In today's world, the Internet has become the most indispensable part of human life, connecting the entire globe. But there is some mysteriously hidden internet area which many people don't familiar with. That is called the "Deep Web" or the "Darknet" that users can't usually find using regular or manual search and is stay hidden from most web surfers.
What is Darknet?
"Darknet" or "Dark Net" is a lamination of a specific type of network which can only be retrieved by appropriate software, techniques, authorization, or configurations. It is often accessed using non-standard protocols and ports.
It is also called the 'hidden web' or 'invisible web.' Here all information can't be indexed using general searching mechanisms or search engines. The term 'Search Engine' defines a program and a website that searches for documents with specific keywords or phrases and results in a list of search documents and articles where the keyword matches on the Internet. The search engine uses 'spider' - a program to fetch as many web pages as possible. The spider program of a search engine cannot find everything, and those things which are not available using the keyword search technique resides as a part of the Darknet.
Most web pages are not indexed on the Internet via search engines. Experts estimate that 75% of the entire Internet is on 'invisible Web' content. The Deep Web is the majority of online content, and it is estimated to be 400-550 times greater than the surface web. Here, most contents are not readily accessible using standard means. For example - web pages regarding private user's accounts reside in the deep Web, i.e., the private information.
Why Darknet Was Originated
It was originated in the 1970s' for security and privacy purpose isolated from ARPANET (Advanced Research Project Agency Network). Darknet user's addresses did not appear in the network list and did not ping to others' inquiries.
Characteristics of Darknet Webpages:
- Web pages with no HTML codes or HTML texts for which the spider program cannot understand.
- Web pages with secured anonymize registration form.
- Dynamically generated web pages.
- Password protected web pages.
- Web pages with real-time content.
- No further links are there on the web pages, generally called 'disconnected pages'.
Layers of Web
There are five layers of Web starting from level-0 to level-4. These are:
- Level-0 Web:e. The common Web which maximum people use for browsing and downloading. It is accessible in any nation that does not block internet access.
- Level-1 Web: Also called the Surface Web or Clearnet - which is the reciprocal term for encrypted Darknet, which contains foreign social networking sites, Reddit, dig, Temp Email services, Web-hosting, human Intel Tasks, pirated media, free pornography, etc. This layer is blocked in some nations. One example of this level is the torrent sites, usually blocked by some ISP's, though it can be accessed using proxy servers.
- Level-2 Web: termed as Bergie Web requires one or two proxies or Tor browser to get the hidden content. It is the beginning stage of the deep Web. It contains links and access to FTP servers, Google locked results, existing honey-pots, loaded web servers, jailbait porn videos, stream videos, etc. It also contains archived web pages, web sites that don't renew their domain names, and articles. The government, business, and college research articles are also available.
- Level-3 Web: This is the next stage of Deepweb, which requires a proxy or two or Tor Browser to take access to this part of the Internet. It contains massive jailbait videos, celebrity scandals, VIP gossip, hackers and script kiddies, latest virus information and their source codes, raid information, Microsoft's Data Secure networks, and XSS worm scripting, and various other leaked information.
- Level-4 Web: This is called the chartered Dark Web, which contains hacking groups, head and bounty hunters, illegal game hunters, paid murderers and hackers, illegal trading sites, etc. Advanced covert government researches are sometimes available here but need proxies, VPNs, and Tor browsers to take malicious access to these sites and links. Most of the Internet's black market, which runs on bitcoin, is found in this Web stage.
Other than that, another Level of Web is the lowest level of Deep Web - called the Marianas Web. It is named after the Spanish technician who created it. This part of the Darknet is tough to access or browse. It is considered the safest part of the Internet because of its acute privacy. Julian Assange and other top-level Wikileaks members are believed to have access to this part of the Darknet. As a security consultant, you must know the various layers that do exist on the Internet.
Uses of Deep Web
- There is a large amount of information, which focuses on a precise subject.
- Holds a large amount of information that is not available on the visible Web.
- It allows users to find a specific date and time-based web pages and websites.
- Allows finding precise result or answer to a particular question.
- Improve the security and privacy rights of citizens by mass surveillance.
- Obtain whistleblowing and news leaks.
- Sale of restricted products on dark-markets.
Ethical Uses of Darknet
- If users can dig deep and browse deeper, there is exciting information regarding past and present experiments and research.
- Some organizations and security researchers claim that 'Deep Web' has higher quality and in-depth articles on different topics than Surface Web. Search engines like IPL2, Duckduckgo, Infomine are used to find them.
- Ethical hackers and security researchers use these dark sites to learn about how to create viruses and information related to hacking, find a community of hackers from elite hackers to script kiddies, and learn from them via chat-rooms and discussions.
How to Access Darknet Safely
- Use Proxy servers or programs (such as Tor).
- Turn off all plug-ins before taking access to the Dark Web.
- Vertical and Split searching.
- Keep distance from links and things that seems remotely criminal or suggestive.
- If your computer is connected through a webcam, disconnect it, obstruct it, or shut down that webcam.
- Use safe, private network connections to gain access to these sites.
Accessing the Deep Web
- .onion: is a domain host suffix which designates an anonymous hidden service which can be accessed via Tor. The purpose of using such a system is to make information more difficult to detect, whether by one another, by an intermediate network host, or by an outsider.
-.onion addresses are 16-character non-mnemonics hashes comprised of characters and numeric strings.
- Tor Browser: This protects deep web browsing users by bouncing the communication and the IP address around a distributed network? It also prevents tracking the physical location of the user. Using this Tor browser, go to google.com and search for 'Hidden Wiki' and press enter. You'll see the 1st few links. Opening those single links will lead users to a list of links that lay on the dark Web.