I’m sure that you have heard the term and probably briefly wondered “what is the Dark web?”. To break it down to it’s simplest terms, the Dark web is “another” internet. The internet or clear web, that you and I use daily is openly indexed by search engines in an effort to make it easy for you to find whatever it is that you are looking for. SEO companies (Search Engine Optimisation) make mega bucks by specialising in making sure that your website, shop, blog etc are easily found. The exact opposite is true of the dark web. These sites are not indexed by search engines and it can be quite hard to find them if you are not sure where to look. This also means that it is very easy to get scammed by wandering on to a site that you believe to be legit but it is not. I have toyed with the idea of providing all of the details you need but really, that would be irresponsible of me. I’ll point you in the right direction and where you go from there is entirely up to you.
Has this suddenly turned into a piece about cooking? Why am I talking about onions?? Well, the onion network is where you will find the dark web. It is so called because the network is made up of many different layers making it difficult to track which is kinda the point. I won’t go dark into the technicalities of how this works but basically, .onion network doesn’t communicate with DNS services and they use their own routing systems so once on the network, you can find your way around.
Why go there?
Let’s be clear about this part…. there are 2 main categories of people that will go to the dark web. Either you are curious and want to see what its all about or you’re looking to do something illegal like buy guns, drugs, cloned credit cards, launder money etc. It sounds like I’m making this up right? Is there really a place online where people openly sell drugs and guns? Well as crazy as it may seem, that is exactly the case. On the dark web open trading of all kinds of illegal stuff is at the tip of your fingers and if it can be bought, you will find it there. It’s easy to buy anything you like which also leaves you wide open to scams.
How can I get to the dark web?
It’s easier than you think to get there but you will need a couple of tools. Let me point out a couple of things before you continue. I will show you the tools you need to access the dark web and point you in the direction to get there but I won’t be posting links to anything on the dark web. If you want to find it, you need to do some homework.
The first thing you need to do is to install a specialised web browser called TOR browser. This browser connects you to the internet and makes multiple random connections before taking you to your final destination. The idea is that you are going through so many connections that your actual physical location and therefore your identity is lost along the way. Obviously, if you are going to do / buy something on the web illegally you are going to want to stay as anonymous as possible and TOR is a step you need to take. Before you download TOR and decide to have a look for yourself, you need to take a few steps to secure TOR. As soon as you install it, the program will tell you that you are anonymous but that’s not quite true. Follow the TOR recommended steps to ensure your safety online. All of the instructions are HERE This applies to browsing the regular web (clear net) also. Bit brother is watching!
So you have TOR installed and you know that you need to keep your wits about you but what is the next step? Well, you need to find the “Hidden Wiki” which is a directory of websites on the dark web which is maintained by the community there. This is very easy to find but as I stated above,I’ll not send you there. What I will do is tell you to beware of false sites. The current hidden wiki (August 3rd 2016) starts with http://zqk and ends in o6ri. I only tell you this so that you don’t end up going to the wrong place. Another good place for indexed links is Reddit.
Once you are there feel free to browse the categories which when you see them for the first time, will blow your mind.
Buying from the marketplace.
It’s likely that most of the people that read this article won’t buy anything and there is just a mild curiosity that made you have a peek. For others that end up using the marketplace, this is how you do just that. Purchases over the dark web are made using Bitcoins. Bitcoins are a digital currency and because they never pass hands, it is difficult (not impossible) to trace where the coins originated from. That being said, if you want to get caught doing something illegal, just buy bitcoins from any online vendor and buy some drugs and see how long it takes for the cops to come knocking. If you want to keep your anonymity then you need to tumble your coins. The process of tumbling involves breaking your coins up by giving them to multiple people and then getting them back (less a tumbling fee usually). This makes it very difficult although I’m told, not impossible, to trace. There are many places that offer tumbling services for a small fee and some of the marketplaces do this for you.
Your safety is No 1 here. You need to make sure that the people on the dark web don’t decide to target you while you are there. For this reason (and so the DEA don’t bang your door down at 4 in the morning) there are a few more steps that you can take to further secure yourself. Use PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) encryption to send messages to people. Programs like pgp4usb are open and provide you with a tool for easily sending encrypted messages. This can be used not just for the dark web but indeed for sending any encrypted messages to people online. You can find it HERE.
There are also free mail clients so that you are not risking your email account getting compromised. A popular mail client is safe-mail. You do need to mail them (ironically enough) to create a new email account. Once that is done you have an email account that does not link to you. You can sign up for free HERE.
Warning & Disclaimer:
I advise that you do not buy anything from the dark web. The opinion expressed here is my own and should you get caught buying a half pound of Mary Jane, then it was probably because you’re an idiot and sent some guys your name and address in clear text. You can then catch up on your reading in prison which is probably what you should have done in the first place. Seriously, if you do decide to go there please exercise caution and make sure your antivirus is up to date (Just in case). Don’t download anything and you’ll probably be ok. Just be informed.
You need to remember that the guys and gals on these sites are criminals and should not be trusted. If you buy something and you don’t get it don’t expect Judge Judy to help you get your money back. There are plenty of experienced people that end up getting ripped off and this can be for “legit” reasons. For example, if you order a kilo of cocaine from a dealer and before he ships it the feds come and arrest the guy you will never see your money again.
There are also many escrow services on this sites which on the surface looks great. You give your payment to the escrow guy and when you confirm that you have received what it is that you bought, then the funds are released to the merchant. There have however been stories of the escrow guy running away with the funds but you live by the sword, you die by the sword i guess!
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