What is the dark web?
The dark web is the part of the internet that is not visible to search engines or not indexed. It requires the use of an anonymous browser called Tor to access.
Deep web vs dark web: what is the difference?
People often use the terms dark web and deep web interchangeably, but they are not the same. Deep web webpages are not indexed and are inaccessible via an internet search.
Deep web content includes anything behind a paywall or requires sign-in credentials or content that owners have blocked web crawlers from indexing, for example, medical records, fee-based content, membership websites, and confidential corporate web pages.
Why is the dark web so attractive to criminals?
Not all of the dark web encourages criminal activity, but the ability to be anonymous makes it appealing to criminals. The dark web is attractive to criminals because they can buy credit card numbers, drugs, guns, counterfeit money, stolen subscription credentials, hacked Netflix accounts, software usernames and passwords that help them break into people’s computers. Furthermore, they can buy login credentials to Bank accounts, counterfeit bills, prepaid debit cards, or a lifetime Netflix premium account. Also, they can hire hackers to attack computers for you.
How do people sell your data on the dark web?
What many do not realise is that their data is valuable. There is no end to what someone can do with your data. They can make purchases with your money with your payment details, use your streaming account for entertainment with your email address, or even pretend to be you. As a result, this is why the personal data market exists on the dark web.
If a cybercriminal manages to access enough data, they can make thousands, or even millions, by selling it on the dark web.
But how do they get hold of personal data? Cybercriminals steal your data via data breaches of organisations. After a cybercriminal infiltrates a database and steals large amounts of data, they often head to the dark web to sell off individual bits or large chunks of the harboured data to users on the dark web. For example, a criminal could hack a shopping website to access email addresses.
Once someone puts an individual’s data up for sale on the dark web, it is hard to get it removed. Most people have no idea that people are selling their data this way until it is too late. As a result, this is why data breaches can be so dangerous.
How to keep your data safe from the dark web
It is becoming easier for cybercriminals to access personal data in many ways due to the rise of remote working. As we continue to entrust our sensitive information to more sites and companies, we increase the risk of someone stealing our data.
Here at Northstar, we offer dark web research, where we scan the dark web and take action to protect your business from stolen credentials posted for sale. Knowing in real-time what passwords and accounts are on the dark web allows you to be proactive in preventing a data breach in the future.
For more information about dark web research, contact Northstar today.