Authors: Srinjoy Saha, Sanhita Kar, Chayantika Roy, Sneha Nej, Meghna Das, Soumita Mullick, Debrupa Pal
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Now days Internet plays a significant role in our daily life. It’s become an essential part of all daily lifestyle. Dark Web is like an untraceable secret layer of the Internet which basically used to store and access the sensitive and confidential data. But we can see the huge misuse of this platform for conducting the criminal and illegal activities in a hidden way. In this paper, we are going to discuss about the overview of dark web and many browsers those are used to access dark web. We also discuss about the methods used in Dark web for anonymity and confidentiality. Here some interesting facts are also discussed about dark web and the different types of crimes to create awareness about this type of activities and the preventive action for these activities.
In this technological world, web security has become a vital area of concern as most of users visit online for full fill their needs. As the Internet continued to grow in the middle of 1990s it had come to transform so many things. The biggest change is instant communication. If you have an Internet connection, you can talk to anyone instantly.
But the Internet was not structured with elements like privacy, security and anonymity in mind, it is the main concern. So, every single thing can be tracked. But some people are very worried about their privacy and security. So, the dangerous, colossal secret od internet is dark web.
Today’s number one source for stolen information and criminal services is as interesting a talking point as it is dangerous to browse. Whether we are talking about the sensitive personal information stolen in the Equifax breach, personal healthcare information stolen in the Anthem breach and the credit/debit card information stolen in the argot breach, they all have at least one thing in common: this stolen information eventually makes its way to the dark web to be sold and purchased.
Dark web cannot be accessed by regular web browsers like google chrome, internet explorer or Mozilla Firefox. The most common tool for accessing the dark web remains a browser called Tor, or “The Onion Router,” which was created by the military to protect oversea communications.
II. STRUCTURE OF THE INTERNET
There are three parts that consists of world wide web (www) as shown in Figure 1.
3. Dark Web: The final part is Dark Web, the dark web is known to have begun in 2000 with the release of Free net, the thesis project of University of Edinburgh student Ian Clarke, who set out to create a "Distributed Decentralized Information Storage and Retrieval System." Clarke aimed to create a new way to anonymously communicate and share files online . The dark web is a network that constitutes a part of the global Internet platform not indexed by search engines, which requires some form of authentication to gain access. Such authorization may require using specific software, such as proxy software, to gain access to the dark web websites. Some of the examples of dark web include human trafficking, drug trade, weapons dealing to name a few. There are various reasons to stay off the dark web. However, at the same time, it's a place worth visiting too. The dark web isn't for everyone, but some of it is worth exploring. Some examples for dark web websites include Tor, DuckDuckGo, ProPublica, SecureDrop, Ahmia etc .
III. HOW TO ACCESS DARK WEB
There is no concept on the internet that is more infamous than the dark web. There is no saying how vast the dark web is, but one thing for sure, the clear web and deep web dwindle in comparison. To dive down deep into the dark web, onion router is used, better known as Tor as shown in Figure 2. While this is not the only option, it’s probably the most convenient and arguably, the safer option. Apart from the Tor browser, there are many browsers that we can use for accessing the dark web like – Freenet, Whonix, Subgraph OS, I2P (Invisible Internet Project) etc. But this paper is focused on Tor.
Now, the easiest way to use Tor is to get a Tor browser, which functions as any other browser would. Tor helps us to reroute our web requests through a series of proxy nodes, chosen at random and located anywhere in the world. That way your connection won’t be traced back to you .
A. Features of Tor Browser
B. Advantages of using Tor Browser
C. Disadvantages of using Tor Browser:
IV. METHODS USED IN DARK WEB
The dark web can be quite a dangerous place if the right precautions are not taken. There are the crucial steps we need to take if we want to know how to access the dark web in a safe and anonymous way. However, we should keep in mind that things change quickly and hackers get smarter every day.
Therefore, Before open the Tor browser, we should:
4. Know Where You're Going: It can be hard to navigate the dark web. While access the dark web, we won't have the luxury of Google neatly indexing search results for us to browse. As a result, it can be hard to find what we're looking for; we could easily stumble into someplace, we really don't want to be. The dark web itself also has plenty of dark web site directories. It isn’t wise to randomly click around and visit websites. The dark web contains many dangers we should definitely avoid. In order to get some sense of direction on the dark web, we can use a couple of directory sites to guide us. One of the most common places that many first-time users visit, is “The Hidden Wiki “.
5. Use Cryptocurrency for All Your Transactions: In the dark web, anonymity plays a big role. This is also the case with online payments, everyone uses cryptocurrency. If we purchase something through our bank, credit card, PayPal, or another regular payment method, companies and governments will know. With cryptocurrencies, this isn’t the case: both buyer and seller remain much more anonymous. If our encounter someone on the dark web who wants to arrange a transaction through a regular bank, we're probably dealing with a scammer hacker, or spy.
6. Close Everything: All of the browser windows and any other related content that may be connected need to be closed properly. Shut down the whole Tor browser. If we've used TAILS, quit the operating system and reboot back into our usual interface.
V. CRIMES IN DARK WEB
In the criminal world, the most of the criminal activities are done in the Dark Web. So, the ‘Dark Web’ is called the center of the criminal attacks.
In 2013, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested Ross Ulbrich for operating online illicit drugs market place called ‘Silk Road’.
The following are some renowned crimes on dark web –
VI. RED ROOM & SILK ROAD
Some Interesting Facts About Dark Web
The dark web is a collection of thousands of websites that use anonymity tools like Tor and I2P to hide their IP address. While it\'s most famously been used for black market drug sales and even child pornography, the dark web also enables anonymous whistleblowing and protects users from surveillance and censorship. In order to protect people’s privacy and security, it is necessary to take action and address the issue of the encrypted nature of the dark web. The anonymity provided by complex algorithms which protect users’ identities and deletes traces of them being on websites let to the most of the illegal and malicious activities to be performed on the dark web. The sheer difficulty of the dark web regulation let to the establishment of weapons and drugs marketplaces, and whole networks of websites used by terrorists for communication and propaganda. There is a fine line between anonymity for the sake of privacy and anonymity as a cover for illegal activities. The encrypted nature of the dark web is a major challenge for the governments, and establishing new measures for tracking and preventing illegal and malicious activities on the dark web should be any countries’ priority.
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Copyright © 2022 Srinjoy Saha, Sanhita Kar, Chayantika Roy, Sneha Nej, Meghna Das, Soumita Mullick, Debrupa Pal. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.