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Deep Web



Deep Web

Photo © L. Tyson

The emergence of virtual currencies and its anonymous transaction infrastructure has led to the development of a number of “Deep Web” marketplace sites that specialize in retail distribution of illegal products and services. Deep Web is a “part” of the Internet where people can stay completely anonymous. How do you get there? You need special software to access this part of the Internet, and what you do here is untraceable. Due to its anonymity, this part of the web has attracted child pornographers, online thieves, and other cyber criminals.

What is Tor?

Search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo can’t locate websites that fall under Deep Web. You need to install special software, such as Tor, to find these sites.

The Tor project is a non-profit organization that conducts research and development to online privacy and anonymity. Tor is a privacy tool that keeps you anonymous while giving you access to websites that are otherwise invisible to standard search engines. It is designed to hide your location from others and hides your browsing habits. Tor is a software package that includes the Tor browser bundle, which can be downloaded on your PC. Tor is also available for Android devices.

Tor has grown from 500,000 users per day to more than 4 million users per day. This huge spike is attributed to a botnet whose components are known as Mevade or Sefnit. This botnet seems to be run by a Ukrainian group specializing in click fraud.

Deep Web Marketplaces

The largest of these sites was Silk Road, which was shut down by the FBI on October 2013. Silk Road, which operated solely on Bitcoin, was primarily known as a drug market. However, Silk Road also offered goods in more than 200 categories including other illegal services such as hacking ATMs. Although the closure of Silk Road was a huge win for law enforcement, there are many of these Deep Web marketplaces operating globally. This issue is not going away anytime soon.


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