Exploring the Hidden Internet – The Deep Web

exploring-the-hidden-internet-the-deep-web

A word of Caution This Blog post on Deep Web is just for information purpose and so it’s advised not to misuse it’s information in any way. DO NOT ATTEMPT to test or access the websites unnecessarily as it may hamper your security and open you up for cyber attacks. 


We as Indians keep telling ourselves that our country is on the verge of seeing another Technology boom. We also expect that in the next five to ten years, we would be getting listed on #1 position among the list of countries with highest Internet users.

The confidence with which we state this fact is highly appreciating, but food for thought is – Are we really gonna ever make it to #1 position?.  The reason for this question is because despite the fact that we spend most of our time on the Internet, are we really using it to its full extent. I guess the answer to this question definitely is a big NO.

That hidden part of Web which we as normal users do not even have access to is what people say – THE DEEP WEB or even THE DARKNET.

As per different surveys conducted, there are different theories that exist on Deep Web, out of which one states that among the Zettabytes of data available online, only 4-percent of the data is available on search engines like Google, Bing etc, while the rest 96-percent is protected by high-security passwords, is hidden behind paywalls or is accessible only via special software’s.

surface-web-vs-deep-web-access-ratio

The Deep Web is that part of Web world, where all illicit activities take place. It’s that underground area where hackers, pedophiles,  gangster and even terrorists come together to perform their business which involves just showcasing a sample of goods and services and getting their work done.

Levels of Deep Web or Dark Net

In general, what we access is often referred to as Surface Web. But, when we talk about Deep Web, it’s not just limited to a single layer of data but is a combination of several layers. Each layer of Deep Web has its own set of software’s commonly used by users.

levels-of-deep-web

As the image clearly indicates, we as normal users of Internet often download pirated content from Google. Use of P2P clients like Bit-Torrent or uTorrent as well makes us gain access to up to level-3. However, below that is an area that must be visited with extreme caution because endangering your security just on the pretext of having some fun is not acceptable.

Things Available on Deep Web

There is no denying to the fact that coverage area of Deep Web is quite extensive and hence it is often heard – Anything you imagine becomes available on Deep Web.  Let’s take a look at some of the scariest things that people can buy over the Darknet:

DRUGS 

The underground of Deep Web consists of both prescribed as well as illegal drugs be it cocaine, cigarettes, heroin, designer drugs, steroids or any other substance that affects the brain power of human being. To make them seem legal, many sellers even post images of their products online rendering them as 99% pure. seller-selling-opium-on-deep-webTo give more authenticity to their product, some sellers even attach verified documents with the product. Since the documents can not be tested any further, the consumer has to rely on the word-of-mouth. Second, of all, feedback from other buyers is equally important.

FORGED DOCUMENTS

The term Forgery as we all know is known as the practice of making a duplicate copy of any document in an illegal manner. The forging of official documents like Driving Licenses, Govt. ID’s, Immigration certificates or even citizenship papers of any country is a much greater threat than buying over a drug. The duplicating of passport can even allow a terrorist access to anywhere with ease.

fake-document-service-on-deep-web

As per the research, anybody can get a U.S driver’s license by paying $200 on an average while U.S. and U.K. passports are available for purchase for just a few thousand bucks. Many think Bitcoin is safe, but to tell you a fact, even it’s not. Not even our credit card details or PayPal accounts are safe. Shockingly, thousands of credit card numbers are available for sale or can be stamped on blank parchments quite easily.

AMMUNITION, FIREARMS, EXPLOSIVES

One of the biggest threat a country has is from ammunition and explosions. It’s no mere coincidence that just like other things, the Deep Web has a plethora of options available which allows cyber criminals purchase ammunition, firearms, explosions etc. quite easily. The advancement of technology has given these suppliers endless options (read the word as ways) to transfer the products.

knuckle-blaster-stun-gun-on-deep-web

As per reports, vendors now ship their products by hiding them inside the toys or through shielded packages. One of the benefits of these tricks is that these packages don’t get detected in X-rays. Some suppliers even use musical instruments or electronic items to bypass security checks.

What makes things worse is that not just guns, but anything that one thinks in firearms is available on Darknet. For example, a quarter-sized piece of Uranium Ore or even an EMP Pulse Generator.

deep-web-even-sells-guns-and-ammunition

One of the biggest examples ever known is of Silk Road shut down by FBI officials in 2013. Read more information on Silk Road here.

However, despite the availability of weapons on Deep Web, people tend to flee from the practice of buying it. The main reason behind this could be the availability of the product (in a single piece) in different gun shows. It saves both the time and hassle of recombining individual components back together

HIRING OF HACKERS 

As weird as the term may sound to you, but the reality is this only. Deep Web allows authorized and organized cyber-crime organizations to hire hackers for their illegal practices. A clear example of which has been China’s Hidden Lynx group.

hiring-of-hackers-on-deep-web

As per reports, this group has nearly 100 professional thieves and hackers. It also involves those who are known for penetrating into the system of giants like Google, Adobe etc. In last six years, the organization has brought down several major firms of U.S.A. In general, Hidden Lynx is a professional group who provide their service on the basis of pay.

Ways to Access Deep Web Directories


Reminder – DO NOT ATTEMPT to access these Websites or links being mentioned for reference purpose. It’s for your own security.


There are many ways which a tech-savvy person can make use of to access the layers of Deep Web. We as human beings live in a world which is quite rich in information and hence anybody with little technical knowledge can get access to these web links. Let’s just take a short look at some of them:

ANONYMOUS BROWSER

I am aware of the fact that many of you must have heard the word Anonymous Browser, but I feel not all are aware of its meaning in literal terms. One of the most popular Anonymous browser known to the world is The Onion Router (TOR browser). TOR browser provides a gateway to the lower layers of Deep Web. It hides the origin of the page request, giving full security to the IP address of the end-user.

how-tor-browser-works

Law enforcement agencies find it hard to track down IP address once it gets spoofed. Generally, whichever page on the web we access comes with a .com extension, but in the case of TOR, we get a .onion suffix on secret web pages. These so-called .onion suffixes web pages are accessible only through TOR browser and no other browser gets access to them.

SECRET SEARCH ENGINES

Yes, you read it correctly. Even Deep Web has its own search engine that features the same UI of Google as we know it. This search engine was created by a random hacker two years back in mid-2014. It is known by the name Grams sometimes referred to as – Google of Darknet.

As what the data reveals, Grams allow criminals to look for genuine and good quality guns, drugs and even stolen bank accounts across multiple websites. Similar to Google, it even has an ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ button with targeted ads which permits drug leaders to fight for clicks.

grams-search-engine-home-page

Grams is not just confined to being a search engine but has diversified to many other domains as well similar to that of Google. It includes:

  • Gram words – similar to Google Ad-words
  • Grams Flow – it gives easy access to hidden sites

You can refer the following Wikipedia link to read more on Grams and its other services.

HIDDEN CHAT-ROOMS

Chat-rooms in the literal sense refer to having a conversation with strangers online. The service might not be that popular in India, but outside the country, it is used extensively. It is always advised in the real world to take precautionary measures while interacting with a complete stranger.

hidden-chat-rooms-deep-web

The chat-rooms of Deep Web work on the same concept since even here, online criminals have to confirm the authenticity of their product before they can transact. Some chat-rooms ask its users to gain a permit from the admin(s) to join in, an absence of which doesn’t allow them to bypass the gateway. Few chat-rooms hide behind unlisted alphanumeric web addresses making it hard to track them thus requiring special tactics to open up.

VERDICT

Deep Web ain’t that bad as it seems. This black market has existed ever since the Internet came into life. It all depends on how people take it and use it. A number of painkillers, sedatives, drugs are also available on the Surface web, but many online pharmacies are happier by sending in their products this way. One must keep his and nation’s security at par with each other while accessing such material on the web.

Second, of all, even Government needs to understand that privacy doesn’t only include keeping government surveillance out of your life, but it also involves keeping hackers, cyber-thieves, and criminals away as much as possible. Darknet market and intelligence agencies both might co-habitat in opposite corners of Internet, but are aware of each other’s activities. Hence, it becomes imperative to exercise caution as much as possible.

I am hopeful of the fact that this information helps you get an insight into the world of Deep Web. And, as always, Comments are most welcome. 🙂 

Take Good Care of yourself. 🙂

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Manu Mathur
Manu Mathur
An engineer by profession, A writer by choice. I would describe myself as a person who is trustworthy, humble, a die-hard music lover and a gadget freak !

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