Emerging Threats

Exploring the deep web

Authored by a Symantec employee


There are multiple “layers” to the Internet that you may not be aware of. The first, or top layer is called the surface web, and it is the part of the web that is crawled by search engines. That’s the part that you can see, it’s where Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and everything else under the search engine sun lives.

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The second layer of the Web is called the deep web. Think of it as an ocean- on the top you have the boats dragging their nets across the surface. The boats are the web crawlers for search engines, and the “nets” catch what is on the surface for indexing by the search engine. If you dive a bit deeper under the surface, this is where things lie that cannot be reached by those nets.

Even deeper, lies a seldomly explored area of the ocean, where, just like the ocean, takes special equipment to access. Therein lies the dark web.

The deep web actually has a plethora of interesting and useful information. A good example of a webpage on the deep web would be your online banking account. Other examples of sites that can be hosted on the deep web are corporate intranets, hospital internal websites, government databases, and private websites that require a login for access.

The Dark Web

With such a heavily anonymized system, of course it will attract cybercriminals in droves. With the deep web and Tor becoming more popular, the dark web was soon developed on the network. You may have heard about the Silk Road website in the news. The website was just one of many on the black market of the Internet, heavily used for drug trafficking, selling stolen credit card numbers, illegal weapons, exotic animals, and many other dark services for hire.

To learn more about how the deep and dark web works, be sure to check out our new documentary “The Most Dangerous Town On The Internet- Episode 2: WhereCybercrime Goes To Hide” now!

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