TechnologyWhat are Dark Web Links in this Internet World?...

What are Dark Web Links in this Internet World? Explained

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The “black corner” of the Internet is the dark web. It’s made up of websites that can’t be tracked or searched without the proper equipment, configuration, permissions, or credentials. Strong cryptography ensures the privacy and anonymity of dark web servers. Dark web IP addresses and the iduientities of those in charge of the sites they host are thus notoriously hard to ascertain.

What’s more, it prevents the average web surfer from stumbling into the dark web links by accident, as these sites are inaccessible to them.

Tor, an Internet overlay proxy network, is the primary encryption tool on the black web because of its ability to conceal users’ and websites’ identities and locations. I2P is another widely used anonymizing encryption technique. These services offer multiple levels of encryption to guarantee the privacy of any and all information transmitted through them. Using the same encryption method as the site you want to visit is a fundamental aspect of accessing the darknet.

Dark web links: Why do people use them?

Dark web links are not only utilized for illegal activities like accessing illegal marketplaces or cryptocurrency fraud. The notoriety of dark web links has increased dramatically, despite the negative connotations it has received.

After Edward Snowden’s 2013 revelations on the extent to which the UK and US governments track their citizens’ Internet use, there was a significant uptick in the use of the darknet through Tor. Likewise, Tor’s active users went from 1 to 6 million after these details emerged.

Most people just use Tor’s browser, which has an interface very similar to Firefox, to surf the open web anonymously so that neither their government nor their Internet service provider (ISP) can track their online activities.

Accessing Dark Web Links to buy products or services

If you know about the darknet, then the black market aspect of the underground web cannot be ignored. A wide variety of illicit goods and services are offered on the black market, including the purchase of drugs, weapons, and stolen financial information. It is even whispered that a hitman can be hired on the dark web. The Silk Road was an extremely popular underground online marketplace where virtually anything could be purchased before it was eventually shut down. The site’s drug trafficking even reviewed its users on a regular basis.

The darknet is a place where one can easily find malware and even hackers selling their services. It is like a supermarket to buy and sell private information. Many things may be acquired using this unindexed part of the internet, including personal details, medical data, and credit card numbers.

In addition to adult content, the dark web links are rife with pornographic content, especially that of a pedophilic kind. Moreover, the owner of Hidden Wiki could not hide for long after displaying photographs of child abuse and was arrested in 2011. Later, the Wiki was forced to erase references to the published images.

In spite of a plethora of offerings, business on the dark web is inherently perilous and perhaps lethal. There is no assurance that the products or services you are trying to purchase will arrive, and you run the risk of being arrested if you do. Many merchants will take your money and reopen under a different name, or your shipment may be intercepted at a port of entry or en route.

Using cryptocurrency to make purchases on Dark Web Links

When talking about the underground market on the dark web, it’s impossible to avoid talking about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Thanks to cryptocurrencies, payments may be made securely in secret on both open and dark web links.

Payments may be made on the dark web without revealing the buyer’s or seller’s identities, making cryptocurrencies a boon to the underground economy. Almost all deals made in the shadow market are conducted with Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency. However, there are risks associated with the anonymity of cryptocurrency, and scams are prevalent.

How can criminals use Dark Web Links?

Human and sex trafficking through Dark Web Links

Due to the anonymity of the dark web, online chat rooms, and message boards, human and sex trafficking have skyrocketed as a criminal industry. We agree that human trafficking is a major crime and should be considered a violation of human rights. According to reports, slavery has taken a new form, and about 2.5 million people are under modern slavery. The victims are sold into prostitution, exploited as sex workers or child soldiers, or used as factory or household employees. 

The criminals who are in human trafficking use new strategies, including extortion, promises, and contracts, to lure potential victims into their networks.Because trafficking networks are always adapting to new situations, they are able to evade state agencies’ efforts to monitor and censor them. It’s not easy to spot human trafficking when it takes place in the shadows. There are millions of victims of forced labor and marriage. 

Moreover, currently, there are 40.3 million people who are under modern slavery (The International Labor Organization, 2017). The numbers are shocking as it indicates that 5.4% out of 1,000 people are under modern slavery. One out of every four victims is a slave in the current day, which is a terrifying statistic. Out of a total of 24.9 million victims, roughly 16 million were forced to work in agriculture, construction, or the home; 4.8 million were sexually enslaved, and the forced labor victims were 4 million. Moreover, women and girls are exploited by a staggering 99 percent and 58 percent, respectively, in the sex and related industries.

Cybercrimes through Dark Web Links

One of the most common places for cybercriminals to sell malware, hacking resources, and stolen data is in anonymous marketplaces on the dark web. There were three most prominent and rapidly growing marketplaces on the darknet, which were removed, namely Black Market ReloadedSheep Market, and the Silk Road. These have vanished in recent years due to law enforcement action or their owners’ volition.

Many crypto markets sprung up when the infamous black marketplace Silk Road became famous. The authorities shut down some of these markets, others shut down voluntarily, and some may have closed fraudulently.

In addition to drugs, pornography, and weapons, stolen or compromised data. It includes bank details, statements, personal information, health details, card numbers, cloned pins, and other private data that are regularly being sold on darknet marketplaces. Many different tools were developed to look into dark web markets that offered services and goods based on malicious hacking. It has also been stated that data thieves and cyber criminals trade information on various tools used for hacking and provide or sell services that help in stealing money through cyber carding crime. It is done through underground black markets and dark web links that people use for illegal purposes.

Terrorist activities through the dark web

National security is seriously threatened by terrorists operating in the shadows and organizations supporting terrorism through the darknet. Most terrorist groups have taken advantage of the dark net. The names include major terrorist groups, including ISIS, al-Qaeda, and many more. These groups use dark web links to carry out terrorist activities, share information and disseminate propaganda.

ISIS has been known to use dark web links to raise funds, recruit new members, and communicate among themselves during leadership transitions. An article published by Defense One’s technology editor suggests that the Islamic State and its allies are speculated to use the darknet and dark web links to brainwash people and join them and spread the evil message.. For its dark web links services, ISIS accepts Bitcoins as payment. The U.S. military keeps an eye on the dark web in an effort to trace ISIS. Still, so far, neither law enforcement nor the military has discovered a means to do so without violating users’ privacy.

Through the use of anonymous and underground dark web links, ISIS has been able to broadcast and video the executions of their victims, turning this gruesome practice into a lethal terrorist tool. Miniature videos of their heinous deeds are uploaded on dark web links and shared with the world. They use dark web links to get new recruits to fight for them all across the world. ISIS has resorted to dark web links for privacy and security against cyber criminals. They disseminated information on the November 2015 attacks in Paris using hidden networks and social media.

Child abuse through Dark Web Links

Teens communicate with one another via anonymous social media and messaging apps like Omegle and Ask.fm. The convenience of these apps is used by pedophiles who engage in sexually inappropriate behavior with minors. Pedophiles and other criminals with similar interests extensively use dark web links to distribute child pornography-like images and pons. Freedom Hosting had 550 servers spread across Europe and let anyone use them to host child sex material.

The FBI conducted operation pacifier, arresting hundreds of pedophiles in the United States and abroad; the investigation covered two million users, two thousand three hundred sexually explicit photos, and nine thousand sexually explicit video files. Amanda Todd’s (15-year-old Canadian) suicide case drew widespread attention to the issue of child abuse over the internet. She used a series of flashcards in a YouTube video she made a few weeks before committing suicide in 2012. The video was used to send a message that she was being blackmailed. The criminal was forcing her to show her breasts and physically abusing her.

Likewise, the prostitution of children via webcams is also a serious concern. In this case, a child under the age of 18 simply sells live sexual photos using Voice-over-IP (VoIP) apps. It is a developing concern in the realm of online child sexual abuse. Live images of child abuse are captured and sold via the video streaming feature of VoIP programs.

Drug markets

You can find two types of markets on the darknet that deal with drugs. Examples are heroin-only marketplaces and those selling only a few other drugs. Their product knowledge and vendor-customer relationships make them very sought after. The second kind of drug market is a general store where customers can buy a wide variety of illegal goods, including drugs, guns, pornographic materials, stolen jewelry, cigarettes, and counterfeit credit cards. Products from a huge array of drugs are the most frequent. This includes drug hardware and drug manufacturing ingredients.

Due in large part to the anonymity afforded by the Deep Web, a digital black market for narcotics has emerged. Since buying and selling narcotics does not need direct human interaction, dark web links are used by criminals. Among the dark web marketplaces, Silk Road stood out for having processed over a billion dollars in drug sales and distributing them via either DHL or drop shipping.

Assassination bids and marketing

Murder services are popular items on the Dark Web Links, where criminals advertise their services. The hiring price for criminals was listed as ten thousand USD in the US and twelve thousand USD in Europe. People could see this information on the websites like MailOnline and White Wolves.

High-profile cases would get higher prices; for example, a well-known politician can be from thousands to millions of dollars. The easiest way to access the darkness is through the Hidden Wiki and several other darknet search engines. All of these provide access to thousands of illegal dark web websites.

The study’s authors categorized 13 illegal onion sites as “Commercial Services.” People used to search for black markets and Silk Road, which were popular search terms. The use of the Silk Road was highest from 2011 to 2013, as it was most famous in that time period. 

It was known for the illegal sale of drugs. Likewise, it was well known among those people who knew that the governments are strict and ban the use of illegal drugs. The journey of the Silk Road was not long, as it was shut down after three years. However, three years were enough because it made a big influence. Since it was a Tor hidden site, Silk Road customers believed their communications were completely private. On top of that, Bitcoin was the only accepted form of payment on the Silk Road. Bitcoin has become the de facto standard for payment in the Tor underground economy. Bitcoin transactions can be tracked, but their anonymity is difficult to unravel.

Pornography on the Dark Web 

In both human and sex trafficking, women are overwhelmingly the victims exploited by the pornography industry. Fear of death is used by cybercriminals to take advantage of victims and somehow force them into signing agreements. It can also lead to having intercourse with males to produce pornographic material. Sextortionists film prostitutes and other victims without their knowledge or consent, then sell the footage to the pornographic business. The websites of traffickers often feature recordings and photographs of victims.

In the shadows of the Internet, you can find a lot of pornographic websites. The cybercriminals involved in this activity use dark web links, various online forums, and trending social medial apps in the same way that human and sex traffickers use to recruit and kidnap victims while protecting their identities. The photographs and videos of prostitution found on the internet often depict highly graphic acts of violence and new types of criminal behavior. Prostitution has evolved alongside the rise of social media. It is quite challenging for an investigator to adequately monitor prostitution by questioning victims and witnesses and observing behavior.

Currency exchange on the Dark Web 

Bitcoin, a form of crypto cash, lets buyers and sellers on the dark web market remain hidden. Bitcoin is frequently the only accepted cash in dark web marketplaces. In this way, Silk Road was able to generate over US$1.2 billion in illicit profits and become one of the most lucrative black markets in history. Bitcoin’s legitimacy as a currency has been debated, but it has been backed to increase money laundering secrecy.

There are three stages involved in the process of money laundering, all of which result in clean money that was originally obtained dishonestly. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the United States Treasury defines these. 

This process involves incorporating the illicit monies into the legitimate financial system, hiding them within other transactions, and completing subsequent transactions so that the money appears legitimate. Bitcoins from illegal sources were traced in the transaction data collected between 2013 and 2016 using Elliptic’s forensic analysis tool. Criminals use the Escrow system to protect themselves from being scammed, despite the fact that this method is vulnerable to examination due to the public nature of the data recorded in Bitcoin’s blockchain.

Is it illegal to use Dark Web Links?

Infamy surrounds the dark web links due to its reputation as a market for illegal goods and services, such as drugs and hacking services. A well-known example of dark web links is “The Silk Road,” which gained notoriety due to the variety of illegal substances it sold. The site’s creator, Ross Ulbricht, was captured by the FBI and given a life sentence. Consequently, the website was no longer available to darknet users after 2013. AlphaBay was also a darknet marketplace that could be accessed through dark web links.

You can use Tor and the dark web links without any legal action against you as long as you are not in a nation with an unfriendly regime that prohibits web access. However, what you do on the black web is another matter entirely. A report was released in 2016  titled “The darkness online,” by King’s College London. It found that merely half of the dark web links are involved in illegal activities.

Use caution and common sense if you decide to access dark web links through the Tor browser. You won’t risk getting in trouble with the law if you accidentally avoid seeing illegal content.

How to keep yourself safe while accessing Dark Web Links

If your children are particularly inquisitive, they may venture into dark web links, where fewer than a billion sites are safe and free to access. Younger children may be drawn to deep web games or deep internet music, while older teens may be interested in dark web links and images of drugs, weapons, or other illicit content.

If you want to keep your kids safe online, the first thing you need to do is check their devices. Investigate the likes of the Subgraph OS, ISP, and Tor web browsers.

Contents ending in “.Onion” after the “http” also fall under the purview of the dark web links. In contrast to the regular web, browsing history cannot be viewed in these browsers. The second step is to have a discussion regarding your kids’ natural inquisitiveness.

Curiosity is naturally piqued by the unknown. The topic also gains traction as more people use the underground web. Especially young people are getting more curious as the topic becomes popular.

Installing monitoring software and content filtering is another step you can take to keep your kids safe online. Use this set of tools to restrict their Internet usage to appropriate sites. You may prevent access to specific websites, filter information based on keywords, and keep tabs on their web browsing activity. This will prevent them from accidentally coming into contact with anything potentially dangerous. The internet’s increasing pervasiveness poses new risks to our safety. The use of child safety software is highly recommended.

Should you access Dark Web Links with a VPN?

Always use a VPN connection to access dark web links. When it comes to protecting your anonymity and security on dark web links, you can’t beat onion over a VPN. Onion site operators can use trackers to follow you through dark web links, while malicious users can utilize Tor’s weaknesses to disclose your identity. And your ISP knows you’re using Tor, so they might start to wonder what you’re up to.

A high-quality VPN will shield your data even more as it travels over the internet. Since we encrypt all of your data and mask your IP address, not even your ISP or the government will be able to tell what you’re doing online. Before visiting any onion site, simply log out of all your accounts to make it appear as if you never visited them.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is fine to access dark web links for informational and legal purposes. However, you need to brace yourself to handle the browsing process and issues related to the dark web.  You may see things that can shock you. But if you do decide to venture into the shadowy depths of the internet, please do so with caution and never provide any personally identifiable information. Take all necessary precautions to ensure your anonymity and remain absolutely covert.

https://darkweblinks.wiki is a great website to get more Darknet related article.

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