So, given that there seems to be a lot of confusion about certain terms connected with the darknet and/or dark web, I thought it might be useful to have a “darknet dictionary” here. I must give some credit for this idea to Deepdotweb.com, who featured a similar article at DeepDotWeb’s DarkNet Dictionary Project! This isn’t a carbon copy of theirs, but they inspired me.
Their darknet dictionary is an ongoing project, so I think I’ll do the same with mine. If anyone wants to suggest new entries (or corrections) in the comments, feel free! I just may add them.
2FA – Abbreviation for “two-factor authentication.” 2FA is a type of multi-factor authentication (MFA), i.e. a user is only granted access to a site after presenting multiple pieces of authentication. Although used on the clearnet as well, 2FA is used on many darknet markets (and other sites) to verify users’ identities.
Example: a username and password, plus a separate PIN or a security question.
AlphaBay – Currently one of the top darknet markets on the Tor network. Uses multisig transactions and a traditional escrow system.
Bitcoin– A digital currency created by the mysterious “Satoshi Nakamoto” in 2009. Bitcoin incorporates encryption techniques to regulate the creation of new units, and to verify the transfer of funds. The smallest units of bitcoin are called “satoshis.”
Blackbook – A former social network on the Tor network, modeled after Facebook.
Blockchain – A public ledger of all bitcoin transactions that have ever been executed. This applies to other cryptocurrencies as well.
Candydoll – A term referring to non-nude photos of children in suggestive poses or sexy clothing. Softcore child pornography, more or less. (Also may refer to makeup kits that are designed for this style of photography.)
Carding – The trafficking of credit cards, bank accounts, website accounts, and other financial or personal information. May or may not take place within larger darknet markets. Some vendors on the dark web specialize in this type of crime.
Cipherspace – The “hidden internet,” built on top of anonymity networks like Tor, I2P, Freenet, and others.
Clearnet – The “normal internet” accessible without special software or configurations. (e.g. Google, Bing, Facebook, Wikipedia, Twitter, Reddit, etc.) Also sometimes referred to as the “surface web” (though this term is wildly inaccurate and confusing.)
Cold storage – Keeping a reserve of bitcoins offline (e.g. on a USB drive or encrypted media) to prevent tampering or theft.
CP – An acronym for “child porn” or “child pornography.”
Creepypasta – Horror stories and urban legends that are passed around the internet. Some of them have been the source of a lot of misinformation about the deep web and dark web.
Dark Web – The part of the web that exists on darknets like Tor, I2P, Freenet, GNUnet, and other networks, and requires special software, configurations, or permission to access. The dark web is a small part of the deep web. The word “dark” does not refer to the content, but rather the fact that the networks are special access.
Darknet – An overlay network that requires specific software, configurations, or permission to access. Examples include: Tor, I2P, Freenet, GNUnet, Retroshare, Netsukuku, CCNx, and cjdns.
Darknet Market – A market hosted on an anonymity network (such as Tor) that often (but not always) deals in illicit goods. Popular purchases include drugs, firearms, hacked PayPal accounts, skimmed credit cards, counterfeit money, and fake official documents.
Dark0de (a.k.a. Darkode) – A notorious hacking and cybercrime forum, originally hosted on the clearnet, which transitioned to the Tor network.
Dark Registry – A Tor hidden service that appears to be a wedding registry site. Seems to be have been created as an academic project or is incomplete.
Deep Web – The part of the web not indexed by traditional search engines, like Google. This term is often confused with “dark web,” but the two are not synonymous.
Disconnect – A search engine that prevents other search engines from tracking your searches. It used to be the standard search engine on the Tor browser.
DNStats.net – A site that monitors the status of various darknet markets and a few other sites on the Tor network.
Dream Market – Another top darknet market hosted on the Tor network, which uses a traditional escrow system.
DuckDuckGo – Currently the standard search engine used on the Tor browser. Is popular with privacy-minded users.
Dump – The sharing of stolen data, such as usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, and bank account data. Also takes place on the clearnet, but is more infamous on networks like Tor.
Eepsite – The name for hidden services hosted on the I2P network. They end in the domain name .i2p.
Freenet – A peer-to-peer network for censorship-resistant communication, touted as an alternative to other networks like Tor and I2P. It features anonymous messaging, email, social networking, and site hosting.
Freesite – The name used for Freenet’s hidden services.
Galaxy2 – A popular social network on Tor. It is a follow-up to the original Galaxy social network, created by “Lameth.”
GNUnet – A free software framework for decentralized peer-to-peer networking. It includes P2P applications, such as chat, filesharing, and VPN.
Grams – A Tor-based search engine for darknet markets, which helps compare goods, prices, and vendors.
Hard Candy – Slang term for an underage girl – roughly age 12-16, on both the dark web and clearnet. Also can refer to child pornography featuring girls of this age.
Harry71’s Onion Spider – A popular link repository on Tor. Is respectable because it’s updated daily, and the links are generally accurate and active.
Hell – Infamous hacking forum hosted on the Tor network, where users share hacking tips as well as stolen data.
Hidden Wiki – Name for one of several popular wikis on both the clearnet and Tor that link to and describe some basic Tor hidden services (for noobs). Often referred to as a single site.
Hitmen/Assassins – A service that’s supposedly easy to find on the dark web. Many of the sites offering these services have turned out to be elaborate scams.
Hurtcore – Most extreme form of child pornography, involving such things as physical injury and rape, which can be found on the dark web. Avoid at all costs.
I2P – An overlay network and darknet that allows applications to send messages to each other anonymously and securely.
Litecoin – A peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that is based on bitcoin.
Lux – Username of Matthew David Graham, convicted (and imprisoned) owner of child pornography sites PedoEmpire, Hurt 2 The Core, and Love 2 The Core (among others).
Mesh routing network – Networks made up of radio nodes arranged in a mesh topology. Examples include Netsukuku, GNUnet, Hyperboria, and CCNx.
Multisig – An abbreviation for “multsignature.” The requirement for more than one key to authorize a bitcoin transaction.
not Evil – The premier search engine on Tor. Was originally designed to look like a parody of Google.
Onionland – A nickname for the Tor network.
Operation Onymous – An international law enforcement operation targeting darknet markets and other Tor hidden services in 2014. Supposedly shut down over 400 sites (although many were clone sites).
Outlaw Market – Another of the top darknet markets on Tor. Sells drugs, digital goods, weapons, and other merchandise.
PGP – An encryption standard created by Phil Zimmermann in 1991. The initials stand for “Pretty Good Privacy.” PGP is frequently used to encrypt and decrypt messages on the dark web.
Qubes – A security-focused operating system that aims to provide security by isolation. One of many distros that can help provide security for those who use the dark web.
/r/darknetmarkets – A subreddit dedicated to information and discussions about darknet markets.
/r/deepweb – A subreddit dedicated to factual information about the deep web and dark web (as opposed to urban legends).
Red Room – A series of supposed sites on the dark web that feature live torture and murder (similar to the “Shadow Web”). Entrance to these sites (in theory) requires bitcoin, as well as special credentials, such as a password given by an administrator. Most of the ones that have become public knowledge have turned out to be scams.
Scully, Peter – An infamous Australian pedophile and producer of child pornography, most notably the film Daisy’s Destruction, which has achieved internet notoriety. Scully had formed his own production company to make these films, called No Limits Fun.
Shadow Web – A fictitious part of the dark web perpetuated by creepypastas and YouTube videos. Supposedly features live torture and murder shows for those who pay the right price. A number of sites on Tor claim to offer access to the Shadow Web.
Silk Road – An online black market, considered to be the first modern darknet market. Launched by founder Ross Ulbricht in 2011, the site was shut down by feds in October 2013.
SSH – Stands for “secure shell.” SSH is a cryptographic network protocol for operating network services securely over an unsecured network. As with PGP, SSH uses public and private keys to authenticate users.
Suicide Apartment – Exclusive, members-only social network on Tor. The only way to become a member is to receive a voucher from an existing member.
Tails – A popular Debian-based live operating system that many dark web users install for extra protection. “Tails” is an acronym for “The amnesic incognito live system.”
Tor – An anonymity network on which many “dark web” sites are hosted. The name “Tor” stands for “the onion router.”
TorBay – A Tor-based social network and forum which more or less replaced Blackbook.
VPN – A private network which extends across a public network (internet). Many experts recommend using a VPN in addition to using Tor! (hint hint)
Welcome to Dark Web Links and More! – Link list for Tor hidden services. Notable because they do not accept submissions of CP links, and also feature links to Usenet groups.
Zocalo – A darknet market specializing in marijuana, hash, and various paraphernalia associated with it.
P.S. As I said above, this list is far from finished. So I’ll either add more entries in later, or do a part 2 to the post. Anyhow, hope you had fun, and feel free to add your suggestions!