Digital Themes

Dark Web

The dark web is content on web pages that exist only on the dark net (also known as darknet). Dark nets use the internet to create an overlay network. They require unique anonymous browsers to access the websites collectively known as the dark web or dark websites. 

Content on the dark web is not indexed on regular search engines. Several examples of small P2P networks like the Tor network or I2P constitute these dark nets and make them accessible to anyone using their anonymous browsers. These browsers keep users’ personal information and identity hidden by routing web page requests randomly across proxy servers, making it impossible to trace their IP address in the dark parts of the internet. Users of the dark web refer to the regular, freely accessible internet as the surface web or light web.

Criminals often use dark web browsers to access the dark web to participate in criminal activity involving the trade of illicit goods, human trafficking, assassinations, stolen credit card numbers, laundering, buying weapons, and even terror-related activities. Law enforcement agencies have been keeping track of illegal activities on the dark web since the famous website “Silk Road,” an online black market used to sell illegal drugs that the FBI took down in 2013.

Examples of illegal activities on the Dark Web


Spam-related botnet traffic found on the surface web is created on the dark web with their servers hosted on the dark net. These botnet networks are immune to censorship and bypass restrictions on the surface web.

Bitcoin and Bitcoin servers

Bitcoin is a widely used currency on the dark web due to its flexibility and anonymity. Bitcoin conversion services and tumblers (for dark net integration) are available on dark web browsers. Bitcoin servers are encrypted and were initially hosted primarily on the dark web before going to the surface web.

Dark net markets

These online markets serve as platforms for exchanging illegal services and goods for bitcoin or services in return. These markets usually sell illicit drugs, illegal porn, weapons, hacking services, personal information, and even deal in human trafficking.

Hacking groups and services

Hackers and hacker groups sell their illegal services on the dark web. Payment is usually made in bitcoin, and the services involve tracking, hacking, and retrieving criminal information and fake identities.

Illegal pornography

This is the most popularly searched content on the dark web and usually deals with unnatural and illegal acts that are captured and sold or streamed on the dark web. People who host and share such content are apprehended and have their sites shut down by law enforcement.


Terrorist organizations communicate and recruit members using the dark web, attempting to fly under the radar of law enforcement agencies worldwide. Leveraging the dark web, terrorist organizations conduct weapon-making workshops, inspire terror attacks, and even receive funding for nefarious activities.

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