Why in news?
Food delivery site Zomato was subject to a data breach on May 18, 2017. According to reports a “Dark Web” operator called NClay was behind the attack. This and the recent Ransomware cyberattacks in around 100 countries have brought the focus on the Dark Web.
What is the Dark web?
Dark Web is the virtual equivalent of a black market. Like Silk Road that marketed illegal drugs through the Dark Web, entities which want to operate out of the arms of the law seek refuge in the Dark Web.
Dark Web, Deep Web and Darknet
Deep Web is the area of the Internet which is not accessible through search engines. What we access through search engines is called Surface Web. To get into the Deep Web one should know the right address. Dark Web is part of the Deep Web. While the Deep Web is accessible, the Dark Web is deliberately hidden. Dark net is another name for Dark Web.
How does it work?
Dark Web can be simply explained as a specialised form of browsing in incognito mode. While incognito mode disables browsing history and web cache, the Dark Web is shielded by specialised software such as Tor. As it is evident by the name, the USP of a Dark Web site is the anonymity they offer and the near-impossibility of tracking them down.
How do the Dark Web operators transact?
Since the real word money trail carries the danger of exposure, Dark Web operators transact in virtual currencies, the most popular being Bitcoins. In the recent cyberattacks involving Ransomware, the operators demanded from their victims ransom payment ranging between $300 and $600 through Bitcoins.
Is it safe to access the Dark Web?
The near-unanimous opinion is to stay away from the Dark Web because it is inherently unsafe. It is so easy to lose your way, and valuables such as money and data in the Dark Web. Unless you fear prosecution by an authoritarian regime or a government agency for doing something you think legitimate, the Dark Web should be a no-go area.