Most of you would have heard about Dark Web, the backdoor alley of the world wide web where you can virtually find everything from illegal software to sophisticated weaponry. It is a perennial dark side of the glossy surface web we use every day. But, unlike the manual channels of black markets, the dark side of the web is quite accessible and quite discreet for millions of users around the globe.
There is virtually no contact with the shady seller himself but just like legitimate e-commerce models of Amazon and eBay, you can browse through their inventories and buy stuff you like. Bitcoins are one of the favorite ways to transfer cash here as it is untraceable and cannot become a loose end for either party. But, just like any shady business, there are a lot of people who use it to get life-saving medicines and other essential items we just cannot get through legitimate ways, or they are just too expensive.
A combined podcast by Tech Insider and Marketplace named codebreaker introduced us to a couple that used to get life-saving drugs from the dark web that they couldn’t get anywhere else. But, on the other hand, we come across numerous individuals that argue that illegal drugs can be ordered and distributed through this black online trade route. It virtually guarantees the safety and security of the illicit drug trade spanning across continents and it is a very serious offense. Other shocking things available online include heaps of counterfeit currency and stashes of weapons available very cheap. According to some reports, you can even purchase girls that are abducted from different parts of the world.
To get a closer look at the online underworld, a simple Google search was enough since it is very easy to access. There is a popular browser called the Tor Browser which you can use to access hidden websites of this dark end of the web.
So you download and have it installed just like any ordinary web browser. It primarily provides encryption so that nobody else can see what kind of websites you are accessing while allowing you to access certain flagged sites that can’t be opened in a normal browser.
So, here is the Tor Browser. This part of the deal was easy to obtain! For access to shady businesses and the black market, this doesn’t look so bad!
It has a unique search engine that uses other engines like Yahoo, Google, Bing, etc. and doesn’t give personal information and also avoids personal tracking on the sites you visit. It is a clean slate browser.
Just like a proxy server, the browser changes our IP addresses (computer’s unique addresses) and thus helps you remain anonymous while buying and selling over it.
The browser seems to have been built for this kind of work as it also suggested to me that I exit full-size screen as people can take a screenshot of it and get you identified.
Now its time to access some illegal website! *rubbing hands together”. They don’t have regular URLs like popular sites since they need to remain in obscurity and also the International Association of Domains might not like that if they do. One thing however, is common in them as they all end in .onion that speaks volumes of their smelly businesses! To find their links, you go to a Tor link database and find what you need over there. There is an awful lot of stuff available there.
Some of the more tax-cut services are illegal tech stores from where you can buy smartphones relatively cheap. Without warranty, of course! Some of them might be stolen and then put on sale, but there is virtually no way to find out the origins of the article.
Then things start to get more “illegal” here as you buy stashes of counterfeit currency at half the price. No matter how original they look, the cost of this fake money is just too damn high!
Other portals allow you to get fake IDs, weapons, and services that are more than frowned upon by the law enforcement agencies.
You can also rent a hacker real quick here and get him to do stuff you possibly can’t do!
But, despite all the wow factor of these websites, many of them are probably cheap scams and won’t deliver what you ordered or even if they do, be prepared for some setbacks.
But as you get deeper into the dark hole, you get to find marketplaces styled on Amazon and eBay with the sellers rated on their trustworthiness. You have to register for it just like you would do with an Amazon account.
But once you see the product categories, you will realize that these kinds of product types are rarely to be found at those legitimate e-commerce portals! Drugs and chemical, weapons and counterfeit items! These crooks are running the mall here!
These stolen Spotify accounts will allow you to get into the service for under 2$. This Spotify vendor is also rated highly trustworthy!
You can also buy Netflix accounts for a mere 0.5$.
The range of illegal drugs available in this store is just depressing. It makes you wonder how many people actually get their hands on this stuff through these channels?
Guns and guns are available for sale here. Most of these might be legal in the United States, but these sellers will sell you anything without any kind of background checks as required by the law these days. It seems tempting enough but don’t be fooled. Some of these guns are poor quality and might blow up in the wielder’s face.
In the “fraud” section, you can get the stolen credit cards info, financial information and other details for a small fee. There is no sugar coating here involved at all.
Here you can see an entire fake ID for sale complete with social security number, bank accounts, and other info. I am curious to see how long does it take for FBI to find out the truth about a person of if fake IDs are running rampant around the world.
Buyers even give direct feedback for these shady deals. I am curious to see what kind of feedback people get for weapons and drugs. “Five-star seller, my automatic M16 worked better than US Army ones!” “Damn this seller, his drugs couldn’t get me high!” “Those fake currency notes were so shitty that even the beggar refused them when I tried to donate it to him!” These reviews will be fun, don’t you think?
So it brings us back to the question regarding the moral reasoning behind the existence of these black markets. A majority of the stuff available here is illegal, and so are the channels and the persons you will be getting your stuff from. There is also plenty of stories that are just nauseating like freelance child prostitution and murderer-for-hire available on the dark web, and since all of this is discreet, the proprietors of this crime are protected by the portal. However, there is good news that the authorities can track and bust at least some of them as the Silk Road Bust a few months earlier showed. Only a fraction of this business is helpful to people as they can obtain drugs and medicines cheaper over these channels especially when you don’t have medical insurance. Other than that, frankly it’s all in deep shit.
So, this is how the Dark Web works and how you can get all of the stuff. I will advise you not to pursue it as no matter how sophisticated their protection is; there is still a human element involved here that isn’t present in traditional e-commerce, and that will sell you out the moment all the chips are down. Also, there is no guarantee what kind of stuff you are buying there. It is an easy platform to distribute dangerous stuff that the wrong people want in the hands of the public like disguised dirty bombs. There is also the possibility of this illegal money funding endless terrorist campaigns around the world. Many of them get caught at one point or another, and since money leaves a trace, it can always lead straight back to you. So, once you are in those portals, be prepared to buy at your own risk that is substantial.
So, are you willing to risk you and your family’s lives just for a few counterfeit products? The Dark Web is a dangerous place despite its attraction and anonymity of things.
[Via Tech Insider]