What Is The ‘Dark Web’ ?

If you’ve been reading or listening to the news lately, the chances are you’ve heard mention of a thing called the ‘Dark Web’, which is a term used to describe the hidden and murky parts of the internet. Groups like the IS are apparently making use of the dark web to perpetrate wickedness throughout the world, but WHAT EXACTLY IS the Dark Web?

The Dark Web is a collection of web sites that hide their IP addresses. These sites can not be found by normal search engines but can be visited by any web user. Nearly all sites on the dark web hide their identities and spoof their locations. This makes tracking their owners very difficult but not impossible.

Probably the most infamous site that was part of the Dark Web before it was taken down was the Silk Road, an online back market, mainly for the sale of illegal drugs. The Silk Road became widely known in June 2011 when a well known American site blogged about it. The Silk Road then became a target for law enforcement authorities but it was a further two years before they managed to take the site offline.

In the 30 or so minutes I’ve spent writing this article, I’ve found a portal that, if I were to click the links, would put me in touch with various dark web sites all over the world, offering various dubious and illegal services. Some of the UK services include a hitman network, guns and ammunition supply, illegal drugs, paedophile rings, fake passports and citizenship etc etc. My verdict, …a bit scary really.

Hang on though, before you start worrying that the kids are tapping away in their bedrooms on Dark Web sites… You can’t just access the dark web straightaway, you need a specific piece of software on your machine that enables it to reach these dark places of the internet. Both Mac and Windows machines don’t come preloaded with the software, and also you then need to find these Dark Web sites.