What is the Dark Web?

Deep dive into the Dark Web

The Dark Web a part of the World Wide Web made up of a variety of anonymous networks, untraceable online activity and non-referenced URLs and domains. It is only through software that enables users to browse these networks anonymously. The most common network is TOR (The Onion Router).

TOR was created by US military researchers to exchange intelligence information in an anonymous way. They release it into the public domain with the purpose of creating noise to hide their messages.

The US government built and funded TOR and is still their major source of financing.


Where is the located?



Who uses it?

While the Dark Web has been infamous for hosting bad content, it also enables people to conceal their identity for legitimate purposes.




  • Whistle-blowers: Information can be passed to journalists anonymously without fear of censorship or retribution.
  • Security Departments: Going undercover or digging through seized data; these are just some of the techniques that police all over the globe are using to find and convict criminals.
  • Citizens or activists of highly oppressive regimes: Countries with strict censorship laws use it to access books, news, educational content and even social media, in a secure way.



  • Criminal gangs: it facilitates criminal activity, including counterfeit documents, gun trading, sale of drugs, child pornography, and more. It allows users to communicate anonymously without the threat of surveillance.
  • Terrorists: Terrorist groups, like ISIS, use it to communicate plans and share intelligence.
  • Child pornographers: One of the uses is the distribution of child abuse content.


What can be found on the Web?



What is the current size?

Although it’s nearly impossible to quantify the number of active sites due to the nature of the TOR network, according to a recently OnionScan report, the Dark Web has shrunk in size from 30,000 sites approximately in 2016, to 4,400 in 2017. The size is significantly lower after the hack of the Dark Web hosting service, Freedom Hosting II, that was carried out in February 2017 by an Anonymous group.


How to protect your data?

The web has many different dimensions, and some are more public than others. Cybercriminals are experts at covering their tracks, so don’t risk leaving stones unturned. Monitor activity lurking in the depths of the Dark Web to protect your corporate assets from every angle.

Boost your awareness of what’s going on in the underground and Dark Web, observe malicious activity targeting your organization and proactively prevent attacks with the Blueliv Dark Web module.



Dark Commerce

Exploring the cybercrime industry and its business models: part 1

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