The dark web has a bad reputation - and for quite a few good reasons. However, like any tool, there is a lot of good that the dark web can be used for as well. Here, we’ll review what the dark web is, how it can be used (and abused), and what the landscape is like.
The dark web is largely bad news - two researchers from London’s King’s College spent five weeks classifying the contents of 2,723 dark web sites in 2015, and they discovered that 57 percent of them had illicit materials on them. Another study, conducted in 2019, showed that things had only gotten worse - 60 percent of all listings (with the exception of those selling drugs) could harm a business.
The dark web can be used to purchase credit card numbers, stolen and hacked credentials, hacking tools, weapons, and drugs. Hackers-for-hire can be found on the dark web, as can drug dealers, contract killers, and other unsavory characters.
However, the dark web isn’t all bad. A dark web version of Facebook, known as Blackbook exists, as do communities based around special interests or hobbies. Many journalists will utilize the dark web to interview people who are otherwise silenced by oppressive regimes.
There are various ways that the dark web can be a risk to you and your business. It can devalue your business and lead to a decrease in brand trust and damage to your reputation, disrupt your business through cyberattack, or defraud your business and impact its finances.
Whether someone on the dark web phishes you, installs an exploit or a keylogger, leverages a Distributed Denial of Service attack, or steals your data and credentials, the threat that is posed to your business is not something to be taken lightly. As a result, it is probably best to leave the dark web alone.
If you’re concerned that some of your business’ data may be posted on the dark web, Microtechs can help you find out. To learn more, reach out to us at (415) 246-0101.