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The Hidden Web

Posted by JP Redding on October 31, 2022
JP Redding

You may have heard a bit about the dark web and how it is used for illicit activities such as buying and selling drugs, firearms, or other illegal items. But this is only part of the problem. The dark web has much more to offer a malicious user than criminals looking to sell stolen items. The dark web provides anonymous users the ability to stalk children, steal identities, and do many more criminal activities. 

The level of anonymity on the internet is quite astounding if you think about it. Communicating with people across the world without even knowing what their face looks like is a very popular ability when a person wants to impersonate another human being or even pretend to be a minor. Stealing identities and stalking children are only a few of the heinous crimes taking place. Fortunately, though, law enforcement authorities have worked hard to develop tools and techniques to catch these criminals and protect people on the internet. Even though there has been much done to protect people when online, there is still a level of the internet that law enforcement is still trying to control and prevent crime, the Dark Web. 


Even though people may believe that they have access to everything once they are on the internet, there is still much that they cannot access in the deep and dark web. Much of what people access on the internet is only at the surface level that can only be found on search engine sites [1]. The Dark Web is a network on the internet that can only be accessed by users with certain software and access permissions. What most people think of when they hear the word "dark web" is the illegal activities that take place within its borders. Drugs, guns, CSAM, credit card fraud – all of these topics are deeply rooted in the hidden internet. In many ways, the dark web is simply a newer platform for criminals to sell their stolen merchandise and conduct criminal activity overall. 

Search engines do not have these websites in their records so trying to find them is difficult without manually searching for them. In addition, the ability to see what people are doing when on these dark sites adds a level of invisibility that makes it impossible to be tracked. The dark web has many different functions but what makes it so dangerous is criminals sharing resources and techniques to remain undetected by the law. Criminal networks use it to communicate without the fear of police or federal surveillance because of the lack of dark web forensics tools available for law enforcement.

3-Oct-31-2022-07-04-11-3110-PMThe dark web has many different illicit uses. Hackers and scammers develop malware and scamming systems to steal people's information and sell it to parties that want to access people’s finances and ruin their credit [2]. A popular use of the dark web is the creation of chatrooms that remain undetected or cannot be accessed as easily as Facebook or Twitter. The people in these chatrooms share illegal information and groups like child predators share their exploitative material. They also use the network to share strategies and techniques to continue to evade law enforcement. The growing popular use of the dark web is to exchange cryptocurrency and manage payments without alerting banks or federal agencies. This is how terrorist cells manage to fund their efforts transfer money across and organize attacks without alerting the authorities.

There is still much going on in the dark web that authorities are not aware of, and dark web training for law enforcement is still being developed and changing to combat its growing threat. Fortunately, ADF has tools that can help identify if a computer has the illicit material mentioned above or if a user is visiting sites on the dark web. Compare our tools on our compare products page and request a free trial.Talk to an ADF Expert

Topics: Digital Forensics, Dark Web

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