How Dark is the Dark Web?

The Dark Web. In the minds of most consumers, it’s the Boogeyman’s cyber-playground. A land of digital anarchy, where guns, drugs and other black market items are traded freely for crypto-currency. There are low-lit individuals concealed in hoodies hovering over a keyboard and striking keys to steal identities to be sold to the highest bidder.In certain instances this is true. And it’s a terrifying narrative that’s easily sold to the masses. But that vision is only one slice of the Dark Web pie. What I find most interesting is how professional the Dark Web has become.

Even if you never plan to go into the Dark Web, it’s important to understand how the Dark Web and its black markets work so that you can better protect yourself and your organization through this cyber threat intelligence. The Dark Web today has essentially transformed into an illegal blend of Amazon, eBay, Yelp and Indeed. Hackers-for-hire post resumes, list work experience, and get rated by previous customers.

This new type of marketplace lowers the barrier for entry for those who lack the technical skills to work on their own but are willing to outsource hacking and cybercriminal activity with the same ease an HR professional browses the pages of LinkedIn to fish for qualified candidates.

Today anyone can afford to launch a cyberattack as easy as they can place an order for a pizza delivery. Or buy terabytes of consumer information for pennies on the dollar.

The Dark Web is no longer scary in the sense of walking down a dark alley by yourself in an unfamiliar city while your phone has no battery. The Dark Web is frightening in that it has become an online version of Macy’s where anyone can purchase a RGD-5 frag grenade and get it giftwrapped and shipped.

This is the introduction to a series of posts I plan to write covering the ins and outs of the Dark Web – a place many have heard of, yet few have explored. I look forward to being your tour guide as we explore some of the darkest places on the internet.

Want to get started learning about the Dark Web? Download our Dark Web 101 Guide

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