The Darknet

The darknet is a term that refers to overlay networks that use the Internet but require specific software, configurations, or authorization to access. The darknet is often used for anonymous communication and illegal activities, such as file sharing, hacking, cybercrime, and terrorism. The darknet is not indexed by regular search engines and uses different protocols and domains than the regular web┬╣┬▓.

One of the most popular darknet networks is Tor, which stands for The Onion Router. Tor uses a technique called onion routing to encrypt and anonymize the traffic that passes through its network. Tor users can access websites that have the .onion domain suffix, which are called onion services or hidden services. These websites are not accessible from the regular web and can offer various services, such as marketplaces, forums, news outlets, and social media┬╣┬▓┬│.

The darknet is often confused with the deep web, which is the part of the web that is not indexed by regular search engines but does not require any special software or authorization to access. The deep web includes content such as databases, password-protected websites, email accounts, and online banking. The darknet is a subset of the deep web that uses encryption and anonymity tools to hide its content and users┬╣┬▓ .

Source: Conversation with Bing, 07/05/2023
(1) Dark web – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Web.
(2) Darknet – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darknet.
(3) Dark web websites: 10 things you should know | CSO Online. https://www.csoonline.com/article/3322134/10-things-you-should-know-about-dark-web-websites.html.

Some of the risks of using the darknet are:

– Illegal and harmful content. The darknet is often used for hosting and accessing content that is illegal, immoral, or disturbing, such as child pornography, drug trafficking, weapons sales, human trafficking, terrorism, and murder-for-hire. Users may encounter such content unintentionally or deliberately, exposing themselves to legal consequences, psychological trauma, or moral dilemmas┬╣┬▓.
– Cybercrime and hacking. The darknet is also a hotspot for cybercrime and hacking activities, such as identity theft, phishing, malware distribution, data breaches, denial-of-service attacks, and ransomware. Users may become victims or targets of such attacks by visiting malicious websites, downloading infected files, or communicating with untrustworthy parties┬╣┬▓┬│.
– Scams and frauds. The darknet is also home to many scam artists who take advantage of users’ anonymity to commit fraud. Users may be lured into purchasing counterfeit products or services that do not exist, resulting in financial loss. Users may also be tricked into revealing their personal or financial information, compromising their security and privacy┬╣┬▓┬│.
– Malware and viruses. Another risk of using the darknet is the prevalence of malware and viruses. Malicious actors may infect users’ devices with harmful software that can steal their data, damage their systems, or hijack their resources. Users may also unknowingly download or execute malicious code that can compromise their anonymity or security┬╣┬▓┬│.
– Law enforcement and surveillance. The darknet is not immune to law enforcement and surveillance efforts. Users may be tracked or monitored by various agencies or organizations that are interested in their activities or identities. Users may also be caught or exposed by undercover agents, informants, whistleblowers, or hackers who infiltrate the darknet or cooperate with the authorities┬╣┬▓┬│.

Source: Conversation with Bing, 07/05/2023
(1) Is the Dark Web Dangerous? What you need to know – Kaspersky. https://www.kaspersky.com/resource-center/threats/deep-web.
(2) The Dark Web: How to Access and Potential Risks – CrowdStrike. https://www.crowdstrike.com/cybersecurity-101/the-dark-web-explained/.
(3) Exploring the Risks of Using Tor and the Darknet. https://www.onionpages.com/educational/the-risks-of-using-the-darknet-and-how-to-mitigate-them/.

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