The Dark Side of Internet

In this era of sophisticated technology and innovations, most of us are unaware of the Dark side of Internet: The DarkWeb, which is not indexed by Google and are used by Cyber criminals to spread malware, leak intellectual property and publish user account credentials. The DarkWeb is said to have data nine times more than Surface Web, i.e. of some Petabytes.
 
The Surface Web is the Internet we normally use . It is freely accessible, indexed by Google and consists of fairly stable content available all the time. But the nightmare is that there is a very thin border between Surface Web and Dark Web and who knows , the link you are clicking will land you in hands of Hellraisers also known as The Dark Army mostly operated from China and Iran. The primary Nodes of communication between Surface Web and Dark Web are Paste bins and Forums. Paste bins are web applications where users can store plain text. They are most commonly used to share short source code snippets for code review via internet relay Chat. The most common example is Github.
 
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To access the Dark web you need TOR browser,Freenet,I2P, any one installed on your machine. We’ll talk about it later but first, let’s focus on the market place of the Dark Web. The market place of the Dark web is Silk Road founded by Ross William Ulbricht, where all the smuggling happens, from Drugs to armory you can find everything here. But unfortunately the website has been blocked by US and Ross is arrested.TOR is an acronym of “The Onion Router” which uses Networking Protocol to communicate anonymously with the Nodes on TOR network (A node is a PC/Server running TOR). It was developed By US navy to anonymise the network communications.
 

How TOR Works

The network is established by computer servers of thousands of volunteers spread around the world. The TOR network is created on “.Onion” Domain and all Clients run Onion Proxy to gather the directory of all TOR nodes so as to select a suitable path to the destination. You as a User running TOR will send data which get encrypted with TLS/AES. The Next node running TOR will strip the address header and encrypt the information with a packet wrapper. Each relay decrypts the packet Wrapper to know where it came from and where it is going, rest is again rewrapped and moved forward. This process goes on till the exit node and then data is sent to the destination.
 
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It is recommended by Tor that you should not use Bit torrent on TOR as it will deanonymize you because in torrent a Tracker keeps records of the users who are Seeders and Leechers.
 

Conclusion

The Dark web and Surface Web are two sides of a coin and there is no way we can ignore them. In this evolving Internet fraternity, we have to make ourself aware of these instances so that we can know how fascinating and challenging this field is.
 
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Authored by Akhilesh Kumar Ray
TCS Enterprise Security and Risk Management
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