My Journey to the Dark Web

Tamir Suliman
Feb 9, 2019 · 5 min read
Credit TOR video

W e all fascinated by the tails of explorations and learning about secrets.For that reason, crime investigation shows , TMZ and other media outlets that feed on these things are booming.

Since the inception of the internet a lot of people and governments started to thinking about away to exchange communication anonymously.

Credit: Darkwebnews.com-Dark Web and Deep Web Info graphic

So around 1990’s United States Government and Military researchers created this technology which later they named it TOR “The Onion Router” to serve that purpose.TOR technology later released to the public for the simple reasoning: the more people using the system, the difficult it would be to distinguish the government’s messages from the general noise.

TOR Video

TOR evolved over the years ,and adopted by the opensource community and become a widely used software.Not only journalists and activists use TOR to protect their anonymity online from oppressive regimes but also by criminals who used TOR to sell drugs promote child pornography or Non-ethical hackers to solicit for doing illegal things online “Hacking your partner”, selling accounts/passwords and credit cards information.

In 2013 , the FBI has announced the arrest of the suspected operator of the Silk Road — a clandestine online marketplace for drugs and other illegal items and made it in accessible.[BBC NEWS]

Source: BBC News Article

Tor can’t solve all anonymity problems. It focuses only on protecting the transport of data and withholding some information about your computer’s configuration while browsing the internet.

Deep Web Vs Dark Web

Deep web is your emails , bank accounts and other information accessible by only user name and password or it has some protection. While “Dark-web “ is a dark net accessible mainly by TOR packages mentioned above.

The Dark-Web Journey

Please note, this article for educational purposes.According to many researchers ,it is found that 57% of the Dark Web is occupied by unauthorized contents like Pornography, Illicit Finances, Drug Hub, Weapon Trafficking, counterfeit currency flow and many more.

So why do we take journey, to those dangerous territory. Well we have many reasons , first because the 43% is not.That’s a big number isn’t it ? Secondly, adding to that the fun of discovery is opening doors and not knowing what’s behind them.

However,it’s better to use caution when you surfing the Dark-web in case you want to take that journey yourself. Be careful of what is out there.

Dos and Dont

Don’t surf the dark-web with your normal day to day machine , don’t use your day today emails and usernames. Surfing without taking those precautions is like swimming along side a group of piranha fishes. Use an old system or old laptop that can be formatted and reused.

TOR Browser Screenshot

We are going to surf the dark-web using TOR ,but we are not going to do any thing illegal.

Don’t be tempted to do any thing illegal because most of these websites are fraud or aimed to take your money and it’s illegal.FBI and other Security organizations are already monitoring the traffic and sourcing for criminal and illegal activities.

Remember not all sites are illegal or offer illegal services. Facebook recently created facebookcorewwwi.onion site that allows access to Facebook through the Tor protocol, using its .onion top-level domain and currently used by more than 1 million according to Wikipedia and different resources.

The hidden wiki public website screenshot

Surfing the Dark Web

DON’T DO ANY THING ILLEGAL

STEP 1 : Use an old laptop or PC that doesn’t have your information i.e. your personal emails accounts etc

STEP 2 : Download and Setup TOR browser in your Computer

STEP 3: Go to the hidden Wiki Public Address then use Tor browser to access it’s onion address.

The Hidden Wiki On TOR

We can see all the different categories to the right along with the link to different sites.

STEP 4 Don’t register with email accounts or use user names or names that can be used to identify you on the web if you want to VIEW sites that require you to create an account before you can access or read the contents.

You may if you will create fake email with a fake username.

STEP 5 Use good search engine.What is better than search engines to explore all the fun.Some of those good search engines and links directory such as : DEEP WEB LINKS .

Use the URLs at your own risk.

Search Engine for Dark Web

Conclusion and Questions

In conclusion,this can be a quick start demo to learn about navigating and finding your away around the dark-web. If you have not noticed most of the dark web sites have this random characters along with .onion at the end of the URL to identify their profile.

As a security researcher, I have lots of questions about it.Some of theses questions are what is the rate of dark-web expansions ? How many sites created per day or month or year? Onions URLs looks like a land mine , you don’t know when you going to step or click on a site with malware accidentally or during a journey of exploration so who is responsible to warn and scan those sites ?

I’m merely scratching the surface here along with you in this Journey.But , I think what I want to do next is to scan those sites evaluate it and understand if there any malicious codes on them. Yes, some thing like Virus Total website.

Why google and other companies don’t index or even exists on the dark-web? How currently the search engines on the dark index and classify those sites ?

My next article , I will be looking in to all of that and more.

Thanks for reading and like what my friend always use to say “Be safe they are out there .. ”

Tamir Suliman

Written by

Writer, Engineer, IT security enthusiast , &Open Source Supporter

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade