DarkNet: The Dark Side of the Web Introduction and history of darknet

For many laymen, the term DarkNet sounds like something incomprehensible or rather even frightening. The media, blogs, social networks often describe the Darknet as a place that is teeming with drug dealers, killers, hackers, unlicensed content, etc. However, the Darknet as a concept of a private network originated back in 1970, and today many resources in the dark Putin are visited not only by hackers and criminals, but also by journalists, activists, ordinary users from countries where the Internet is filtered by special services. But like any good invention, darnet can be used not for noble purposes. In the Darknet, of course, there are sites where cybercriminals gather, stolen confidential money, various malvari, unlicensed content are bought and sold.

In today's publication, we will try to tell in more detail about the darkweb and its use in the hacker field.


The term DarkNet or "Dark Web" in the general sense refers to a set of websites that are visible to the public, but at the same time have a hidden IP address of the server on which they are hosted. Such sites are generally available to all web users, but it is very difficult to find out who their author is. It is also worth saying that it is impossible to get to such sites using popular search engines.

In fact, the dark web is a private network in which connections are established only between trusted peers, sometimes referred to as "friends", and most often using non-standard protocols and ports. The dark web differs from other distributed peer-to-peer networks, as file sharing occurs anonymously (due to the fact that the IP addresses of Rusurs are not publicly available), and, therefore, users can communicate without much fear and government interference.

In view of this, the dark web is often perceived as a tool for communication in prohibited communities, underground, as well as for conducting illegal activities. More generally, the term "dark web" can be used to describe non-commercial "nodes" of the Internet or refers to all "underground" Internet communications and technologies, most of which are associated with illegal activities or dissent.

You can find a comparison of the dark web and 2p2-exchange technologies used, for example, for the distribution of torrents.

So, the most common file sharing services today, such as BitTorrent,are not actually dark web, since users can contact anyone on the network.

Almost all known darknets are decentralized and therefore considered peer-to-peer. Also, many darknets require the installation of special software to gain access to the network.


The term "dark web" has a long history and appeared at the dawn of computer technology in the 1970s. In the context of network security, this was used to refer to networks isolated from ARPANET.. dark web could receive data from the main ARPANETnetwork, but had addresses that did not appear in the lists of networks and did not respond to requests from outside.

In the modern sense, the term dark web has become widespread thanks to the publication"The Darknet and the Future of Content Distribution",published in 2002, by a group of Microsoft employees in the person of Peter Biddle, Paul Inland, Marcus Paynad and Brian Willman.

The authors of the publication put forward the idea of dark web based on three assumptions:
•Any object intended for wide distribution will be available to a certain part of users with permission to copy.
•Users will copy objects if possible and if they want to.
•Users are connected by high-bandwidth channels.

So, then the term dark web is a file-sharing network that occurs when publicly available data appears, according to assumption 1, and when this data is distributed, according to assumptions 2 and 3.

Since then, the term has often been borrowed and has also been used in major media outlets such as Rolling Stone and Wired. .


The dark web is usually used in certain cases, such as:
•Privacy and fear of political repression
•Crimes in the field of information technology
•Distribution of copyrighted files.

Darknet and anonymous TOR nodes

For those who do not know, let's say a few words about TOR

Tor (The Onion Router) is a free and open source application for onion routing.It is a proxy system that allows you to establish an anonymous network connection that is protected from eavesdropping. It is considered as an anonymous network of virtual tunnels that provides data transmission in encrypted form.

So with Tor, users can remain anonymous on the Internet when visiting sites, blogging, sending instant and e-mail messages, as well as when working with other applications that use the TCP protocol. Anonymization of traffic is provided through the use of encrypted distributed networks of servers - nodes. Tor technology provides protection against traffic analysis mechanisms that compromise not only online privacy, but also the privacy of trade secrets, business contacts, and communication secrecy in general.

The White Side of the dark web

Trend Micro has published a report from which it can be concluded that not everything that is used on the Darknet is bad. Namely:

1) not only attackers, but also respectable citizens, including journalists and users from countries with dictatorial regimes, come to sites in a hidden network;

2) the trade assortment of underground stores is dominated not by strong, but by weak drugs, which are already legalized in some territories.

Many countries are deprived of anything that would be consistent with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. So the Darknet network provides everyone with the opportunity to freely express their thoughts without fear of censorship or persecution. According to the Tor Project, anonymous Hidden Services serves as a haven for dissidents from Lebanon, Mauritania and the countries that the Arab Spring has covered. Mirrors of sites that cause fear and hatred among the governments of some countries and global corporations - GlobalLeaks, Indymedia and Wikileaks . - are also placed here.

Trend Micro in its report also notes a few more features of the darknet. For example, no one can estimate its size. It's likely that there are a huge number of pages, but it's impossible to say how many of them are available at any given time. The information landscape is changing very quickly: sites appear and disappear.

If you look at the assortment of stores, there is dominated by marijuana and pharmaceuticals like Viagra. The so-called "pharma" is a long-standing subject of purchase and sale on semi-legal sites that exist on the open Web.

Also in the list there are video games, accounts to different sites, mushrooms.

Darknet and hackers

All in the same report, Trend Micro mentions the well-known fact that the darknet is used to install command servers in botnets and other malware. By its nature, the Hidden Web is naturally suited for this. One example of malware that allows traffic through Tor is the well-known Cryptolocker ransomware Trojan.

In June 2016, Kaspersky Lab specialists prepared a report and told about the underground trading platform xDedic, where attackers sell access to hacked servers from around the world. Then the resource, which worked on the usual Internet, and not in the .onion zone, quickly disappeared from the radar and ceased its activities. Now, researchers at Digital Shadows report that xDedic is back in action, but has moved to the


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