A set or series of strategies that are utilized for managing the processes, mechanisms, tools, and policies required to prevent, detect, document and counter the threats that may create issues to the digital and non-digital information within a business corporation (searchsecurity.techtarget 2018). Dark web is one of the cores and integral parts of the concept of information security. A dark web can also be defined as a part of the internet that is which is invisible for the search engines. The dark web makes use of an anonymizing browser which is also known as Tor to be accessed (whatis.techtarget 2018). The below-presented report analysis is majorly focused over the concept of Dark Web and issues related to the concept. Moreover, the report also comprises of the application of technologies that are associated with the concept and also the gaps that came across during the research of the topic.
Overview of the topic
Dark web is that part of the internet world which cannot be accessed by normal search engines and require special software. Some sites are so effectively hidden that you can log in into them if you know the exact address. One might have heard about this dark web and must be of the opinion that it is a place for illegal and criminal offenses. Yes, this is true many illegal works are done through this platform (Guccione 2018). Credit card numbers, guns, counterfeit currency, hacked account of Netflix, various varieties of drugs, and many software with the help of which you can have access to other people's data can be bought by making use of this technique.
Once you login into those sites, their working is same as the normal sites. Dark-net markets are also special kind of markets which operates with the help of the dark web. They sell and buy stuff; transactions take place with the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. And even more horrifying part of it is Assassination market; you can even pay to get someone killed. Like, this is terrifying. Many groups use this to stay hidden from the government. There is rarely any positive uses of it like to communicate with journalists. But mostly it is more used by terrorists, criminals to keep their identity hidden. While reading this you may think that it is easy to operate dark web. But that is not true (Theglobeandmail 2018). One need to know the exact address of the site in order to do it. The browser for it is tor. Even the domain used for it is different; like in normal sites it is .com, but in dark web, the domain is .onion. So this is also known as onion-land. It consists of various small and big networks online which can also be a peer group or business organizations.
Technologies and application of those technologies
There are different search engines for the Dark web like Grams, The Hidden Wiki, which constantly keep shifting their landscape (Peltier, 2016). There are several numbers of lost connections and 404 errors. Sometimes they show repetitive results. Dark websites look like any other regular website but there are differences in both. One is in the domain. For regular websites, domain is .com and for the dark web, it is .onion. Only browsers with the appropriate proxy can reach there. The URL for these websites is different from others and is very difficult to remember. Like for a very popular website, DREAM MARKET, the address goes by ‘eajwlvm3z2lcca7h app6.onion'. No one can actually imagine what it is. Nearly all dark web commerce sites conduct transactions in bitcoin or some variant, but that doesn't mean it's safe to do business there. With the dark web, there has been a rise in cryptocurrency. It mainly uses the Block-chain technology (Andress, 2014). A block-chain is a decentralized public ledger which keeps immutable records of the transactions on the network. This record is stored across several users (decentralization) and this adds to the level of security and reliability. It supports the black finance.
Challenges in the research area
The anonymity of the dark web is of a greater advantage for people as they can do a lot of things without getting their identity revealed. But in the long run, this dark web creates a platform for illicit activities like buying and selling of drugs, child pornography, and private information (Veiga & Martins, 2015). People who are not much aware of the privacy issues associate dark web with silk route. Silk route was the famous illegal website which was used for drug marketing which did the business in millions. FBI managed to sue this website in 2013. But the dark we didn't stop with this website. Rather it is growing strong with time and this growth is a threat to the privacy of people and our economy.
Even the data from famous websites like Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace are misused by data thieves and privacy breaches. One might wonder that how even on such famous handles, their privacy is hindered (Xu, Jiang, Wang, Yuan & Ren, 2014). Another shocker is that Netflix accounts on the dark web are worth pennies. You can easily get passwords for HBO Go and Spotify. The dark web has its most disastrous phase in the form of child pornography. In fact, we can say that this works as a haven for child pornography. Three- fourths of these websites are used for this purpose.
Government is trying to put an end to this. Like in 2014, under ‘operation onymous' it took down hundreds of domains and seventeen people were arrested across the world. But these small steps are not enough to tackle such a huge problem which is banging its head in our daily lives. It has been seen that the numbers of hacks are increasing day by day. Customers do not feel safe while browsing the internet. With every new hack uncovered, the faith of people gets shakes a bit more. The day is not far away when people will hesitate during online shopping and if worse comes to worst; they might even stop doing it. This will cause a huge slowdown in a digital economy.
Identification of gaps in the literature
Issues addressed in the current literature
Some national security officers are of the view that simply shutting down the dark web is not any situation. Like they use the dark web networks to locate the terrorist groups and monitor their activities (Soomro, Shah & Ahmed, 2016). Sometimes this proves to be effective. Another reason which supports not to shut down the Dark Web is that many legitimate companies have accounts on it and are accessed on a need basis. Anonymity online for the free speech is needed. People can communicate through a dark web and build movements for lawful protests (. So shutting down dark web would be like hindering free speech. There are some places where we need anonymity online. We cannot put its use as a criminal offense. So shutting it down like this would be mistaken.
Highlighting areas addressed or adequately addressed
The problem right now is an inability to do anything. This is leading to Hackers continuing selling private data online. Our laws are not enough to protect the users from the harms of the dark web (Gehl, 2016). The laws should get updated on time. For example, the data breach laws at many places allow the company to determine the harm of the customers. But it is obvious that the company at first would focus to avoid its own harm in the first place. In fact, they do not have the required potential to monitor the consumer harm. There are some patient hackers which do not use the stolen data for about a year, and company cannot predict than for what purpose it will be used; either it will be sold to another company or would be used to commit fraud against the customers.
Highlighting areas not addressed
The main issue is the anonymous nature of the Tor network and bitcoin transactions. With this anonymous nature, it becomes more difficult to shut down these sites and to investigate the use of commercial sites and vendors on a public platform (Maddox, Barratt, Allen & Lenton, 2016). Anyways, when we encounter with any infringing product on the tor browser, there is a chance that with the help of a carefully designed system, to make a test purchase and in this way, we can extract additional information and data about those infringing products through this illegitimate channels. Then it would become easier to catch these frauds online. Net-Names has this experienced enforcement operations department which has a very well designed and careful process for test purchasing.
Future directions o the researched gaps
This is the foremost duty of the gvernment to spend more resources in trying to prevent the drugs online on the dark web. That would be a good start in order to solve this complex problem. We need to rebuild the faith of the customers in the online marketing process; else it would become the reason for the enormous loss in the digital economy. There is a need to put an end to the buying and selling of private data on the dark web. A government should make sure that more solutions come to light regarding this problem. Most definitely, our laws need to be updated (Weimann, 2016). There should not be any hidden market. Hence the hackers would not be able to sell illegal data which would be great for the users. Present laws are not good enough for the current scenario and they need to be amended soon to catch up. The Internet is the most revolutionizing technology of the present times; so it becomes the duty of the government to make sure that users feel safe while using it.
After summing up the above-presented research it has been inferred that Dark Web is one of the empirical parts of the concept of information security and offers various range of benefits to the business corporation. The above research also concluded various issues and areas that are required to be addressed for farther advancements and development in the concept.
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