Hello folks, it’s been a while. Have you heard of illegitimate buying and selling on the web before? Have you heard about a market where all sorts of illegal goods like human parts, cannabis, guns, nuclear weapons, and the relatable item called credit cards are being sold? Oh yes! I can feel you nodding your head for either yes or no. Don’t worry about it, in this article, I will be sharing with you how to access such a market, what is it called, and how to safely access it.
Threat intelligence is not only meant for security professionals but likes of journalists, privacy-conscious people do it a lot without knowing what it is being called. As a threat intelligence analyst, I have worked on several projects that require me to visit the dark market and forums to understand the pattern of particular threat actors. I also visit it as part of my job role to defend my clients through brand monitoring and intelligence. So if you are curious about how to monitor your brands, it is a must for you to understand how to get into a place on the web called Dark Web
The web consist of three distinct part
- Surface web: this is the publicly available site that is indexed by popular public search engines like Google, Bing & Yahoo. It consists of 4% of the whole web, shocking right?
- Deep web: these sites are not indexed by popular search engines and are usually visited by web users unknowingly. Whenever a user visits a company’s internal websites & database, banking sites, and any websites that require a username and password. Shocking right? Yeah. You can as well get to the deep web with the aid of Google Dorking. Holds 90% of the web
- Dark web: this is the part of the web whose information can be accessed through an overlay network that runs on the internet but with obscurity and can be accessed by special browsers like tor or I2P browsers. It consists of 6% of the web
Accessing the darknet is key to every threat intelligence analyst because of the following reasons
- Prompt information about vulnerabilities that are being exploited
- Get first hand information about malicious tools
- Interact with threat actors to understand their tactics and techniques
- To understand the emerging and evolving threat landscape
Tools to Access
- Tor browser: download and install the tor browser at https://www.torproject.org/download/
- VPN: to enhance anonymity, download and install a virtual private network and change your location. There are tones of VPNs online such as NordVPN, Express, TunnelBear, etc. Please note: endeavor to start your VPN before using the Tor browser.
- Whonix: If you don't want to bother yourself about the 2 aforementioned tools, do well to download whonix. Whonix is an operating system you can run on a virtual machine to maximize your online anonymity; it’s ideal for maintaining a secret identity. You need a virtual box machine to install by exporting it on the VM. Whonix comes with pre-built applications such as tor browser, thunderbird, onionshare, etc. You can as well download and install it on Mac OS, Windows OS, and Linux OS. Download here at https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Download. You will as well find the documentation helpful at https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Documentation
Dark Web Search Engine
- Duckduckgo: is the default search engine for tor-browser
- Ahmia.fi (my best)
Navigating the darknet can be quite interesting and intriguing yet you must exercise safety as you ride the dark tunnel. First block web cam, second don’t download anything from the darknet, and lastly don't maximize the tor browser screen. Enjoy surfing!