What the Deep Web/Dark Web Isn’t!

by Ciphas

torbay

I suppose I should be expecting this by now, but there’s an enormous amount of misinformation about the deep web/dark web floating around. That’s the internet for you, right?

I bring this up because someone recently messaged me and said, “I clicked on a deep web site – am I in trouble??” (Surely I’m not the first to experience this.) So I talked to the guy for awhile, and as it turned out, the site he was referring to wasn’t a Tor site at all – it was just a site on Internet Archive: Wayback Machine, which keeps archives of old websites from the ’90s and early ’00s. One of them is this one:

064

Let me just get it all out there: visiting sites on there is perfectly fine; you won’t get in any trouble. Some of the sites may be creepy, but they are in no way related to the dark web. For those who don’t know anything about either the terms “deep web” or “dark web,” let me try to help out.

According to Wikipedia:

The deep web, invisible web, or hidden web are parts of the World Wide Web whose contents are not indexed by standard search engines for any reason. The opposite term to the deep web is the surface web. The deep web includes many very common uses such as web mail, online banking, but also paid for services with a paywall such as video on demand, and many more.

And as for the term “dark web”:

The dark web is the World Wide Web content that exists on darknets, overlay networks which use the public internet but which require specific software, configurations or authorization to access. The dark web forms a small part of the deep web, the part of the Web not indexed by search engines, although sometimes the term “deep web” is mistakenly used to refer specifically to the dark web.

welcometodarkweblinks

Confused still? This is why I consistently say “dark web” when I’m referring to sites on Tor, I2P, Freenet, etc. The word “dark” doesn’t refer to the fact that it’s disturbing content, but the fact that it’s hidden or encrypted. The opposite term to the dark web is “clearnet” (the sites which don’t require any special configurations to access).

Granted, sites like The Hidden Wiki show only a small sample of Tor links (most of which are scams, by the way!). They are a part of the dark web, though (regardless of their content).

If you’re looking for a site that offers a lot more links (once you’re connected to Tor), then go to Harry71’s Onion Spider. I’m sure there are scams on here, but the site is at least updated daily, and has a lot of different links.

What people may be looking for is more secretive or disturbing content, which may or may not exist. Trust me – you aren’t going to find the secret to immortality on the dark web. If that sort of thing can’t be found on the clearnet, it won’t be found on the dark web either!

And as for the “deep web horror stories” on YouTube, most (if not all) of them are bullshit. How do I know this? Because the technical details are wrong. Many of them talk about live-streaming video over Tor, which is near-impossible. Nonetheless, I still find them entertaining.

I’ll tell you what, though –  I have noticed that there are sites not listed in any of the link repositories or wikis, which sometimes have darker content, or are very exclusive sites (e.g. a members-only hacking forum that requires a referral from existing members). I’m not saying this to make your imagination run wild, but it’s something I have come across.

Beyond that, I’d say that the only sure way to learn how to discern fake sites from real ones, and myths from facts, is to visit the dark web yourself, and learn the ropes. There’s only so much information you can get from blogs and articles. The downside is that you may get screwed over in the process. A good rule of thumb is: if it looks sketchy, it probably is!

If you are looking for a good, factual FAQ, then check this out on Reddit: READ ME, NOOBS! – The “Short” FAQ

Anyhow, have fun exploring the dark web…and don’t get scammed.

Advertisements

A Darknet Dictionary (Work in Progress, with Links!)

darr5

by Ciphas

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.

NOTE: Some links below may be down.

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.

img21

Active at Dark Markets? – A Tor hidden service set up by Dutch law enforcement to warn darknet market users that they are being tracked.

activedark.png

Ahmia.fi – A search engine that finds Tor hidden services and I2P eepsites. Also available on Tor at http://msydqstlz2kzerdg.onion/.

ahmia

Alienet – A VPN-based hidden network that offers messaging, mail, IRC, and hidden services. Not as well known as some other darknets, but it is real. Their site is at http://darknetproject.info on the clearnet, or https://unionsoe3yw6fxaq.onion on Tor.

alienet

AlphaBay – Currently one of the top darknet markets on the Tor network. Uses both multisig transactions and a traditional escrow system (depending on the vendor). Access it at this link: http://pwoah7foa6au2pul.onion/register.php?aff=41211

AlphaBay-Home-e1440639625779

AYW – All You’re Wiki [sic]. The Hidden Wiki with all CP links removed.

allyourewiki

Besa Mafia – A fake hitman service that (surprise, surprise) turned out to be a scam. Though a number of people paid to use their “services,” no one was ever hurt or killed. The admin of the site did escape with a number of people’s bitcoins, however.

besa

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.”

bitcoins182way

Bitcoin billionaire yet?

Bitcoin Mixer – A service used to disguise the trail of bitcoins back to their original owner. Often used when buying and selling illicit goods on darknet markets. A few examples of bitcoin mixers are: BitCloak, Grams Helix, and BitBlender.

bitcloak

Blackbook – A former social network on the Tor network, modeled after Facebook. Used to be located at https://blkbook3fxhcsn3u.onion.

Blackbook

Black Market Reloaded (BMR) – A former darknet market on Tor, and one of the oldest, which is currently offline. Plans have been announced for it to restart.

black-market-reloaded-screenshot

Blockchain – A public ledger of all bitcoin transactions that have ever been executed. This applies to other cryptocurrencies as well.

blockchaininfo

BotDW – Boss of the deep web.

botdw

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.)

NOTE: The screenshot below is from one of the sites selling the makeup kits.

candydoll_makeup.png

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.

darknet_forum

Cheese Pizza – Another slang term for child pornography.

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.)

surface-web-anz-tech-anztech-pc-fix-in-manukau-computer-repair-in-penrose

Enough with the icebergs, already!

Cold storage – Keeping a reserve of bitcoins offline (e.g. on a USB drive or encrypted media) to prevent tampering or theft.

coldstorage_bitcoin

CP – An acronym for “child porn” or “child pornography.”

Cryptography – The art of writing and solving codes. With regard to the dark web, it is a means of encrypting data (messages, etc.) that you send over the network.

Daisy’s Destruction – An infamous film made by child pornography producer Peter Scully (see entry), through his company No Limits Fun. The film shows the sexualized torture and abuse of several young girls, one of whom is referred to as “Daisy.” However, the film has reached mythological status on the web, with the details and facts about it being blown out of proportion.

daisy

Darknet – An overlay network that requires specific software, configurations, or permission to access. Examples include: Tor, I2P, Freenet, GNUnet. Some of these networks (like Freenet) have both “darknet” and “opennet” modes, where you can choose whether to connect only to peers that you trust, or connect to anyone.

ccnx_166975_full

Darknet Heroes League (DHL) – DHL is an escrow market comprised of old school vendors who were invited to sell there. Access it at http://darkheroesq46awl.onion.

dhlmarket

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, drug paraphernalia (like pipes), firearms, hacked PayPal accounts, skimmed credit cards, counterfeit money, porn accounts, and fake official documents.

dream_market_drugs

Dark0de (a.k.a. Darkode) – A notorious hacking and cybercrime forum, originally hosted on the clearnet, which transitioned to the Tor network.

DarkodeKoS.png

Dark Mamba – A new “private military company” that claims to offer murder-for-hire services, run by the admin of the old Besa Mafia site. (i.e. another fake hitman site.) Located at https://darkmambawopntdk.onion.

dark-mamba

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.

SIGAINT-attack

Dark Web News – A news site that reports on events that take place on the dark web. Also features bitcoin tutorials, links, and a comparison of darknet markets. Located at https://www.darkwebnews.com.

darkwebnews

DBAN – Darik’s Boot and Nuke – free erasure software that automatically deletes the contents of any hard drive it can detect, developed by Darik Horn.

dban11

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.

91d6d0cc4ed117a62f37c70d97e1a077_original

Deepdotweb – A site that releases news, articles, and occasionally tutorials about the dark web (primarily Tor). They also keep an accurate, updated list of darknet markets that’s very reliable. Can be found at Deepdotweb.com or https://deepdot35wvmeyd5.onion.

deepdotweb3.png

DisconnectA clearnet search engine that prevents other search engines from tracking your searches. It used to be the standard search engine on the Tor browser. Located at https://search.disconnect.me/.

disconnect_search

DNStats.netA site that monitors the status of various darknet markets and a few other sites on the Tor network. Located at https://dnstats.net/ on the clearnet, and https://dnstatstzgfcalax.onion/ on Tor.

dnstats

Doxing – The act of researching and posting someone’s personal information (e.g. phone number, address, full name) on the internet. Takes place on both the dark web and clearnet.

doxbin

Doxxters, The – A group who offers a doxing service for pay. Located at https://doxxtereufvckkiz.onion.

doxxters

Dream Market – Another top darknet market hosted on the Tor network, which uses a traditional escrow system. Access it at http://lchudifyeqm4ldjj.onion/?ai=1675.

dreammarket-drugs3

DuckDuckGo – Currently the standard search engine used on the Tor browser. Is popular with privacy-minded users. Located at https://duckduckgo.com/ on the clearnet, and https://3g2upl4pq6kufc4m.onion on Tor.

duckduckgo

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.

dumpsad

Eepsite – The name for hidden services hosted on the I2P network. They end in the domain name .i2p.

eepsite

Freedom Hosting – A former Tor specialist web hosting service which, at its height in 2013, was the largest hosting service of its kind. Was the target of an attack by Anonymous, as well as a large law enforcement operation headed by the FBI. Has since been succeeded by another service dubbed “Freedom Hosting II.”

freedom_hosting

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. A typical Freenet URI looks like this:

USK@MYLAnId-ZEyXhDGGbYOa1gOtkZZrFNTXjFl1dibLj9E,Xpu27DoAKKc8b0718E-ZteFrGqCYROe7
XBBJI57pB4M,AQACAAE/pyFreenetHg/31/

Download it at https://freenetproject.org/.

freenet_mainpage

Freesite – The name used for Freenet’s hidden services.

freenet_fms_setup

FullzIn carding terms, “fullz” refer to full database records of personally identifiable information. Such things might include names, addresses, phone numbers, bank account information, social security numbers, passwords, etc.

SPAM_smtp-rdp-cc-fullz-plus-bitcoin-carding-methods_6115250321125192472-a347a8c0d08d4002b40415e8063cdb64.jpg

Galaxy2 – A popular social network on Tor. It is a follow-up to the original Galaxy social network, created by “Lameth.” Located at https://w363zoq3ylux5rf5.onion.

0b034e7890a8d0073b501f05601a4071

GNUnet – A free software framework for decentralized peer-to-peer networking. It includes P2P applications, such as chat, file sharing, and VPN.

gnunet_screenshot

Grams – A Tor-based search engine for darknet markets, which helps compare goods, prices, and vendors. Tor link: http://grams7enufi7jmdl.onion/

grams-black-market-search-engine

HANSA Market – A darknet market with a multisig escrow system. Tor link: http://hansamkt2rr6nfg3.onion/affiliate/110

hansa_market

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. Tor link: skunksworkedp2cg.onion

harry71_onion

Helix Light – A bitcoin cleaner available from the developers of Grams. Tor link: http://grams7enufi7jmdl.onion/helix/light

helix_light

Hell – Infamous hacking forum formerly hosted on the Tor network, where users share hacking tips as well as stolen data. There is another site currently going by the same name, but it is actually a clone site made with a stolen private key from the original site.

Hidden Wiki – Name for a popular wiki on Tor that links to and describes some basic Tor hidden services (for noobs). The main one is located at http://zqktlwi4fecvo6ri.onion/wiki/index.php/Main_Page. There are several other sites that use the name Hidden Wiki as well, but this one is usually the site in question.

hiddenwiki2

Hitmen/Assassins – A service that’s supposedly easy to find on the dark web. All of the sites offering these services have turned out to be elaborate scams, but the myth continues to be perpetuated by creepypastas and rumors.

hitman_network

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.

screen-shot-2015-09-10-at-8-54-44-pm

Credit: allthingsvice.com

I2P – An overlay network and darknet that allows applications to send messages to each other anonymously and securely. Download it at https://geti2p.net/en/.

I2P_router_console_0.7.7

L33TER – A vendor shop started by L33Ter, vendor from most of the early darknet markets. Specializes in digital and physical products. Located at http://l33ter2w7q4bytfh.onion.

l33ter

LE – An abbreviation for “law enforcement.”

Litecoin – A peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that is based on bitcoin. Find out more at Litecoin – Open source P2P digital currency.

litecoin

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).

matthewdgraham

Mesh routing network – Networks made up of radio nodes arranged in a mesh topology. Examples include Netsukuku, GNUnet, Hyperboria, and CCNx. Many of these are still in beta mode and have not been officially released, but they have been advertised as alternatives to the traditional internet structure being used right now.

netsukuku

Multisig – An abbreviation for “multsignature.” The requirement for more than one key to authorize a bitcoin transaction.

multisig

Credit: deepdotweb.com

not Evil – The premier search engine on Tor. Was originally designed to look like a parody of Google. Located at https://hss3uro2hsxfogfq.onion.

notevil-chat

Onionland – A nickname for the Tor network.

2000px-Tor-logo-2011-flat.svg.png

OpenBazaar – A decentralized peer-to-peer marketplace that sells a variety of goods for bitcoin and currently runs on the Tor network. Not a “darknet market,” per se, but uses a similar concept.

openbazaar

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).

xzfzwwhgrbpgguhzhkiu

Outlaw Market – Another of the top darknet markets on Tor. Sells drugs, digital goods, weapons, and other merchandise. Access it at http://outfor6jwcztwbpd.onion/indxx1.php.

outlaw.png

Pedo – A slang term on the dark web for “pedophile.” Refers not only to the people themselves, but related sites and materials. (e.g. PedoEmpire)

PedoFunding – A now-defunct website on Tor run by convicted freelance photographer Richard Huckle. Huckle has since been imprisoned, and received 22 consecutive life sentences.

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.

public-key

PlayPen – A large child pornography site that, in 2015, was seized by the FBI and used to catch pedophiles who were accessing the site. This has been one of the more controversial cases, as some have questioned the legality of the FBI’s actions.

Qubes – A security-focused operating system that aims to provide security by isolation. One of many distros that can help provide security and anonymity. Official site: https://www.qubes-os.org/

r3rc1-nalu-desktop-1

/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 mythological sites on the dark web that supposedly feature live torture and murder (see “Shadow Web”). Entrance to these sites (in theory) requires bitcoin, as well as special credentials, such as a password given by an administrator. They are, more or less, an extension of the urban legend of “snuff films.”

All of the ones that have become public knowledge have turned out to be scams, yet many creepypastas and YouTube videos have continued to perpetuate the myth.

darkredroom

Scam/Scammer – In the context of the dark web, someone who purports to be selling certain goods or services, and doesn’t follow through, or misrepresents their intentions (e.g. a drug vendor who never delivers their goods, or a “financial service” designed for identity theft).

sheep-scam1

Credit: Deepdotweb.com 2013

Scream, Bitch! – A hurtcore forum on the Tor network. For those of you thinking of joining, registration is closed.

sb_darkweb

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.

peter_scully

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, but they are all scams. Here’s one example: Shadow Web Gateway 2.0

shadowweb_3

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.

2013116192258674734_20

Silk Road 3 – An escrow market that used to go by another name, but adopted the Silk Road brand. There has been much speculation as to whether or not the market will exit scam or will be taken down, but it is still currently running. Located at reloadedudjtjvxr.onion.

silkroad30_login

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.

puttytunnel_06

Suicide Apartment – Members-only social network on Tor (which used to exist on the clearnet). It’s meant to be a site for people who are suicidal and want to find someone else to “leave the world with.” The only way to become a member is to receive a voucher from an existing member.

suicideapartment

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.”

tails_screenshot

TLA – An abbreviation for “three-letter agency.” Includes federal agencies such as the CIA, FBI, NRO, NSA, DEA, DHS, and others, who are looked upon with suspicion in the dark web.

hidden_site_seized.png

Tor – An anonymity network on which many “dark web” sites are hosted. The name “Tor” stands for “the onion router.” Frequently, people who say they’re on the “deep web” are referring to Tor. Download it at https://torproject.org.

tbb-screenshot3

TorBay – A Tor-based social network and forum which more or less replaced Blackbook.

torbay

Torch – A simple Tor search engine. Located at https://xmh5752oemp2sztk.onion

torch_search

Traderoute – A traditional and multisig escrow marketplace on Tor.

traderoute

Valhalla (Silkkitie) – Originally a Finnish-only darknet market, now available in English. Valhalla is invite-only, and offers both traditional escrow and multisig transactions, 2FA, and PGP. Requires a referral link to register as either a buyer or a vendor.

silkki

Vendor Shop – Smaller shops started by some of the major darknet market vendors, usually specializing in certain types of items. Examples: Mollyworld and MegaPack.

VPN (Virtual Private Network) – A private network which extends across a public network (internet). Many experts recommend using a VPN in addition to using Tor! (hint hint)

vpn10

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. Access it at https://jdpskjmgy6kk4urv.onion/links.html.

welcometodarkweblinks

Zion Market – A newer multisig darknet market without user wallets. Buyers have the option of selecting 2-of-2 (the server and vendor have the keys), or 2-of-3 (the buyer also has a key). Uses 2FA, automated PGP, and Bitmessage alerts. Access it at http://zionshopusn6nopy.onion/_reg23.

zionmarket

Zocalo – A former darknet market specializing in marijuana, hash, and various paraphernalia associated with it. Recently closed due to lack of business.

zocalo_market_weed

Zork – A 1980’s text-based RPG that is now playable on the Tor network (via the not Evil search engine).

zork

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 suggestion

Red Rooms Don’t Exist (Here’s Why)

welcome-to-the-game-red-room

by Ciphas

In an effort to get more connected with you, my readers, I’ve decided to do a little how-to here. So I thought that, rather than just say “all red rooms are fake,” I’m going to go through how to spot a fake red room on the dark web.

What prompted this? Well, on my previous post, I received this comment:

redroomcomment

In case that’s hard to read, here it is in slightly larger text:

“there are many red rooms its [sic] just a matter of finding them although I wouldn’t suggest it, i posted a link below. http://222222222kjhiqzb.onion/”

I actually checked out that link, and it looked all too familiar. Why’s that? Well, Mutahar (a.k.a. SomeOrdinaryGamers) featured it on his “Deep Web Browsing” series: THE “REAL” RED ROOM!?!

darkredroom

I watch those videos purely for entertainment, but yes, Muta does visit some real sites on the Tor network. (And a few on the clearnet too.)

That does not mean, however, that any of these are real red rooms. In fact, he even says so in the same video!!

The experts say they’re all fake (and I’m inclined to believe them), but let’s just play devil’s advocate and say that there are a few real ones.

paniq-room

I have come across more than my fair share of sites on Tor (and elsewhere) that claim to be red rooms. Most of them have a few things in common:

  1. They claim to show video streams of live torture, murder, and other acts.
  2. They require you to pay – usually large amounts of bitcoin or other cryptocurrency.
  3. They often ask you to download “special software,” like an alternative browser.
  4. They sometimes will link you to an alternate site to do the transactions.
  5. They almost always use a Tor-based email service – a common one is SIGAINT.
  6. They sometimes have a graphic image on the main site, usually taken from a horror film, to symbolize the acts of violence that would take place in the red room.
  7. They sometimes have a login page, which you can supposedly access after you pay.
  8. They won’t show you any sort of sample content beforehand.

That’s all I can think of at the moment.

Anyhow, if any of you have really used Tor, you probably have some idea of how slow it is. If you don’t understand why it’s slow, then allow me to direct you to their FAQ: Why is Tor so slow?

Part of the answer is: “Before we answer, though, you should realize that Tor is never going to be blazing fast. Your traffic is bouncing through volunteers’ computers in various parts of the world, and some bottlenecks and network latency will always be present. You shouldn’t expect to see university-style bandwidth through Tor.”

OK…but the red room sites say that I have download a special browser to watch the show!

Why is this? Because, in all likelihood, if these sites are asking you to download and install special software, the software in question probably has some kind of malware embedded in it.

Do you know what a RAT (remote access trojan) is? Allow me to direct you to TechTarget: What is RAT (remote access trojan)? Essentially, it’s a type of malware program that includes a back door to allow remote access to the victim’s computer.

I don’t know this from personal experience, but it’s my best educated guess. And a lot of these sites started popping up on Tor after the creepypastas and YouTube videos about red rooms became more popular – are you really that surprised?

The Shadow Web – Re-Re-Visited!!

shadow_web

I’ve done several previous posts about the so-called Shadow Web, an urban legend which I believe became popular after the creepypasta “A Warning To Those Accessing The Shadow Web” passed around.

After this, a plethora of sites popped up on the Tor network (and other networks, like Freenet) claiming to offer access to the Shadow Web.

In a similar manner to the red room sites, the Shadow Web sites claim that this is a special portion of the dark web only accessible through “special software” that you need to pay to download.

Again, not to repeat myself too much – I’ve never gone so far as to actually download the software, but I suspect that it’s infected with some kind of malware – what, I couldn’t say. I’m glad that I haven’t fallen victim to this, to be honest.

I have actually corresponded with the admin in charge of some of these Shadow Web sites, and he basically told me what I said on the “fact list” above – it’s a live torture show, you need to pay, and you need download a special browser to view it.

And yes, I know that lots of the creepypastas on Reddit and YouTube talk about the “shadow web”; I assume that they’re all bullshit. I still find them entertaining anyway. But I also find The Texas Chainsaw Massacre entertaining!

If any of you want to take the risk of paying for this and viewing it, go right ahead. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I imagine there are other sites like this, too – but I have my doubts that any of them are genuine.

Questions? Comments? Please! Let me know!

redroom

Red Room Response!

welcometothegame

by Ciphas

So, I received an interesting comment on one of my older posts today, specifically the one Red Rooms Finally Debunked Forever? The comment read as follows:

Are you crazy? Have you not even heard of the likes of people such as Peter Scully? People who have been put in jail for doing stuff EXACTLY like this?? What confuses you about these?? Just cuz it doesn’t fit under the perfect, stupid made-up “red room” criteria that a bunch of basement-dwelling, reddit and 4chan teen faggots created?? This stuff is very real.

Let me clarify something: in spite of the title of the post using the word “debunked,” I wasn’t necessarily saying that nothing like that exists. I was merely speculating about the possibility that it might or might not exist (which I’ve done a lot on this blog).

I am well aware of the case of Peter Scully and his torture/CP videos. I’m also aware of the case of Matthew David Graham (a.k.a. “Lux”), who ran the hurtcore sites “PedoEmpire,” “Hurt 2 The Core,” and “Love 2 the Core.” For more information about that case, read Deepdotweb: PedoEmpire’s “Lux”: Matthew David Graham Jailed for 15 Years.

nolimitsfun

Trust me – I know that there is sick shit on the dark web, and have even seen a few things that made me want to throw up or go hide underground. What I was trying to debunk was the idea of live murder in which the audience could participate.

As I’ve said in other posts, the Tor network, Freenet, and some other darknets tend to load pages so slowly that it would be near-impossible to live stream video over them.

If the definition of a red room is: “A web site on the dark web that shows the live torture and/or murder of a victim, and is one in which audience members can pay to participate,” then these networks would barely be able to support that because of latency.

On the other hand, one of the things which does exist on certain sites is that dedicated members have special access to hidden sections of the site. In the case of Mr. Graham, some of his sites allowed members with special privileges to direct and film their own CP videos, which they then would upload on the sites.

The notorious Peter Scully was one such member, and he eventually started his own production company called No Limits Fun, which would produce such videos. Apparently, he also offered pay-per-view streams of these videos. (In case you haven’t heard, people are now calling for the death penalty in his case; he hasn’t officially been sentenced yet.)

As horrific as this all may be, I don’t think the audience members could participate in the videos; they were previously recorded.

That being said, there might be something of this nature that still exists, but if there is, I haven’t found it.

I’m not denying that there are sick things or sick people on the internet, but I was merely trying to look at it from a rational point of view.

I have read stories from a few people who say that they’ve seen such things, but I don’t have enough evidence to confirm or deny these stories. One of the stories you can find here: My visits to the darkest sites on the deep web. (Make of that what you will; I don’t know if it’s true or not.)

I also talked to a writer on Quora who wrote about such an experience, but again, I can’t verify whether it’s true or not – it just seemed very genuine, so judge for yourself: What is the worst thing you’ve seen on the deep web? (And yes, I know they said “deep web” and not “dark web.” They meant “dark web.” Cut them a little slack.)

Finally – if you are someone who has personal experience viewing a red room, then I stand corrected. I was only speaking from my experience, and what I had read and learned about how most darknets work.

If you have seen this and have the guts to comment on it, feel free.

The So-Called *Shadow Web* is Fake!

shadowweb_3

Yeah…this is probably another one of those “I told you so” moments, but according to one of my favorite YouTubers, namely SomeOrdinaryGamers, all the sites that call themselves “The Shadow Web” are fake: BEST CUSTOM POKEMON!! – Deep Web Browsing 45  (It’s the first site he reviews in the video.)

He backs up his claim by saying that people had specifically messaged him and told him that they had been ripped off by this specific site!

I really am not that surprised by this, because in my earlier post Dark Web Sites That *Claim* To Be Red Rooms, I corresponded with whomever the webmaster of this site was, and he refused to even show samples of his content unless you paid all the bitcoin up front.  (Geez, even legal porn sites usually show you a few pictures first.)

And I’ve come across several other sites that have also claimed to be red rooms (which I think I mentioned in some of my first few posts). Now that I have a bit more experience on the dark web, I’m guessing that those sites were fake too.

On the Other Hand…

Nevertheless (and you may find this surprising), it’s still my opinion that something like red rooms may exist, although not quite in the way that people think.

Yes, you heard that right. Despite the fact that many people make claims to the contrary, I still think that they could exist. Now, I don’t have definitive proof of this, but let me explain.

Given that there are already incredibly sick things on the dark web (and I don’t just mean Tor!), it’s not a huge stretch of the imagination to think that there could be snuff films. One of the main arguments that red rooms couldn’t exist on the “dark web” is that its routing tends to be so slow that it would be impossible to live-stream something.

While murder is obviously illegal (in most countries, to my knowledge), people have made videos of torture and murder before, and there’s also a market for it.  It must be the human fascination with death or something.

In the video Do Red Rooms Exist? 3 Deep Web Clues That Hint At the Existence of Red Rooms, YouTuber Be.Busta gives compelling evidence for their existence.  One of the cases he refers to is that of Peter Scully, the man behind the notorious Daisy’s Destruction and other child abuse films (made by his production company, No Limits Fun).

434.png

Scully apparently did show videos of torture online through the dark web (although not necessarily over Tor).  This is one of the major misconceptions about the dark web: it’s comprised of many networks – Tor is just the most popular.  If you had the knowledge to create your own darknet, you probably could figure out how to stream video over it.

Is anyone familiar with the HORNET (high-speed onion-routing network) project?  I’m still working on understanding it, but it aims to create the same privacy as Tor, but at a much faster speed.  If you could have both the anonymity and the ability to stream video, I think that you could at least revise that part of the argument (that the dark is web too slow to live-stream anything.)

It definitely wouldn’t be advertised so blatantly.  Once you knew how to access it, you would probably also have to pay a fortune in bitcoin.  An operation like that would not be offered cheaply, and if it’s something that people have a genuine desire to see, I’m sure it would be lucrative.

Interestingly, I came across this article today while researching: Random Interviews: The Red Room Human Trafficker.  Now, before you jump all over me and say that it’s fake, I never claimed that I could verify it – but, at the very least, it’s convincing.

To sum it up: the author, Daclaud Lee, interviews a man who claims to be a “red room human trafficker.”  He describes how he got involved with a group who make “red room” videos, and that he’s one of the people who actually kidnaps the victims. I think the interview is fictitious, but it makes a compelling argument.

Are Snuff Films the Stuff of Legend?

Well, OK – it depends on your definition of “snuff film,” but The American Heritage Dictionary defines it as “a movie in a purported genre of movies in which an actor is actually murdered or commits suicide.”  Some would include in this definition that they must be made for profit, which isn’t always the case, but videos of real murders and suicides exist.

It’s worth noting.  Consider the fact that some serial killers like David Parker Ray, Luka Magnotta, Tsutomu Miyazaki, and the Dnepropetrovsk maniacs, Viktor Sayenko and Igor Suprunyuk (i.e. the creators of the video “3 Guys 1 Hammer”) have photographed and filmed the torture and murder of their victims.  Also, consider the fact that “3 Guys 1 Hammer” and “1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick” have gone viral, and it doesn’t seem so strange to imagine that people would want to watch live murder.

Just to clarify: I’m not saying that I support such a thing, or that I’d want to watch it, but just the mere fact that so many people deny the existence (or even the possibility) of red rooms makes me consider the opposite.

And were I ever to come across a real one, well…I wouldn’t be able to unsee it.  I can say that with absolute certainty.

I think I’ll go watch cat videos now.

 

 

 

Fun with Dark Web Social Networking!!

 

Blackbook

It should come as no surprise that the dark web (and not just Tor) has its fair share of social networks and forums.  Nonetheless, in this post, I’ll be primarily talking about Tor social networks.  (These are sometimes referred to as “shadow social networks.”)

In my experience thus far, I’ve been a member of three different social networks (in the Facebook sense) on the dark web (i.e. Tor, I2P, and Freenet). While I have made some casual friends through them, so far I haven’t had any real deep connections (no pun intended).

I also have explored a number of dark web forums and chat rooms, some of which have featured disturbing content, and others which have seemed relatively mundane. Ironically, even on the clearnet, you’ll find material like this, and occasionally, it’ll be worse than what’s on the dark web (go figure).

Blackbook Value

The first social network I explored is called Blackbook, which can be found here, if you’re really interested: Blackbook – the Facebook of Tor.

Its layout is loosely based on Facebook, although you may immediately notice some differences once you actually access it.  As with Facebook, there are ads on the sidebar, but in the case of Blackbook, most of them are for darknet markets or skimmed credit cards (and that sort of thing).

Also, like the aforementioned social network, you can create a personalized profile, list your interests, join groups, start drama, etc.  Really, the major difference is the content that’s featured on people’s profiles and in some of the discussions.  If the same things were present on Facebook, they would likely create some uproar; would you try to sell coke to your mom on Facebook?  (Well, maybe some would…idk.)

While it’s highly unlikely that someone would be posting fully nude pictures on Facebook and sharing them on the news feed, that’s par for the course on Blackbook.  (Not that I mind much…)  You’ll also tend to meet a different sort of people on this network.

There are a lot of hackers, darknet market vendors, and assassins as well – at least I’ve met a few people who say that they are.  I’d rather not question their authenticity.

3sju4b

Beyond that, though, almost no one uses their real name on Blackbook (and that pretty much goes for the dark web as a whole).  Fake photos are used a lot too – some users have drawings of themselves, while the hackers sometimes use pictures like the V for Vendetta mask, or just something that represents the idea of hacking.

And I’ve even seen some fellow bronies, albeit more on the creepy side of things:

4f0725a88d6bb4e08d009d5f6fffb3c5

As for identity, I’ve used various randomly generated pseudonyms; remember the nonsense word generators I mentioned earlier?  Here they are again, if you ever need them: Soybomb nonsense word generator and Fake Word Generator For Great Made-Up Words.  This one’s good too: SpinXO Username Generator.

I understand how this might be off-putting to some of my friends on the clearnet, but I actually like my Blackbook friends, and have found them to be cool.  I’ve even learned a few things from the hacker groups, believe it or not.  As a matter of fact, I just may share this post with them – although they may find out my true identity…shit.

Guardians of the Galaxy2

Admit it, you were waiting for a Groot joke…well, you’re not getting…

people-aren-amp-039-t-even-talking-about-the-rest-of-the-movie-just-amp-quot-groot-groot-and-groot-amp-quot_o_3674377

No, I was referring to this – one of the more popular social networks called Galaxy2, an Elgg-based site also hosted on the Tor network.  According to The Social Media Alternatives Project, its creator, Lameth, started it in early January 2015.  It’s a “sequel,” so to speak, to the original Galaxy site which shut down sometime in 2014.

06e1df15a17950bc07f2151e34dd5b84

Like the original Galaxy, it offers things like The Wire (microblogging), groups, blogs, polls and pages (not unlike Facebook).  It’s similar to Blackbook in that it’s relatively censorship-free, but as the rules above say, child pornography is not allowed.  Also differentiating it from Blackbook is the fact that commercial trade is forbidden (in other words, you won’t see ads for darknet markets, etc.)

Oddly enough, its design also looks a bit more professional – this may be because there’s a larger team of people working on it, or that it just gets updated more regularly:

79062ac6930893451e5ccef20924417f

Of note: Galaxy2 recently experienced a huge influx of users after another hacking-themed social network (created, oddly enough, using WordPress) shut down.  And judging from the drama on the news feed, some of the longtime Galaxy members were not happy about the newcomers.

What, did you think the dark web was drama-free?  It has people on it!

Bad Forum…Bad Forum Indeed

1451922666458954

Picture courtesy of VICE – Motherboard

Just as on the clearnet, the dark web has its fair share of forums.  In a previous post, I had mentioned the highly disturbing forum Scream, Bitch!

A65

Yeah, that one.  They’re not all like that, but you may have to search a bit to find some that aren’t promoting the sick shit.

You may have heard of the “Hell” site before – it’s actually an infamous hacking forum. In this writer’s humble opinion, Hell is one of the less unnerving forums that can be found on Tor, despite the fact that it’s a site for sharing stolen data and hacking advice.  If you really want to visit it, here’s the URL: Hell.

You do realize I’m giving you the URL just so you can say this, right?

raf,750x1000,075,t,101010-01c5ca27c6.u1

I also happened to come across a forum by the name of Suicide Apartment, which, from what I gather, is a closed forum for people who want to commit suicide (or are at least considering it).

suicideapartment

In order to actually log into the forum, however, you need a voucher from an existing member (there are a number of forums like this on the dark web, in fact).  Presumably, this is for privacy reasons.

Well, since these people wanted to commit suicide, I decided I wouldn’t hang around.

maxresdefault

There are, for better or worse, much more disturbing forums than these that I’ve come across, or at least heard about on other people’s pages.

For me, particularly, animal cruelty sites are some of the worst, because I really love animals so much.  Those, and anything in which children are being exploited.  Thankfully (from my perspective), some of these sites are not up anymore, or at least not at the URLs where they were originally found.

But if that’s what you were hoping for, don’t worry, readers! I have much more disturbing content simmering in my “research folder”…

56f7fb50e4b0a8971591a30e_cv1

 

 

 

 

Dark Web Sites That *Claim* To Be Red Rooms

 

scam_alert

UPDATE: Apparently, this post was listed as a reference on RationalWiki – Red Room, but then someone put one of those little “look of disapproval faces” ಠ_ಠ next to it.  Just to clarify – the email exchange did take place (you can see it in the screenshots below), but I never claimed that any of the red room sites were real.  People have specifically said that they’ve lost money to some of these sites; so please don’t give your bitcoins to any of them!!

Unlimited Access to the Shadow Web

When I first started discussing the dark web, I did a post about red rooms entitled Are Deep Web Red Rooms Real?; of course, I was referencing that persistent urban legend that comes up on YouTube and elsewhere frequently.

I still have yet to find a genuine red room, but this time around, I thought I’d discuss the sites that call themselves red rooms, but are highly suspicious in nature.  I’m not including the so-called “ISIS Red Room” in this, because that one is clearly fake (and has been well-publicized as such).

The other well-publicized fake red room was the A.L.I.C.I.A. red room, which, although fake, was rather creepy: ALICIA Deep Web que oculta esta pagina.  You know, this one, with the recorded sounds?

ALICIA.jpg

As far as I know, the A.L.I.C.I.A. onion site is no longer running.  So, onto the ones that are still up:

Fake Red Room #1

I’ve come across one site that is labeled “Shadow Web Red Rooms,” combining two different myths into one.  The myths in question are the so-called “Shadow Web,” which is probably based on A warning to those thinking of accessing the shadow web; and the general myth of red rooms, which are (supposedly) sites in which someone is tortured and murdered on a live stream.

The site I’m thinking of looks like this (This one’s also been referenced on YouTube): shadowweb_redrooms

For the average person, this probably sounds disgusting, right?  On the other hand, if you’re one who’s actually seeking out red rooms, it sounds too good to be true.  (“All the vivid details!”  “…red room shows are free for one year!”)

Supposedly, with this site, you have to download some kind of customized browser in order to watch the live streams (because, let’s face it – it’s near-impossible to live stream over the Tor network).  Most of the sites that claim to be red rooms ask you to download some special software…this is getting more dubious by the minute.

While, in theory, this is possible, I’m highly suspicious of any site that asks me to download “customized browsers” or “customized software” that I’m unfamiliar with, particularly if that software is designed to watch something like live murder.  My feeling about this one is that it’s an FBI honeypot site, or simply a scam (and we all know Tor is rampant with scams – those are the most common).

I have come across several other sites like this, where you basically had to do the same thing – send them an email, they would reply with a bitcoin address, and then they would give you the info on how to access it.  (Hmm…that doesn’t sound fishy at all!)

If anyone knows for sure whether or not this site has any validity to it, let me know. Perhaps my friends over at Stop Tor Scam | List of Possible Tor Scams With Proofs or Illegally downloaded blog can investigate this one.  (Not that I’m suggesting anyone watch snuff films, but…)

Shadow Web, Revisited!

In one of my earliest posts, Is the Shadow Web a Reality? (Updated), I discussed another well-publicized site that called itself “The Shadow Web,” that basically looked like this:

shadowweb_ss

One of the strange things about this site is the link at the bottom, which leads to a YouTube video of the aforementioned creepypasta. Now, this is highly suspicious, because why would someone running a genuine red room featuring torture and murder care about a stupid creepypasta (particularly if it were inaccurate)?

The same person (or people) maintain a site that looks like this:

shadowweb_2

The bitcoin address is different, but the email address is the same, leading me to the conclusion that it’s the same scammer.

So here’s the update: there’s yet another site that calls itself The Shadow Web, which looks very similar, except that there’s a large yellow logo at the top:

shadowweb_3

This site, like its previous incarnation, has an oddity in the description (not shown in the above picture): they claim that “You can access free 100s of other websites with special extension like .LLL / .rdos” if you pay the bitcoin fee and join.  Personally, I’ve only just heard of these top-level domains, but I highly doubt that they exist, because I’ve looked at lists of all the existing TLDs, and never seen these names before.

If they’re not completely made up (and this “shadow web” thing works at all), then they may have been created exclusively for this network.  Still, it strange that I want to try this out just to see if it actually works?

It is, oddly enough, run by the same person (or people) as the previous site, because the contact email address at the bottom is the same (which also raises some red flags).  So this time around, I decided to correspond with the supposed person in charge:

sigaint_shadowweb

 

Me: Hi there – I’m interested in accessing the shadow web, but I’d like to know, can you show a sample of the content first?  Thanks.

Shadow: Hi, sorry for the delay. We got many many mails with many questions. Unfortunately your mail goes in our spam folder. We just discover it. To your question. outside the shadow web. If I do, I will loose access to several important pages. You can trust us. It works 100%. Its [sic] a software package with a special browser and a manual how to install and use it. Its very easy to install. Works on every OS. It comes with several key-files, you need this for getting access to these sites. If you have further questions let me know.

“You can trust us.  It works 100%.”  Where have I heard that before?  Only in every spy movie and crime show I’ve ever watched.  So I wrote back again, asking for some clarification on the matter.

 

sigaint_shadowweb2

Me: Hi – thanks for your reply.  I do have some other questions.  How do I know that the software you require doesn’t have malware embedded in it?

It’s not that I don’t trust you, but I have been infected with malware via Tor sites before, and I want to be careful.  Thank you for getting back to me, though.

And remind me, how many bitcoin do you charge again?

sigaint_shadowweb3

Shadow: Hi, it would make no sense to have a malware [sic] in the browser. The browser works for SW only.  Its not possible to open other websites like CW or Tor. [ok…hmm…]

You can run it in a VM.  You can scan it with all apps.

Its not useful to spy anything.  If you have access to the SW there is not more you need…

Just 0.5 BTC is ok.  It covers my expenses for my servers and websites.

Thanks for PGP.

I will use it if I sent you the links if you buy.

For the safe and totally anonymous way I do the payment with the satochibox [sic].  You can click on the link.  It will open a box where you get the wallet.  Its [sic] an anonymous wallet from satochibox.  The bitcoin will then sent from them to my wallet.  After payment you get the download links for the software, SW Browser and keyfiles for access the network.

If you don’t want to use the satochibox you can sent the BTC to my wallet

After receiving I sent [sic] you the files from this mail.

Up to you how you like.

Don’t worry everything is clear and safe.  I’m not a scammer. 

“I’m not a scammer.”  Ah, now I feel so reassured!  By the way, there are many reports of people getting scammed through Satoshi box as well: SatoshiBox.com Reviews and Ratings.  As they say, “A fool and his bitcoins are soon parted.”

Well, this is where we left it off, but I’m highly reluctant to trust anyone who wants me to send them bitcoin with no reassurance that they’ll give back what’s promised.  You know what would be hilarious?

If “Shadow” saw this blog post and tried to defend his (her?) position!

What I would like to know is if anyone else who has more experience with Tor than I do has corresponded any further with people offering similar “services.”

As a matter of fact, YouTuber Seek the Truth featured a video called Deep Web Red Rooms 2, examining the legend and investigating some of the sites that claimed to be red rooms.  In it, he has a very similar conversation to the one I had with the “shadow web” guy.  It just strikes me as odd – it can’t be a coincidence, can it?  For all I know, it’s the exact same person using a different email address.  Check the video out; it’s quite interesting!

So, my fellow dark web users – do you know if all of these instances are definitely scams?  Have they tried to pull other such ripoffs?

Besides, if this is anything like the “red room” in Fifty Shades of Grey, I’ll pass, thanks.  (*shudder*)

tumblr_n9ud2rmid51rv1xqno4_500