Dark web use has more than tripled in the past two years, in this article we take a look at the deep dark web to discover just how easy it is to access, how dark it actually is, and learn why it’s experiencing so much growth.
To get a real sense of how difficult it is to access the dark web I asked a non-technical friend to have a go at researching the dark web, and log their journey.
Step 1 – How easy is it to find and access the dark web?
Within the first sixty seconds our noobie researcher with no experience of the dark web did a couple of Google searches and found /r/darknetmarkets which has a list of over 15 dark web markets and dozens of related services that help dark web users maintain their anonymity.
Step 2 – How easy is it to access the dark web?
In the initial conversation with my researcher I got the impression they thought it was very hard to access the dark web, they assumed it was a place only frequented by the most elite hackers, and that it was likely an exclusive and difficult club to get into.
But the reality was very different, my researcher decided to take a look at /r/AlphaBay listed above and discovered they had to visit http://pwoah7foa6au2pul.onion which required some anonymizing tools called Tor Browser or Tails.
Within 5 minutes of clicking on the AlphaBay subreddit Tor Browser was installed and an account was being created on the AlphaBay market.
Step 3 – How dark is the dark web?
In a nutshell, it’s a parent’s worst nightmare.
Everything any sane parent would want their teenager to stay away from is right there, and it’s available through the mail, anonymously in any quantity.
The vendor above is selling packs of 10 ecstasy pills for just $23.90, and for an extra $4.75 they come vacuum sealed in stealth packaging with priority 1 day shipping.
As with any market that wants to build trust AlphaBay has a review system.
A few of the things we found for sale:
And pretty much anything sinister you can imagine including explosives, Polonium-210, ricin murder kits, huge quantities of Fentanyl, stolen identities and credit cards and the list goes on and on.
So how dark is the dark web?
As dark as it gets.
And how good are the police at prosecuting dark web vendors? Terrible.
This was an insight into just one dark web marketplace, with thousands of vendors that have shipped tens of millions of dollars in drugs, weapons and stolen identities right to the door of anyone willing to buy – in every country.
There are at least 15 more markets just like this one, and dark web use is exploding.
Advice for Concerned Parents
Don’t bury your head in the sand, knowledge and awareness of the dark web is the first step in preventing death and destruction. Learn how it’s accessed, learn about digital currencies, learn the language of the dark web and then look and listen for signs of use.
Fentanyl on the Dark Web
There’s a disturbing trend of deaths from Fentanyl overdose occurring and the dark web is one place it’s coming from in large quantities.
Underground labs in China are producing massive quantities of Fentanyl, and it’s being bought up on the dark web by clueless idiotic drug dealers that are mixing it with everything and passing it off as all kinds of other drugs, this is extremely dangerous and it’s resulting in many deaths from overdose.