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Does Experian Really Monitor the Dark Web?

If the subject of the dark web interests you, you may have seen Experian’s series of “auction” commercials, like this one: Experian’s Auction Commercial – Dark Web Surveillance

experian_darkweb

I think this would qualify as what they refer to as “FUD” on /r/deepweb – manipulation of the less tech-savvy public through fear, uncertainty, and doubt. While the article on their blog, entitled “What Should You Know About The Dark Web?”, is somewhat accurate, I still think it’s exaggerated to scare people into subscribing to their “monitoring” service.

The reason that I’m skeptical of their claims is that it’s very difficult to find one person’s specific information on the dark web, whether it be bank account information, social security numbers, or medical data. I know from personal experience that these types of data are sold and shared on the dark web (Tor in particular), but I could also see how it would be tricky to hunt down any one set of data.

As I’ve said in previous posts, the “dark web” isn’t just one network, it’s many: Tor, I2P, Freenet, GNUnet, and ZeroNet are just a few. There are also numerous carding forums on the clearnet, which may surprise you – here’s a small sampling:

Prvtzone – also on Tor at prvtzone7mq377pw.onion

prvtzone

Carding Forum

cardingforum

Altenen Carding Forum

altenen

Even if they’re designed as scams (on the buyer end), the point is that they aren’t just on the dark web, and whatever technology they’re using would have to scour multiple networks to be able to find someone’s specific data.

The funny part about all this is that as a result of Experian claiming to monitor the dark web, a vendor in 2016 claimed to have hacked Experian’s database and sold their data on the dark web! How’s that for irony? Vendor claims to sell millions of Experian and Whois accounts on Dark Web

Now, correct me if I’m wrong – if someone actually has been successful in using this service, then…that’s great! I just tend to raise an eyebrow at claims like this.

There’s another company by the name of OWL Cybersecurity claiming to do the same thing, through a database of what they call DARKINT.

owl_cybersecurity_darkint.png

Feel free to use either of these if you really want to, but what I would do is research their claims, and learn about the technology that they use to “scan” the dark web – does it really gather useful data?

Then you can determine if you really need this service or not.

Besides…that owl is creepy as hell.

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About secretsofthedark

Have you heard of the dark web? Simply put, it's the "hidden internet" built on networks like Tor. "Secrets of the Dark" chronicles my dark web experiences, but is also aimed at demythologizing it and teaching about it. Want to reproduce one of the "horror stories"? Contact me at ciphas@protonmail.com.

2 responses to “Does Experian Really Monitor the Dark Web?

  1. Every time i see or hear the Experian TV commercial about they’re claims into being able to regularly Monitor the Darkweb, a blood vessel in my forehead starts to pulsate.
    It’s just really slimy advertising tactics and although i’m in no position to question what methods they use to- do whatever they do- i do know that the Darkweb is called the Darkweb for a reason- because it CAN’T be regularly monitored, at least in the context that Experian frames the comment they make.

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