Devaluing the enterprise, which could include undermining brand trust, reputational damage or losing ground to a competitor
Disrupting the enterprise, which could include DDoS attacks or other malware that affects business operations
Defrauding the enterprise, which could include IP theft or espionage that impairs a company’s ability to compete or causes a direct financial loss
Ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) kits have been available on the dark web for several years, but those offerings have become far more dangerous with the rise of specialized criminal groups like REvil or GandCrab. These groups develop their own sophisticated malware, sometimes combined with pre-existing tools, and distribute them through “affiliates”.
The affiliates distribute the ransomware packages through the dark web. These attacks often include stealing victims’ data and threatening to release it on the dark web if the ransom isn’t paid.
What Is the Dark Web?
The term dark web refers to encrypted online content that is not indexed by conventional search engines. Accessing the dark web can only be done using specific browsers, such as TOR Browser. There is a great deal of privacy and anonymity that comes with using the dark web compared to traditional websites.
As such, most of the attention is placed on online marketplaces for drugs, exchanges for stolen data, and other illegal activities when people think of the dark web. Despite this, there are often very legitimate reasons why people choose to use the dark web, including political dissidents and people who want to keep certain information private.
Understanding the Dark Web
As its name implies, the dark web is a secret network that exists underground. It’s made up of a series of websites that are hidden from the general public. This means they aren’t accessible through traditional search engines, such as Google.41
Traditional search engines return results because they contain indexes of links to websites. These are ranked based on keywords and relevancy. The dark web, on the other hand, uses information that isn’t available on these other search engines, such as content from individual accounts, such as email, social media, banking, along with personal and professional databases, and documents (legal and medical).3
Also called the darknet, the dark web is much like the broader web was in its early days during the late 20th century. There is a lot of material about getting it working, and not very much to do once one gets there. A lot of the content on the dark web is very amateurish. On the other hand, it is much easier for individuals to start sites and get attention. Tech giants and large media organizations have very little influence on the dark web.