Child pornography and weapons are just a tip of the iceberg. There is more that goes down on the Internet’s underbelly.
On March 22, 2017, London terror suspect, Khalid Masood, was reported to have used the WhatsApp messaging service to contact a stranger just two minutes before he plunged into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge: an attack the led to the death of four people and injured dozens. Unfortunately, the contents of his communication could not be unveiled immediately because it was encoded.
This was just one, among hundreds of cases, where tech has been used to propagate crime. Mind you, this act of terrorism was aided by a mere phone app. Now think about other technology platforms that can be used to cause harm. They are several, and they can be utilized in a number of ways. However, one that is slowly gaining popularity and raising concern is the Dark Web.
Law enforcers, corporations, and governments are starting to get concerned about the burgeoning of secret and inaccessible corners of the web. These inaccessible sections of the Internet are protected by strong encryption and are believed to facilitate various criminal and terrorist activities.
The so-called Dark Web is thought to be a haven for illegal, deviant, and high-risk behavior. Already, there are speculations that it is being used by the Islamic State to source for "authentic" British passports that are being used to enter the UK.
The Dark Web is the mysterious part of the web where websites cannot be found using ordinary search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. Apparently, it can only be accessed using specialized browsers like Tor. It’s the 21st-century black market that stocks everything illegal, unsuitable, and malicious. The fact that it is untraceable has made it more popular especially among those who engage illegal activities. The Dark Web was home to the infamous Silk Road, a notorious and famous drug-dealing website.
Apart from claims of illegal pornography and illegal goods, the Deep Net’s reputation as a playground for depravity and evil acts has somehow been baseless, according to some users who have had the chance to access this corner of the web. In fact, some have called it an “exaggerated myth” that is only made up of a small number of non-indexed websites.
But we cannot entirely dismiss its existence.
Not when there are hundreds of Dark Web rumors flying around. Most of these stories are disturbing, and they have left us wondering whether the Dark Net exists in truth or if it's fiction. One thing to take note of is that most of the Dark Net rumors have not been proven, but neither they been disproven.
Overall, it is rumored to be the only place where cyber crime operations are treated like regular business, and where you are likely to get almost anything. In the Dark Internet, you can find these 15 disturbing things:
On the non-indexed web, murder is not a big deal.
There are people who are ready to kill for a fee, but the cost mostly depends on the status of the victim. For example, it costs higher if the person in question is a public figure. The same hitmen may also offer additional services like beating someone up or making them go missing for a given period.
To win clients, these hitmen provide certain guarantees to keep their customers identity private. They then execute their work professionally and make it look like the event was suicide or an accident. They are professionals who are untraceable, and with any amount of money, they can do the most dehumanizing act to a victim.
Assassination Market, Unfriendly Solution, and C’thulu are just some of the examples of websites that provided such services.
Unfriendly Solution and C’thulu required one to name a target, pay in Bitcoin, then wait until the accident/murder is committed. C’thulu even provided a bonus if a client referred friends. The site accepted Liberty Reserve.
Clearly, these sites had no regard for human life, but they make it hassle-free for those business executives or individuals who have no criminal record and want to perform heinous acts.
We like to pretend hitmen do not exist, yet we know well that they do.
14 Weapons of All Kinds
The Dark Web is the Walmart of weaponry though this may not be its booming industry. This is because of the difficulty in dealing with weapons. First, they take up so much space and cannot be sent via snail mail.
Second, selling weapons is a high-risk affair that not very many people want to partake in. For example, you are likely to fall into the trap of law enforcers who may be disguised as sellers.
In countries like the U.S, the market for guns is not huge because of the ease of acquiring the weapon. However, it is believed that there are more transactions with individuals living in countries having strict gun laws, like most parts of Eastern Europe.
Nevertheless, the sale of guns and other weapons may still be going on in certain Dark Web markets. The Armory was one of the largest and most prominent weapons black markets on the Dark Web. However, some experts claim it may have been a storefront that was being used to scam buyers.
The website had bombs, bullets, pistols, and rifles, and a user could navigate it like Amazon.com. But this site required a minimum order of $1050. What was more disturbing is that a vast selection of weaponry was available to virtually anyone on the globe at the click of a button.
Whether the Armory still exists or not is a mystery, but no one has come out to vouch for their services.
13 Cannibalism And Necrophilia
The Dark Web is home to a large vorarephile community that is believed to be growing by the day. It may be disturbing, but there are tons of people who derive satisfaction from the idea of consuming others or being consumed, and they have found the Dark Web a suitable dwelling place.
Cannibal Café was a huge vorarephile forum that provided information on how to cook various parts of the human body, including limbs and genitalia. It had tons of creepy information about eating human flesh and how to correctly perform the act. Some of the scary information was being conveyed through live streams to community members. A recording is even available on YouTube of a guy narrating how he navigated through Cannibal Café.
There were also claims of necrophilia (having sexual intercourse with corpses). That’s just how sick the Dark Web is. There are claims that some people have put bodies up for sale and there are buyers who collect such bodies. It is scary.
12 Child Tapes And Child Torture
Another business that is believed to be thriving in the Dark Web is child pornography and child torture. In fact, child pornography even has a code name, “Cheese Pizza.”
It is proven that child pornography is the most popular activity on the Dark Web, constituting over 80% of the searches on the Dark Web, according to a study. More pedos have found that the Clearnet is riskier and increases the chances of them getting caught. Therefore, they have shifted to the Dark Web. They have discovered that the Dark Web is a great place to discuss their kidnappings, "jailbait," "hard candy," and hurtcore stuff. Most of these terms are used in relation to the girl's age group. For example, "jailbait" involves girls who are underage but look older. On the other hand, "hard candy" means girls between ages 12-16.
Peter Scully made a name in this area. The Australian man was finally arrested after raping and torturing young girls. He was the man behind “Daisy’s Destruction,” which featured a little girl being beaten and raped by two men. The girl later had her limbs chopped off using a machete and her throat slit. Scully did horrible things to young babies.
Apparently, the “Daisy’s Destruction” videos are only available in the dark corners of the web. They are mostly extreme and brutal videos of young girls being tortured, raped, and murdered by 51-year-old Scully and his accomplices, one of them identified as Carmen Ann Alvarez.
The two ran a pay-per-view site on the Dark Web, which featured the “Daisy’s Destruction” videos.
11 Terrorism And Spying
It is believed that more terrorists are moving to the Dark Web to conduct their activities: raise funds, coordinate actions, spread propaganda, and recruit new members. They are moving away from the "surface web"that they have been using for the longest time.
This shift is thought to have been triggered by a series of activities after ISIS attacked Paris in November 2015. For example, after the attack, the hacker Anonymous launched a campaign dubbed Operation Paris (OpParis) that took down hundreds of sites associated with ISIS.
While this group is mostly using the Dark Web for scheming and plotting, it is believed that the Dark Web is also providing them with new methods of attack. In some cases, they use the open web to recruit then move to the Dark Web for sinister interactions.
Terrorists discovered that the non-Tor Internet was unencrypted and made it possible for them to be tracked. This is mainly because counter-terrorism agencies are always monitoring the non-dark net, especially Islamist forums/sites and social media. In addition, certain websites have been filtering extremist content and this forced jihadists to look for secure avenues.
The Dark Web is also where most of the spying is taking place; whether industrial, military, government, or counter-intelligence, you name it. This is why governments, corporations, and law enforcement agencies are getting more worried about this mysterious web.
10 Dangerous Malware
Because of Dark Web’s anonymity, it has been a haven for some of the most malicious malware. The Cryptolocker, for example, is believed to be found on the Dark Web . It can be used by nefarious individuals to wreak havoc, or a buyer can request it to perform criminal activities. This malware is able to "hold" your files until you make a payment.
The Dark Web is also home to the troubling SkyNet, which can be used to mine Bitcoins from people’s computers and for various attacks. There are other Tor-based malware that are more complicated and can be used to perform more evil acts. For example, Vawtrack is a banking trojan that is designed to gain access to an individual’s financial accounts. The malware is so complicated that it can perform its actions undetected.
Another malware, named NionSpy, can route its traffic through the Tor network. It can then steal documents, record a video using the victim’s webcam, and capture keystrokes.
The worse thing is that malware that uses Tor can also target people who have never used the network. The Dark Web is providing an added layer of protection to these dangerous software and posing a risk to everyone using the Internet.
9 Fake Passports And Documentation
The most disturbing fact about fake passports and documentation is that they could be easily purchased by ISIS and other terrorist organizations and used to enter a country illegally.
Terrorist groups have been accused of using fake passports to bypass border security, especially in the U.S. and the U.K.
In February of 2017, there were reports about a Neapolitan document factory that only offered its services via the Dark Web. According to the reports, the passports that this company produced were so sophisticated that they could easily be confused for the real ones. It was also reported that the same company could register the fake passports on the national system; a confirmation that it may have had connections with senior government agents in the U.K. These passports are being sold anonymously for Bitcoins, and in some cases, cash.
The same "company" was also linked with the selling of illegal firearms. For example, Anis Amri, the 2016 Berlin attacker, who was later shot in Milan, was heard bragging about how it was possible to obtain a Kalashnikov in Naples with minimal interference.
8 Human Trafficking
Yes, you can purchase another human being on the Dark Web.
Vice Motherboard writer Joseph Cox reported in 2015 how he had an interaction with a group that was referring to itself as Black Death. According to Cox, Black Death had a woman named “Nicole” who was up f0or sale at a starting price of $150,000. After numerous covert efforts requesting to be shown a live webcam footage of the said woman, the group disappeared, and its website could not be traced.
Cox’s next conclusion was that Black Death might have been a scam that was out to steal money from him.
Regardless, the Dark Web has made it easier to conduct the business of human trafficking. There have been reports of illegal forums that discuss sex and trafficking. They use various advertisements to entice trafficking victims then try to solicit the victims for sex trafficking.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has specifically been able to create a Dark Web crawler technology that is assisted by Artificial Intelligence to try and curb this menace. DARPA has been working on a project called Memex program to help identify content on the Dark Web that hints human trafficking.
Already, Memex is offering some help, but it has not been able to solve the problem entirely.
7 Stolen Credit Cards And Other Financial Information
Think about the damage that can be done to your bank account when a criminal gets your credit card information. It is disturbing.
Most of these crimes are today being conducted via the Dark Web. A 30-year-old man was arrested in 2016 for trafficking illegal items along with goods that had been purchased using stolen credit cards. The damage was a staggering $17,000.
Various other Dark Web scams involving stolen cards have been reported, and even though some people have been apprehended, tons are still out there. A fraudster will fraudulently obtain Visa or MasterCard details then give them out in exchange for Bitcoins.
Sometimes they will go for other important financial information like your bank logins, and the account holder may run into massive losses.
UK-based Tesco Bank had to deal with a total loss of £2.5 million after 9000 people found discovered their bank accounts had been emptied. The biggest worry is that a stolen credit card number can end anywhere. But most of them are used on online marketplaces like Spotify, Netflix, and to purchase VPN subscriptions. Some end up being used in stores.
One site that was notorious for dealing in card information was Atlantic Carding. The site sold credit card information, social security numbers, and addresses. Atlantic Carding boasted of a 95%+ credit card validity, and buyers could get better deals depending on how much they were willing to spend.
6 Illegal Drugs
It is believed to be a thriving business in the Dark Web because it is easier to run.
Ross Ulbricht’s Silk Road was an evidence of the extent of the illegal drug business in the Dark Web. And even though Ulbricht was incarcerated, the revelations that followed his trial sent shivers down anyone’s spine.
Silk Road was a large drug-selling website that had hidden its activities on the Dark Web. The site had its own moral code and would sell pure, quality drugs to individuals who were interested. Silk Road stayed away from most things that could do harm beyond drugs, like stolen weapons, or goods.
But this did not stop users from sending death threats to “traitors.”
The website was launched in 2011, and it became a drug man’s dream as users could easily navigate it and choose whatever they wanted. It was like the modern-day e-commerce website and provided an excellent platform for dealers of various drugs and drug users. Both parties were protected by encryption and could easily browse the market and sell or buy.
Once users found whatever they were looking for, they would pay using Bitcoins then the dealer would mail the products in an unmarked box. To ensure quality was maintained, users were free to rate and review products, and this made it easier to weed out scams, no pun intended.
Even though Silk Road was terminated, according to claims, the story is not entirely believable. And after all, it may not have been the only site selling drugs. There must be plenty out there, some of them have probably not yet been discovered.
5 Illegal Porn
While there has been a serious fight against things like revenge porn, the Dark Net has provided an excellent avenue to access revenge porn. England and Wales criminalized the practice and Google removed it from their search results. However, revenge porn and other forms of illegal forms are still active on the Dark Net.
One example was Pink Meth. Before the FBI seized it in 2014, Pink Meth was a man’s market where people would expose nude photos of their ex-girlfriends. Pink Meth then posted the photos with the women’s information: phone number, home address, and name.
Ransom would then be agreed upon, and the victim would be required to pay up to have the photo removed. Otherwise, the entire Dark Net was going to access the photo. Pink Meth was originally on the Surface Web but switched to the Dark Web after it started encountering problems. The switch made it possible for people to submit revenge porn anonymously.
In some cases, victims were given an opportunity to explain how their pictures may have been taken if they wanted them removed. It was a method of embarrassing the victim more.
Even after its closure, an archive emerged of some 200+ women. Whether it still exists or not is a mystery.
4 Forums Where Rapes, Murder, And Abductions Are Planned
The Dark Web is being used to practice extreme desires. It hosts platforms where people meet to plan rape, murder, and kidnappings.
There was a forum named Violent Desires that had the tagline “where monstrous minds meet,” and its purpose was to accommodate evil-minded people who shared their evil plans with others. They planned rape, kidnappings, torture and even murder on the forum. There were discussions about experimentation through body modification and human torture.
Some of their posts were about abducting young girls and cutting their limbs to convert them into human dolls. Strangely, some people were ready to pay very high amounts for such activities.
But Violent Desires was taken down though there is a possibility that such forums still exist. Such forums are full of psychopaths, pedophiles, and rapists. These people found an excellent avenue to share their brutal and gruesome desires, and it was through the Dark Web.
3 Bestiality And Animal Torture
Sex with animals is not entirely new. There have been reports about this habit throughout history.
But the Dark Web has cultivated the act by providing a suitable platform for those who have such desires. Websites like Animal Nightmare and Cruel Onion Wiki have been known to make money by producing pictures and videos of animal torture and rape.
In these sites, you would not be surprised to see someone cutting off a dog’s tail or cracking its teeth using a hammer. Sometimes, an animal would be hit with a club continuously until it succumbed. In some case, the perpetrators would hold the animal's eye and try to pop out its eyeballs.
Cruel Onion Wiki featured scantily dressed or semi-nude women crushing and killing animals with their feet. Most of the animals were puppies and Kittens.
Obviously, such acts are punishable and cannot be permitted on the traditional World Wide Web. Cruel Onion Wiki has been closed a number of times, but the site resurfaces under different names and URLs.
Cats will be put in a microwave and dogs will be trained to fight. Their goal is to see these animals die an excruciating death by exposing them to all manner of torture.
It is disheartening.
2 Snuff Films
Snuff films are recordings of murder that are always real – not staged. Most of them involve raping and killing a woman and are believed to provide sexual arousal. The killing is often conducted in a number of ways. For example, it can be through dismemberment, stabbing, hanging, or strangling to death.
Snuff films have been known to exist for a long time, long before the web. However, they used to be distributed in black markets before the information superhighway was discovered. Since they have not been readily available to the masses, some of them are still considered urban legends, though they are real incidents that happen to real people.
The amount of visual awfulness they portray is unbearable. There have also been claims about “Red Rooms” where the user gets to participate in the torturing process by giving real-time instructions on what can be done to a live victim.
An announcement is made then people are asked to sign up for the horrid acts. The torturing process is then live-streamed to a large audience of subscribers. Most of the live-torture sites have been disputed, with some critics claiming they are scams that air pre-recorded footage.
A site like “Human Experiment” was closed in 2011 after it was discovered that it was performing the unspeakable acts. The site would look for old people or those who did not have records and perform hideous experiments on them to determine how long they survived. Customers had to pay to see what experiment was going to be performed.
1 Hacker For Hire
Hacking is turning into big business, but ever wondered where contracted hackers come from? A good number of them can be found on the Dark Web. Most of the hackers found on the indexable web can only perform "shallow" hacking, like determining your exes Facebook logins, or finding out his phone lock code, their counterparts from the Dark Web are more experienced and paralyze the operations of an entire banking system.
In November 2014, a hacker group calling itself “Guardians of Peace” leaked confidential information about Sony Pictures. Most of the information was personal data about employees, their families, salaries, and information about films that Sony Pictures was yet to release. Sony Pictures had to make a hard decision and stop the release of a film titled The Interview: a comedy about North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
Intelligence officers in the United States concluded that the hack had been perpetrated by North Korea though the country denied the allegations.
It was a testament of how hackers can paralyze a business and change the course of life. These are the kind of hackers that you are likely to find on the Deep Net. Once they are done with their hackings, an entire nation can facepalm.
The SpyEye botnet creation kit, for example, was developed by a 24-year-old Russian hacker, Aleksandr Panin, and his associate. According to the FBI, Panin sold the technology to clients who used it to steal millions as the tool could infiltrate businesses and consumers. In the end, the malware infected some 1.4 million computers according to the prosecutor.
Dark Net hackers can perform other actions like credit card fraud, espionage, DDoS attacks and stealing back confiscated websites from the FBI. Think about the harm that these hacks can cause to people?
Dark Net sites like Rent-A-Hacker make it easier to find such hackers. Here, users can pay to have someone wrongfully arrested or launch a service attack. This is where you can get the services of a hacker who can help you rip off a retailer.
The termination of the Silk Road and the incarceration of both Peter Scully and Ross William Ulbricht are clear signs that war has been waged against the Dark Net. However, more needs to be done.