The Ultimate Guide To The Dark Web for Law Enforcement Professionals
There’s a part of the internet known as the dark web.
HOW DO I ACCESS THE DARK WEB
You can’t just access the dark web from a normal web browser – like Firefox for example – you can only access the deep web through a dark web browser. The most famous of these dark web browsers is called Tor and this is the one we recommend you get if you’re looking to get onto the deep web. Downloads of Tor soared in August by almost 100% as the general population became more and more concerned about their privacy amid revelations about US and UK intelligence agencies monitoring web traffic. In short, more and more people are turning to the deep web to get their internet fix and protect their information.
This is because when you’re using Tor – or any other dark web browser – you are truly anonymous and
your location cannot be picked up and neither can your browsing habits. Essentially nothing you do in the deep web can be monitored and as such the deep web is becoming a more attractive option for all internet users – those who know about it at least.
If you want to jump into the deep net then you’re going to need a deep web browser. Get TOR here.
Once you’re running your deep web browser you simply type in a deep web address like you would in a normal browser, hit enter and you’ll be transported to the site. All sites on the deep web are .onion domains, which basically means both the provider and user are anonymous and difficult to trace. Head here for a list of .onion website addresses that are part of the deep web and accessible via Tor.
WHAT MAKES UP THE Dark WEB?
With the enforced anonymity of the dark web, you would think it was full of illegal stuff and you would be totally correct in that assumption. The dark web is well known for containing some really messed up stuff (snuff/child porn etc as you might expect but we’re going to try and avoid that for the most part), but if you successfully steer clear of all of that then you’ll find some really interesting stuff on the deep web that you would never find on the public worldwide web.
We’ll start with what is definitely the most useful feature of the dark web to law enforcement & intelligence professionals.
1. MAIL ORDER MARIJUANA
Here it is, the golden nugget. Forget calling your dealer and having to wait in the cold for him to meet you at a dodgy bus stop on a dark, cold, wintery night just to be given a crappy 1.5 gram eighth of bush weed, just get on the deep web instead. Now you can do all your marijuana ordering from the comfort of your own sofa.
You buy your marijuana in bulk from this deep web site, with the prices varying upon the strain and the amount of you buy. There are a couple of ways you can have your ganja delivered: either standardly through DHL (after being vacuum packed four times) or via dropshipping. This is when your stash is dropped somewhere in ‘nature’ and hidden. You are then sent the GPS location and a description of where the ganja is so you can pick it up completely anonymously. Kinda like the deep web itself.
Mail order marijuana (and most things on the deep web) is paid for with bitcoins. I don’t even want to get into how bitcoins work because I don’t understand it at all, so just click on that link if you want the technical idea behind it but it’s basically a peer to peer electronic cash system similar to Paypal – but critically for deep web users it’s also completely untraceable.
2. SILK ROAD
Other online drug markets also exist on the deep web where you can pick up pretty much any kind of drug or chemical. The most famous of these is known as Silk Road and you can literally pick up ANYTHING you want from this site. ANYTHING. You name it, somebody has got it on here and you’ll pay with your bitcoins and it’ll arrive in an untraceable package a few days later. It really is that easy. Apparently there’s a 97% success rate on this.
Silk Road is set up a kind of like eBay or Amazon. There are buyers and sellers and each buyer and seller has their own feedback rating so when you’re looking to pick up some LSD or salvia or whatever drug takes your fancy that day, then you’ll have a look through the site, find a seller with good feedback for that particular chemical high and then pay them with a bitcoin and sit back and wait for it to turn up. It’s that easy.
The feedback system is integral to its success as it ensures that users of the site don’t mistake it for a scam site as it would be VERY easy to just take someone’s money and never send them anything, especially as you’re using bitcoins on the deep web so there would be no way to track anyone down who screwed you over. Although scammers do inevitably exist, Silk Road seems to have combatted this by implementing this system and has completely nailed the idea of buying drugs online. It’s now September 2013 and Silk Road has been shut down by the feds..
3. HIRE A HITMAN
Yes, seriously, you can hire a hitman on the deep web. Want to take out your boss, nagging wife or that journalist who wrote that awful review for your restaurant? Well if you’ve got the cash this person will do it for you. This is taken from one website on the deep web that offers this service and includes the differing prices of a hit. These prices are dependent on who the person is and what information you need to send so the hit can take place:
So it costs more for you to take a journalist out compared to a paparazzi, but if you want to off your hubby it all depends on what job they have. Good to know the different kind of criteria these guys use when deciding a hit, right? If you’re having trouble with your wife then you better make sure you’ve got a decent job and she can’t afford to kill you because it costs too much. Just an idea.
The most popular hire an assassin sites are White Wolves and C’thuthlu, and I’ve enclosed screenshots of both of them below so you can see exactly what you’re getting into on the deep web. Let me tell you this – it isn’t pretty. Apparently dozens and dozens of contract killers frequent both of these sites regularly, meaning that if you’ve got the cash it’s real easy to lay it down on the table (internet) and get someone whacked. White Wolves also seems a bit more expensive than Fritz up there, but then I guess they are American and there is the option to whack a high tier politician available so you’re getting what you pay for.
It’s probably a lot easier to hire someone this way than by getting a phone number off some dodgy Eastern European guy and then meeting them on a park bench somewhere with a brown bag of money, so I’m sure both sides involved in this transaction are relieved that this service now exists. Everyone else though should probably be bricking it and trying their best to never ever piss off anyone powerful/rich ever again.
4. BUTTERY BOOTLEGGING
Buttery bootlegging is run by a dude known in the deep web world as Dangler. Dangler is good at stealing apparently and will steal anything that you can’t afford or just don’t want to pay for. There are loads of these rob-to-order pages in the deep web but here’s what Dangler’s page looks like, which pretty much explains what his whole deal is:
In addition to this, Dangler states that sometimes he steals stuff for no reason so there’s a list of stuff he has on his site that you can just buy if you send the bitcoins over his way. People also sometimes ask him to steal stuff but then refuse to give him the bitcoins so there’s a bunch of that stuff in this list too. You can’t say the guy isn’t trying to make a buck.
There’s also a list of his accomplishments i.e. what he’s stolen in the past on the site so you know he’s legit, even though that doesn’t really prove anything other than the fact that he can write a list of expensive stuff and put a sign saying Dangler next to it which can probably be Photoshopped. The most impressive thing on this list is a $100 Spy Video Trakr (whatever the hell that is) that the dude stole from Toys R Us, which in fairness is probably quite a hard place to shoplift from.
We haven’t actually used Dangler ourselves but he seems to have a pretty good reputation on the deep web so we’re sure if you really wanted him to steal something for you then you would probably get what you paid (in bitcoins) for. Or he also might be stealing from your stores, so we would definitely watch this guy!
5. THE HUMAN EXPERIMENT
The Human Experiment is a deep web site that details medical experiments that are performed on homeless people that are usually unregistered citizens. They’re picked up off the street, experimented on and then usually die but they’re homeless and unregistered so nobody misses them – it’s the perfect crime. Or the perfect research test subject because I guess that’s the actual point of this, although it could just be a bunch of sadism for sadism’s sake, who knows? Either way it kind of reads like a bad horror movie/thriller.
Here’s the rest of the blurb from the front page of their site:
They explain who is behind the website and its mentality in another section:
Who are we?
We are a group of medical personnel. There are 3 nurses, 6 medical students, 2 medical interns, and 3 medical residents on the team. Experiments are conducted in our spare time if we have any. The warehouses are left unguarded and the test subjects are confined to their cells unless they are being used in an experiment. Food and water are provided as indicated. Nutritional status is usually irrelevant as none of the test subjects survive long enough, except the pregnant women.
They would then post up results such as these of each of the experiments:
As with most of the deep web, there’s actually some debate about whether The Human Experiment was real or just a parody site as it could quite easily be either given its location on the deep web. As it hasn’t been updated since 2011 though it doesn’t seem like we’ll ever find out. Even if it was a parody site though it gives you some idea of the kind of sick people that hideout on the deep web.
6. BUY WEAPONS
There’s a site known as Euro arms that lets you buy all kinds of weapons and have them delivered to your door courtesy of the deep web. Unfortunately for those of you that jumped out of your seat when you read that as you envisioned shooting up your school or blasting your boss away, the ammunition for these weapons is sold separately and you have to track that down on a different site.
Knowing the deep web though I wouldn’t expect that to be too difficult, which definitely isn’t a good thing as everyone in Europe having easy access to guns and ammo can only end in tears. This service is currently only available in Europe which you might think is a good thing but it’s so easy to get a gun in America that it’s probably redundant over there anyway and there is no market for it.
This is a screenshot from the Euro arms homepage from a while ago and you can immediately tell that they mean business. I mean when you’re bragging about how you’ve got two new AK47′s for sale how can you not be taken seriously? I don’t really understand why they say they don’t ship any ammo when it quite clearly says that there are some clips included when buying the gun and I’m also unsure how you would even ship something like an AK 47 discreetly because it’s huge, but Euro arms seems to be the go-to place on the deep web if you want to get weapons as it has a pretty decent reputation.
I would say if you’re thinking of finding people who are selling illegal weapons then check these guys out.
7. BUY CREDIT CARD INFORMATION
Everyone loves it when they go on holiday to a foreign country and then get a call a couple of days after they get back saying that someone has cloned their card and is trying to use it wherever they went abroad – in fact, I’d say it was definitely one of the best parts of going on holiday. Well, there’s good news for everyone because now – thanks to the deep web – you don’t even need to go on holiday for this to happen to you as people can freely and easily buy your credit card information off a deep web website. Everyone had better join a bank with a good fraud department – personally I recommend Nationwide.
The site you want is called Atlantic Carding and as with most services, the more you pay the more you get for your dollar – I mean bitcoin – so you can potentially get access to business credit card accounts and infinite credit card accounts. I had never even heard of an infinite credit card before I started looking into this service, but it seems like it’s basically the ultimate credit card for high-end customers that can get you anything you want and is valid worldwide – so they’re basically some details you wouldn’t mind getting your hands on if you specialize in fraud detection and investigation. And for only $80, why not?
Of course, a lot of the time when you’re buying stuff online with a credit card you’re going to need the user’s details – including their name, address and social security number – and this is all available on the site if you’re willing to pay the premium. Again, it’s unknown if all this stuff is true and easily available online but the fact that any of this even might be real is pretty disturbing.
8. BETTING ON FIXED SPORTING EVENTS
If this one is true then it could be one of the craziest elements on the deep web that we’ve discussed so far. It’s long been theorized that many sporting events are fixed – especially stuff like horse racing – and that people in the know are able to bet on said events in order to line their pockets. It would seem that thanks to the deep web this no longer needs to be achieved by shady phone calls and crumpled up post-it notes, but you can simply log onto a site and they’ll do it all for you.
The financial investment in this one is particularly hefty but if it pays off and it’s real then you’ll make it back in no time. Worth the risk? Probably not because you can’t really trust anything on the deep web but you really have to ask yourself why people have even bothered to make these sites on the deep web if there isn’t at least some modicum of truth in them.
Sure, many of them might be designed to fleece unwitting fools out of their bitcoins anonymously because it’s so easy but you’ve got to think they wouldn’t be able to after a while because people would start talking because they’re not legit and their reputation would soon be in the drain. I don’t know what’s real and what’s fake on the deep web but as I keep saying, the possibilities for its use border on the terrifying. And I haven’t really touched on any of the really dark stuff yet.
9. THE HIDDEN WIKI
Mail order marijuana, hiring a hitman and getting someone to steal something for you, match fixing and buying weapons are all just the tip of the iceberg of the deep web as there’s also the ‘hidden wiki’, which is apparently the portal to anything you’ve ever wanted on the deep web. it explains everything you ever wanted to know about the deep web (yeah, even more than this article) and features a full list of .onion sites and a description of each one as well as a bunch of other interesting information about it.
Still curious about the deep web and what you can find out on it? Go check it out yourself HERE to get started, although you’ll obviously need to have downloaded Tor or another deep web browser to gain access. If you can’t be bothered to do that, here’s a couple of screenshots from it below.
The best part about the hidden wiki is obviously the descriptions of all the sites that you can find on there, especially the ones in the image immediately above this. We haven’t even touched on some of the completely gross ones but there are some in those descriptions that I don’t ever want to visit or see what is one them.
I’ll leave you with this description I found on a message board of one such site. This should be censored so I wouldn’t read it if you’re squeamish about these things. Excuse the grammar/spelling too, it’s a direct rip from a message board:
‘There was a thread on the Misc a few months back involving an advertisement on the deep web that sold real live human “sex dolls”. The seller claimed to be a rich doctor in Eastern Europe that would take in young children from orphanages then cut off all their limbs, knock out all their teeth, surgically make them blind/deaf/mute, circumsize their clits then sell them to buyers as human sex dolls. The worst was the doctor claimed to instill hoops at the end their limbs so they can be hung or chained up in mid air. He went into EXTREME detail on everything, believe me my description was sugar coated as best i could make it. This was one of the MOST messed up and disgusting things I have read in my entire life, real or not. Unfortunately the thread on it was deleted.
I kind of have to agree with the original poster on this one and say that this is one of the MOST (sic) up things I’ve read.
If this post has convinced you to get Tor and go browse the deep web then you might not want to be so quick to download it as there have been some interesting recent developments in the world of the deep web that you might want to read on.
10. RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
Although this article has all been about how Tor and the deep web is completely anonymous, please understand that the government and/or police/internet police have managed to infiltrate it somewhat. At the start of August, a whole bunch of hidden websites – some saying as many as 50% – completely vanished off the deep web and this was linked to the takedown of a hosting operation in Ireland.
This was also allegedly connected to the United State’s attempts to extradite an Irish man called Eric Eoin Marques over there for questioning over the distribution of child porn online via the deep web. Of course, it’s no surprise that the deep web is a hotspot for this kind of activity and it goes without saying that this is definitely not a good use for it. It also really pinpoints the debate over whether its existence should even be allowed at all.
On Reddit it was alleged that Marques was the founder of Freedom Hosting – a infrastructure which hosted many of the .onion sites found on the deep web, utilising 550 servers all over Europe and offering space to anyone who wanted it, with a promise never to look at the contents personally – and it later came to light that he was perhaps one of the most important men on the deep web, at least in terms of the distribution of child pornography. However, Marques and his family are protesting his innocence, claiming that all Marques did was rent web space and it was nothing to do with him that it so happened that this webspace was used for illegal activities. Here’s a picture of him looking fairly despondent at his arrest:
Not really sure what’s going to happen if he finally comes to trial (they’re still working on extraditing hims as I’m writing this) but it’ll be a landmark case in the future of the deep web and hosting laws in general, I’m sure of that. He is currently being held without bail with his next hearing regarding his future set for September 11th.
As details of his arrest and subsequent detainment in Ireland were released, it seemed to suggest that the FBI had managed to aggressively hack Tor and this was what enabled them to track Marques down (to the one bedroom flat owned by his father in an area called Mountjoy Square which his hosting operation was based out of) and arrest him. Obviously if the FBI are able to hack Tor and the deep web then this presents a massive problem for the future of the deep web and the browser as its whole unique selling point is that it’s completely anonymous and nobody can track down its users.
I’m not really sure what any of that means exactly but I kind of get the gist of it. A security expert called Brian Krebs stated that the malware that was creeping through Firefox doesn’t actually execute any commands but merely finds out users’ true IP addresses, which makes sense in this context. This isn’t a problem for most of us who aren’t using the internet for illegal activities, but it’s obviously going to be concerning for Tor users and regular users of the deep web.
Having said that, as was mentioned at the start of the article, users of Tor have skyrocketed over the month of August so it seems like people still value their privacy and are willing to use whatever browser they can – even if it isn’t recognized as being 100% anonymous any more – to aid in their quest for this. Like Tor said in there statement regarding this event, Tor is still safer and more anonymous than almost every other internet browser out there, so it’s probably still going to be used for a long, long time. Or at least until something more anonymous comes out, which I don’t doubt will happen some time soon.