An Introduction to the Dark Web

Though it is popular in the news for stories of hacking, drug sales, and more, the history of the dark web goes back two decades, as we explain in this article. As its name suggests, the ‘dark web’ is the hidden part of the internet that is not listed or not searchable on the superficial internet. Many of us heard about the dark web as the hub of illegal and criminal activities and no doubt it is a part of illegal doings and hidden from general internet users.

While companies like Facebook, BBC, and even the CIA have a presence on the dark web, in 2015, King’s College London researched on the dark web, and its stats show that 75% of the dark web content is based on illicit content and criminal dealings.

Later in 2019, another research paper named “Into The Web of Profit“, conducted by the University of Surrey, under the supervision of Dr. Michael McGuire, not only affirms the stats of previous research but also shows that now criminal dealings and illegal activities on the dark web has increased about 20%.

Some of the illegal and criminal activities that are common on the dark web include buying and selling of credit card digits, drug dealings of all kinds, buying and selling of ammunition of all
kinds, hacked accounts that aids further hacking into someone’s personal space, fake currency, etc. along with that as the majority of the dark web users are criminal or involved in illicit
activities, they hire unethical and professional hackers for hacking and damaging national and international online entities as well.

Deep Web VS Dark Web?

Both the terms dark web and deep web are often used interchangeably, but both are different. When we say deep web, we mean something that is not listed on the superficial internet. It is not searchable by any simple search engines or browsers like Chrome or Bing. If the users want to access the deep web content, they have to download TOR and search via Duck Duck Go (or other specialized browsers). For many dark websites, visitors have to pay or have to provide their credentials to log into the specific deep web sites. The owners of deep web sites are intentionally hiding their content from the surface internet and have no desire for world wide web crawlers to list it.

Some examples of deep web content are adult membership websites, illegal goods and services, and even private corporate web pages (Facebook, the CIA, BBC, etc), etc. the size of the deep web on the internet is 96% more than that of surface internet websites also referred to as ‘the clear web’ because these sites are easily searchable on the internet.

While the dark web is the subclass of the deep web, its content is hidden purposely from the surface internet. To access the dark web markets like these, the user requires particular search browsers. Tor browser is famous for dark web access.

The real size of the dark web on the internet is not known yet. But, a rough estimation that it is approximately 5% of the whole internet.