Dark Web – Crypto Glossary Definition:
The Dark Web is a hidden and encrypted segment of the internet, accessible exclusively through anonymity-focused browsers like TOR (The Onion Router). It operates outside the realms of traditional search engines and standard web browsers. The Dark Web is notorious for its association with illicit activities and a wide range of illegal content, transactions, and services.
Key characteristics and attributes of the Dark Web include:
- Anonymity: Users on the Dark Web remain pseudonymous and untraceable, often using encrypted communication tools and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin for transactions. This level of anonymity attracts individuals and groups seeking to engage in clandestine activities.
- TOR Network: The Dark Web relies on the TOR network, which routes internet traffic through a series of volunteer-run servers, obscuring the user’s IP address and ensuring a higher degree of privacy.
- Criminal Activity: The Dark Web has gained notoriety as a hub for various criminal activities, including illegal drug trade, weapon sales, hacking services, counterfeit currency, stolen data, and more. It facilitates black markets and forums where such transactions occur.
- Deep Web Distinction: While often used interchangeably, the Dark Web is distinct from the Deep Web. The Deep Web encompasses all internet content that isn’t indexed by search engines and includes legitimate and legal data, such as private databases, academic resources, and password-protected websites. The Dark Web represents a smaller, hidden subset of the Deep Web, focused on anonymity and illicit activities.
- Contrasting Communities: The Dark Web hosts a diverse range of users, including cybercriminals, activists, whistleblowers, journalists, and individuals seeking privacy in repressive regimes. The lexicon of the Dark Web reflects this diversity, incorporating terminology from hacking, gaming, software development, and other fields.
- Cryptocurrency Usage: Cryptocurrencies, particularly Bitcoin, are commonly used on the Dark Web due to their perceived anonymity and ease of cross-border fund transfers. They serve as the primary medium of exchange for illicit goods and services on Dark Web marketplaces.