Darknet: A One-Stop Shop for Would-Be Criminals

There has been much talk in 2016 about the Darknet, a dangerous place where illicit or underground activities are conducted and consisting of many digital marketplaces where items can be bought or sold for cryptocurrencies. It sounds like the stuff of crime novels, and in a way, it is – commodities like drugs, guns, and cyber-attack services can all be found if you know where to look. The below blogs from ERT Researcher Daniel Smith will provide more information on what exactly the Darknet is, how to access it, and what can be found there.

Hacker with laptop


A Darknet is an overlay network that can only be accessed with specific software, configurations, or authorization, often using non-standard communications protocols and ports. In this blog, you will learn how to access it, what kind of items are found in the digital marketplaces, and how would-be hackers utilize it.

Read it here: Darknet 101: An Introduction to The Darkest Places Online

Only Limited by Budget

In this blog, Daniel takes a deeper dive into cyber attack marketplaces specifically – what kinds of services are available to would-be hackers, and at what price. In many cases, the scale of an attack is dependent on what someone is willing to pay. Hackers with some skill and abilities may only want to purchase attack tools, while someone with no skill who wishes to attack someone must hire the services of an attacker to carry it out for them.

Read it here: Cyber Attack Market Place

Marketing for Hackers

So now that we know these services exist and are available for purchase on the Darknet, how do people find them? While there are search tools available on the Darknet, many vendors actually go as far as to market their products and services themselves. This blog covers five methods they use to go about this.

Read more: 5 ways hackers market their products and services

Getting Even More Granular…

So a hacker new to the game doesn’t have a lot of skill or experience, but wants to launch an attack. Two ways to do this are through booter and stresser services, which have become popular with groups like Anonymous in recent years. In this blog, these two services are covered in detail.

Read more: The Rise of Booter and Stresser Services

A botnet is a collection of compromised computers that are often referred to as zombies, slaves, or bots. These devices are infected by malware that allows the attacker to ultimately control the compromised computers. This next blog goes into more depth on these two services.

Read more: Malware and Botnet Attack Services Found on the Darknet

But Wait, There’s More!

2016 also saw a number of high-profile hacks, most notably the Yahoo breach as well as the social media accounts of Mark Zuckerberg being hacked. What happens to the data that is collected during a hack? Daniel explains why attackers might want that data and what they can do with it in this blog post.

Read more: Fraud on the Darknet: How to Own Over 1 Million Usernames and Passwords

With usernames and passwords being a hot commodity, password protection is of the utmost importance. In this blog are Daniel’s tips for creating a solid password.

Read more: How Mark Zuckerberg’s LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest Accounts Were Compromised.

Who is Behind All This?

Who are these people behind the cyber-attacks that we read about daily? Daniel breaks it down into three types of attackers: Consumers, hackers, and vendors.

Read more: Profile of a Hacker

What’s Next?

In 2017, we anticipate that the Darknet will go mainstream. It already offers easy, affordable access to attack someone else online. It is only a matter of time before we scenarios like surveillance systems available to rent to see through someone’s cameras, access to personal medical records or criminal activity, or access to FBI files and lawsuit information.


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