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Shining a Light on the Dark Web



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It is estimated that "Surface Web" – websites and data that is visible to everyone – represents less than five percent of the total information and places on the internet. Beneath the surface is the Deep Web – also known as the hidden, invisible and dark web. [1] In this article we will shine light on the dark path – what it is, how it is reached and what types of information end up there.

What is "Dark Web"?

"Dark Web" may sound like the ominous abode of the Sith lord, but really it's just a part of the internet where users are anonymous and information and activity is mostly unregulated.

The dark web was originally created by US Naval Research Laboratory, and much of what goes on there is not criminal, for example the dark web is home to journalists, human rights activists and whistleblowers who want to convey information safely and securely.

The anonymous also attracts criminals and illegal activity. Hackers and cybercriminals deal with identity information, stolen accounts and instructional guides to take advantage of fraud.You do not want your personal or business information to end up in the wrong hands, but there are simple steps you can take to avoid that situation.

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Pages in the dark web are not indexed by Google, Bing, Yahoo and other popular search engines if used on Surface Web. You can not reach dark websites with a standard browser such as Chrome, Safari or Firefox. Instead, Deep Web explorers use the TOR browser, which stands for The Onion Router. Today, more than 65,000 unique ".onion" addresses can be found in the Tor network and about half are estimated to be involved in criminal activities. [2] The rest serve legitimate purposes such as chat room communications, marketplaces, and file servers.

What business and personal information is available for sale on the Dark Web?

Many nasty products are sold on the dark web. Here are some of the types of business and personal information that are transmitted online by cybercriminals and identity thieves.

  • False and "genuine" identities: Criminals sell fake ID documents (think minors access a bar) as well as identities of real people (to assume a new identity or remove fraud).
  • User accounts for financial accounts: Only $ 70.91 can buy access to a bank account. [3] Thieves can try to transfer money from a bank, take out a credit card, take out a loan or carry out an account takeover.
  • Medical Records: Millions of medical files are for sale and cybercriminals love them for their vast amount and quality of identity information. [4]
  • Business Network Tasks: You do not have to be a hacker to break into a corporate network. And with employees working at home during the pandemic, there were 69% more posts selling corporate network logins in Q1 2020. [5]
  • Accounting department email addresses: These are valuable to cybercriminals for phishing campaigns because they are the staff who handle money in a company. [6]

How to keep the dark web out of your life .

If you take steps to protect the security of your business and personal information, you do not have to worry about the dark web. For individuals, these steps include password caution, using two-factor authentication, and using a dark web surveillance identity monitoring service. Companies should also conduct training against phishing for employees, distribute network protection and cyber security solutions and have cyber insurance with crime resolution. Here is a handy tip sheet that can be shared and / or published by your computer.

Do you finally have cyber protection insurance? For example, the Center's personal cyber protection coverage provides the type of coverage you can expect from a first-party privacy liability: data recovery and recovery, cyberbullying, financial loss due to online fraud and breaches of personal data. However, it also takes things a step further and covers psychiatric counseling services, legal costs, temporary relocation costs and additional costs related to cyberbullying attacks.

Take the right steps to ensure your peace of mind online. Contact your local independent agent to learn more about this coverage!


Blog courtesy of CyberScout. © 2020 CyberScout, LLC

[1] Computer Business Review, “What is the Deep Web and How to Access It,” August 4, 2020

[2] International Monetary Fund, “The Truth About the Dark Web, "F&D magazine, September 2019

[3] Irish Tech News," Your entire online identity can be worth less than € 900 on the Dark Web, New Report Reveals, "February 23, 2019.

[4] CBS This Morning, "Hackers steal millions of medical records – and sell them on the dark web," February 14, 2019.

[5] Positive Technologies, "Access for Sale," May 20, 2020.

[6] Digital Shadows


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