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Is your cybersecurity strong-enough protection from hackers, scammers, and cyber-attacks? Learn about the Dark Web and why it’s the marketplace for hackers.  

Do you know if your information is for sale on the Dark Web? Understanding the Dark Web and how it could be a danger to your business is the first step to cyber-security awareness. The Dark Web is used to hide illegal activities such as stealing some Social Security numbers or stealing a business’s system admin account. It’s possible that someone on the Dark Web is selling your personal information right now for as little as three dollars per record. Knowing that can terrify some people.

Dark Web

Here’s an analogy to help you understand. You already know how to shop for groceries and gasoline. But, what if your shopping list called for something else such as applying for a line of credit in a stranger’s name? Would you know where to go shopping for any of these items? Cybercriminals do — they shop for them on the Dark Web.

What is the Dark Web?

The Dark Web is actually a subset of the much larger ”deep web,” a term that describes an extensive collection of websites that you can’t access by using normal internet browsers. Websites on the deep web are hidden from users of the Clearnet, or everyday internet. These websites are built on the framework of networks that already exist, and there are a lot of them. In essence, the Clearnet is only a small fraction of the internet.

How Does Your Information Get on the Dark Web?

Criminals employ several tactics to steal personal or corporate information to sell online. But, before they can sell it, they need to obtain your data. Some strategies used for stealing data include:

  • Phishing: Phishing emails are sent to large numbers of users to attempt to steal sensitive information by posing as reputable sources
  • Spear Phishing: A form of phishing that involves a specific group or organization, possibly through information gleaned from social media
  • Executive Whaling: Criminals target top executives and administrators, generally to steal money from corporate accounts or confidential or proprietary data
  • Social Engineering: LinkedIn, Facebook and other social venues provide a wealth of information about organizational personnel that can be used for hacking

Confidential and personal information including school records, private emails, bank statements or company access codes can all be found on the Dark Web. To gain access to the Dark Web, you need to have access to an overlay network with specialized software and passwords. Having security keeps sensitive information safe is a good thing. It prevents search engines from accessing it.

Why is the Dark Web the Perfect Market for Stolen Data?

The Deep Web’s added security makes it attractive for cyber thieves who want to remain anonymous. Unlike the Deep Web, the Dark Web allows people to access information on certain browsers such as The Onion Browser, commonly known as Tor.

Cybercrime is expensive for businesses. It costs U.S. businesses billions of dollars every year. Most stolen information ends up being sold on the Dark Web to corporate spies or identity thieves. The Dark Web is also used for communication and education for hackers and would-be hackers. They are very competitive, but still will share education and help each other. This access to the hacking tools of the trade as well as the knowledge of how to scam, attack, and hack, makes the Dark Web dangerous to businesses. There is someone with the time and inclination to learn how to steal your valuable data by using an online tutorial and hacking software found on the Dark Web. You may not hear about these thefts on the national news, but businesses and organizations are targeted every day by cybercriminals trying to make a fast buck.

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Spade Technology, Inc.

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