicit and illegal activity. It’s a place for hackers and cyber criminals to conduct business – selling credit card information, electronic health care records and illegal drug transactions.
Major Dark Web uses:
One of the main enablers of the Dark Web is “The Onion Router” known as TOR. An onion router system has several encryption layers intended to hide the message’s source and destination addresses. (See fig.1). Like an onion, TOR has several layers as shown in the figure. As web privacy continues to erode, TOR promises to maintain free speech and thought
Onion routing is a process for anonymous communication. TOR uses layers of encryption and a series of onion routers.
As shown in the figure – the source of the communication sends the onion to Router A. Router A then determines where to send it next by removing the first layer of encryption. Router A also sees the source address but does not know if it is the address of origination. Router A sends the remaining data to Router B. Router B removes another layer of encryption to find out where to send it next (Router C). Router C decrypts the last layer to send the data to its final destination.
Like a VPN, the secured pathway or tunnel lets users browse to public and secured Dark Web sites without conceding delicate information like IP addresses, cursor movement, your location, and other personal data stored in cookies. TOR helps to prevent deep packet analysis, and protects website data payload and header information.
One comment I saw online was that you do not have any privacy on the Internet so get over it. Processes like TOR can help but the FBI recently claimed to be able to infect TOR nodes revealing personal information of TOR users. So use caution when using TOR. Hopefully the TOR continuum will continue to upgrade and patch any new-found holes.
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