View Full Version : TOR , the Dark Web and 15 times larger than the visible Internet

02-04-2013, 08:05 AM
Every Google result, all the billions of pages we visit – is just a tiny fraction jutting above the waves. The vast majority of it is invisible to web browsers and the general public. This is known as the ‘dark web’.

Most of this unseen mass of activity is perfectly innocent – paid-for content, sites that require log-ins, academic data, and so on. No one knows exactly how big the ‘dark’ portion is, but it’s estimated to be at least 15 times larger than the web we know, with more than 900 billion pages.

The dark web is a haven for criminal gangs around the world, to whom it offers a secret shop window where everything from child pornography to hard drugs to stolen credit-card details can be bought and sold.

The ‘anonymous’ web browser Tor is used by about 600,000 people a day – and is totally untraceable. Tor ‘bounces’ data between dozens of computers on its way to and from the web, making users effectively invisible.

Financed by the US government, the controversial browser is used by the FBI and championed by advocates of internet freedom. Tor offered a ‘safe’ channel to Egyptian dissidents during the Arab Spring and is used by bloggers in Syria. But it also grants access to a world where the illegal is openly traded.

Using Tor, you can visit special ‘.onion’ sites – a dark domain that is used to host highly illegal marketplaces. The notorious Silk Road site is an open drug market, where you browse and use a ‘checkout basket’, much as you would on Amazon. This week, offers include ‘250 pills of speed’, grams of Afghan heroin and new synthetic drugs.

Users report that contract killers can be hired via other Tor sites – and that fights to the death are a spectator sport. Many transactions are paid for in ‘bitcoins’, an online currency that allows money to be transferred without using banks.

Tor users in the UK openly offer weapons, high-grade cocaine and brides for sham marriages. Cyber criminals also advertise their wares.

One hacker’s .onion site proclaims: ‘I’ll do anything for money. If you want me to destroy some bussiness or a persons life [sic], I’ll do it! I can ruin them financially .  .  . If you want someone to get known as a child porn user, no problem.’

David Emm, senior researcher at internet security company Kaspersky Lab, said: ‘The “dark market” is the underbelly of the legitimate economy, but it operates in a similar way.

‘If criminals want to trade, they have to have a point of presence. Once you’ve found them, they’ll do business via sites on the “hidden web” or fake email accounts.

‘The key is they’re quite prepared to move. When the corrupt internet service provider Russian Business Network (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Business_Network) was shut down, a lot of people predicted that was the end of the “dark market”, but they just reappeared elsewhere.’

Source (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2268972/The-dark-web-stole-life-Hackers-took-hundreds-private-emails--set-ripping-friends.html)

The TOR browser has a wiki entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TOR_(anonymity_network)

As does the DeepNet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_Web

Another interesting article : http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2012...net-anonymity/ (http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2012/12/06/tor-deepnet-anonymity/)

Where is there a domain name ending in .onion

02-04-2013, 08:09 AM
Wouldn't .onion be a spoof thing? I'm thinking of The Onion.

02-04-2013, 08:52 AM
As below = anonymity
Give me some Onion sites .
I have a strong feeling that it works mainly on personal recommendation .But who would you trust at the other end?
A certain person here should latch on to this , if he were smart , and use its existence to expand on the notion of a Post Truth era --- see separate Topic ..

.onion is a pseudo-top-level domain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudo-top-level_domain) host suffix (similar in concept to such endings as .bitnet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.bitnet) and .uucp (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.uucp) used in earlier times) designating an anonymous hidden service (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tor_(anonymity_network)#Hidden_services) reachable via the Tor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tor_(anonymity_network)) network. Such addresses are not actual DNS names, and the .onion TLD is not in the Internet DNS root (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_DNS_root), but with the appropriate proxy software installed, Internet programs such as Web browsers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_browser) can access sites with .onion addresses by sending the request through the network of Tor servers. The purpose of using such a system is to make both the information provider and the person accessing the information more difficult to trace, whether by one another, by an intermediate network host, or by an outsider.
Addresses in the .onion pseudo-TLD are opaque, non-mnemonic, 16-character alpha-semi-numeric hashes which are automatically generated based on a public key (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_key) when a hidden service (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tor_(anonymity_network)#Hidden_services) is configured. These 16-character hashes can be made up of any letter of the alphabet, and decimal digits beginning with 2 and ending with 7, thus representing an 80-bit number in base32 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Base32).
The "onion" name refers to onion routing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onion_routing), the technique used by Tor to achieve a degree of anonymity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anonymity).