Dark web

deep webdarknetDarkweb
Specialist news sites such as DeepDotWeb and All Things Vice provide news coverage and practical information about dark web sites and services. The Hidden Wiki and its mirrors and forks hold some of the largest directories of content at any given time. Popular sources of dark web .onion links include Pastebin, YouTube, Twitter, Reddit and other Internet forums. Specialist companies with Darksum and Recorded Future track dark-web cybercrime goings-on for law enforcement purposes. In 2015 it was announced that Interpol now offers a dedicated dark web training program featuring technical information on Tor, cybersecurity and simulated darknet market takedowns.


a Tor hidden website
The creators claimed in an interview with DeepDotWeb that the site was founded in direct response to the number of dark websites which have emerged during the past few years which do not actually have anything of value to sell and are just scams. The site relied on Tor and bitcoin similar to other darknet markets but requires multi-signature transactions. There was speculation in the computer security community as to whether the site is a law enforcement sting operation due to apparent listing of exploits at many times below their potential market value.

Dread (forum)

Dread is a Reddit-like dark web discussion forum featuring news and discussions around darknet markets. The site's administrator goes by the alias of 'HugBunter'. It is a popular community hub, succeeding the seized DeepDotWeb as a news site for discussion around market law enforcement activity and scams. It came to prominence in 2018 after Reddit banned several darknet market discussion communities. It featured 12,000 registered users within three months of being launched, and 14,683 users by June 2018. In September 2019, roughly after one week of maintenance downtime, HugBunter's dead man's switch was activated.

Tor (anonymity network)

TorTor anonymity networkTor network
In 2015, the administrators of Agora, a darknet market, announced they were taking the site offline in response to a recently discovered security vulnerability in Tor. They did not say what the vulnerability was, but Wired speculated it was the "Circuit Fingerprinting Attack" presented at the Usenix security conference. A study showed "anonymization solutions protect only partially against target selection that may lead to efficient surveillance" as they typically "do not hide the volume information necessary to do target selection".


Dark Netdark webdarknets
Subsequently, in 2014, journalist Jamie Bartlett in his book The Dark Net used the term to describe a range of underground and emergent subcultures, including camgirls, cryptoanarchists, darknet drug markets, self harm communities, social media racists, and transhumanists. Darknets in general may be used for various reasons, such as: All darknets require specific software installed or network configurations made to access them, such as Tor, which can be accessed via a customised browser from Vidalia (aka the Tor browser bundle), or alternatively via a proxy configured to perform the same function. Computer crime (cracking, file corruption, etc.).


BitcoinsBitcoin walletmining
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency. It is a decentralized digital currency without a central bank or single administrator that can be sent from user to user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries.

Security hacker

A security hacker is someone who explores methods for breaching defenses and exploiting weaknesses in a computer system or network. Hackers may be motivated by a multitude of reasons, such as profit, protest, information gathering, challenge, recreation, or to evaluate system weaknesses to assist in formulating defenses against potential hackers. The subculture that has evolved around hackers is often referred to as the "computer underground".

Exploit (computer security)

exploitexploitssecurity exploit
An exploit (from the English verb to exploit, meaning "to use something to one’s own advantage") is a piece of software, a chunk of data, or a sequence of commands that takes advantage of a bug or vulnerability to cause unintended or unanticipated behavior to occur on computer software, hardware, or something electronic (usually computerized). Such behavior frequently includes things like gaining control of a computer system, allowing privilege escalation, or a denial-of-service (DoS or related DDoS) attack.

Federal Bureau of Investigation

FBIFBI agentF.B.I.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes.

National Crime Agency

NCABritish National Crime AgencyHuman Trafficking Unit
The National Crime Agency (NCA) is a national law enforcement agency in the United Kingdom. It is the UK's lead agency against organised crime; human, weapon and drug trafficking; cyber crime; and economic crime that goes across regional and international borders, but can be tasked to investigate any crime. The NCA has a strategic role in which it looks at the bigger picture across the UK, analysing how criminals are operating and how they can be disrupted. To do this it works closely with regional organised crime units (ROCUs), the Serious Fraud Office, as well as individual police forces.


European Police OfficeEuropean PoliceEuropean Police Office (EUROPOL)
The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, better known under the name Europol, formerly the European Police Office and Europol Drugs Unit, is the law enforcement agency of the European Union (EU) formed in 1998 to handle criminal intelligence and combat serious international organised crime and terrorism through cooperation between competent authorities of EU member states. The Agency has no executive powers, and its officials are not entitled to arrest suspects or act without prior approval from competent authorities in the member states. Seated in The Hague, South Holland, it comprised 1,065 staff in 2016.

Software as a service

SaaSsoftware-as-a-serviceSoftware as a Service (SaaS)
Software as a service (SaaS ) is a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted. It is sometimes referred to as "on-demand software", and was formerly referred to as "software plus services" by Microsoft.

List of Tor onion services

BabylonC'thulhu (assassination)Hell
National Police and Public Prosecution Service of the Netherlands — official hidden service about darknet market takedown operations. Central Intelligence Agency. The Hidden Wiki. Archive.is. BBC News. BuggedPlanet. The New York Times. Deutsche Welle. Wikipedia (accessible only via telnet) (defunct). DeepDotWeb (defunct). Doxbin (defunct). Tails OS - Live, portable, amnesiac operating system (run off USB). Debian (static Web content and package repositories). Qubes OS – security-focused desktop operating system. Whonix – Debian-based security distribution. GlobaLeaks. Independent Media Center. The Intercept.

Shock site

shock sitesshock imageshock video
Richards, which ruled that animal crush videos (videos that involve the murder of animals) can be obscene and therefore, are unprotected by the first amendment even though they do not clearly appeal to sexual interests. The court ruled animal crush videos to be unprotected obscenity for two reasons. First, animal crush videos can appeal to a "specific sexual fetish," which fits the sexual conduct requirement of the Miller test. Second, United States v. Richards modified the Miller test by ruling that obscenity "can also cover unusual deviant acts" even if they are not directly sexual. Child pornography also falls under the category of unprotected obscenity by these tests.

Silk Road (marketplace)

Silk RoadThe Silk RoadSilk Road drug website
Silk Road was an online black market and the first modern darknet market, best known as a platform for selling illegal drugs. As part of the dark web, it was operated as a Tor hidden service, such that online users were able to browse it anonymously and securely without potential traffic monitoring. The website was launched in February 2011; development had begun six months prior. Initially there were a limited number of new seller accounts available; new sellers had to purchase an account in an auction. Later, a fixed fee was charged for each new seller account.

Black market

underground economyblack moneyblack-market
Personally identifying information, financial information like credit card and bank account information, and medical data is bought and sold, mostly in darknet markets. People increase the value of the stolen data by aggregating it with publicly available data, and sell it again for a profit, increasing the damage that can be done to the people whose data was stolen. From the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many countries began to ban the keeping or using of some recreational drugs, such as the United States' war on drugs. Many people nonetheless continue to use illegal drugs, and a black market exists to supply them.

Carding (fraud)

cardingcredit card fraudCarderPlanet
Darknet market. Fencing. Identity theft. Internet fraud.

Operation Onymous

Operation Onymous was an international law enforcement operation targeting darknet markets and other hidden services operating on the Tor network. Operation Onymous was formed as a joint law enforcement operation between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the European Union Intelligence Agency Europol. The international effort also included the United States Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Eurojust. The operation was part of the international strategies that address the problems of malware, botnet schemes, and illicit markets or darknets. It was also linked with the war on drugs effort with the participation of the U.S.

Agora (online marketplace)

After the closure of Agora, most activity moved over to the darknet market AlphaBay, lasting until its shutdown by law enforcement in July 2017.

Atlantis (market)

Atlantis was a darknet market founded in March 2013, the third such type of market, concurrent with The Silk Road and Black Market Reloaded. It was the first market to accept Litecoin. Shortly after launch, Atlantis deployed an aggressive marketing campaign to compete with Silkroad. To entice customers to switch allegiance, Atlantis focused its strategy on "usability, security, cheaper rates (for vendor accounts and commission), website speed, customer support, and feedback implementation". In June 2013 its startup style video attracted much media attention.

Evolution (marketplace)

Evolution was a darknet market operating on the Tor network. The site was founded by an individual known as 'Verto' who also founded the now defunct Tor Carding Forum. Launched January 14, 2014, it saw rapid growth within its first several months, helped in part by law enforcement seizures of some of its competitors during the six-month-long investigation codenamed Operation Onymous. Speaking about why Evolution was not part of Operation Onymous, head of European police cybercrimes division said it was "because there's only so much we can do on one day." Wired estimated that it was one of the two largest drug markets.

Utopia (marketplace)

Utopia was a darknet market similar to The Silk Road that facilitated sale of illegal items such as narcotics, firearms, stolen bank account information and forged identity documents. Utopia was based on Black Market Reloaded and has ties to it. It was launched on 3 February 2014 only to be shut down by Dutch police 8 days later. Undercover agents were able to buy large amounts of ecstasy (MDMA) and cocaine. 900 Bitcoin (then worth approximately £363,000) were seized.

Snuff (film)

SnuffSnuff'' (film)
Johnson, Eithne & Schaefer, Eric. " Soft Core/Hard Gore: Snuff as a Crisis in Meaning," in Journal of Film and Video, University of Illinois Press, (Volume 45, Numbers 2-3, Summer-Fall, 1993): pages 40–59. Snuff Boxing: Revisiting the Snuff Coda (The University of British Columbia's Film Journal) - showing the mutilation scene at the end of the film. Snuff Boxing: Revisiting the Snuff Coda (The University of British Columbia's Film Journal) - showing the mutilation scene at the end of the film. Snuff Boxing: Revisiting the Snuff Coda (The University of British Columbia's Film Journal) - showing the mutilation scene at the end of the film.

Cyber-arms industry

cyberarms firmcyber-armscyberarms
Cyber Arms Bazaar – a darknet market operating out of various Eastern European countries, trafficking crimeware and hacking tools that has run since at least the year 2000. Tom Kellermann, chief cybersecurity officer of Trend Micro, estimates over 80 percent of financial sector cyberattacks could be traced back to the bazaar, with retail cyberattacks not far behind. Darkode. TheRealDeal. Cybercrime. Cyberwarfare. Cyberweapon. Market for zero-day exploits. Mass surveillance industry. Vulnerabilities Equities Process.


computer crimecyber crimeInternet crime
Darknet markets are used to buy and sell recreational drugs online. Some drug traffickers use encrypted messaging tools to communicate with drug mules. The dark web site Silk Road was a major online marketplace for drugs before it was shut down by law enforcement (then reopened under new management, and then shut down by law enforcement again). After Silk Road 2.0 went down, Silk Road 3 Reloaded emerged. However, it was just an older marketplace named Diabolus Market, that used the name for more exposure from the brand's previous success. The broad diffusion of cybercriminal activities is an issue in computer crimes detection and prosecution.