ZeroNet: Continuing Your Dark Webducation!

687474703a2f2f7a65726f6e65742e72656164746865646f63732e6f72672f656e2f6c61746573742f696d672f7a65726f68656c6c6f2e706e67

I’ve mentioned ZeroNet in a few previous posts, but haven’t gone into much detail about it. I think it has the potential to be a great network, if more people start using it.

It’s a bit different from Tor, in that you don’t have to have a separate browser to access it (although you do need the software). ZeroNet is a decentralized network that uses bitcoin cryptography and the BitTorrent network to create a “separate internet,” if you will.

ZeroNet also uses the Tor network to help users achieve anonymity, though the two are in fact different networks. (Wait…huh?) Yes, in addition to using the BitTorrent network, ZeroNet also has the ability to route traffic through Tor – although you can turn this feature on and off.

If you read its documentation, you can learn a bit more about it.

zeronet_homepage

Author: Kahpecuce Copyright: 2016 Wikimedia Commons

According to the documentation, at present, ZeroNet offers these features:

  • Real-time updated sites
  • Namecoin .bit domain support
  • Multi-user sites
  • Passwordless – Bitcoin’s BIP32-based authorization
  • Built-in SQL server

As with PGP, on ZeroNet you have a public and a private key, which is a feature of asymmetric cryptography. Essentially, it’s the same type of cryptography that’s used to protect your bitcoin wallet.

I know how many people are curious about pseudo-top level domain names. As it says above, ZeroNet sites use the .bit domain, and there are quite a few out there. (But sorry, no .clos, .loky, .lll, or .rdos sites.) Aw, crap!

If you’d like to see a ZeroNet site, here’s one:

zeronet_links

And here’s another:

dydx_zeronet

Like the sites on Tor, I2P, and other networks, they don’t look all that fascinating. Many contain a lot of technical and coding information. It doesn’t surprise me, actually; I wasn’t expecting to find anything dark and secret on ZeroNet that I couldn’t find elsewhere.

Anyhow, this is going to be a short post, as I still have to explore ZeroNet quite a bit more. I just wanted to give you a little taste! I encourage other people to join it, because some of the forums and things seem a bit empty!

Thanks for reading – join me again, anonymity lovers!

P.S. For further reading, here’s a ZeroNet FAQ.

Advertisements

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

So-Called Red Room Site: A Creepy Experience

red_prison_torture_room

Ah, the legend continues!  I’ve done several posts about the so-called “red rooms” that may or may not exist on the dark web, and it’s been an interesting process.  (I’m leaning toward not, by the way.)  For the newcomers, here are the previous entries:

Are Deep Web Red Rooms Real?

Is the Shadow Web a Reality? (Updated)

Dark Web Sites That *Claim* To Be Red Rooms

Red Rooms Finally Debunked Forever?

A Chat with the Directors of The Darkest Alley! (interview)

In the process, I’ve become more and more convinced that it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to host something like a red room on the dark web (Tor in particular).  Not only is livestreaming very difficult due to latency problems, but you would also have the problem of something like a live murder leaving behind evidence for law enforcement.

Nonetheless, in my research process, I’ve continued looking for sites that are labeled as red rooms, or sell themselves on the premise of being a red room.  I have come across several of those while hunting, and most seem to be scams.

Red Room #12589903

red room scam

The alleged “red room” site.

 

Most recently, I found yet another site with a similar premise, located at http://5xcds7yhgisfm6mu.onion/.  As you can see from the screenshot, it’s rather basic looking and gives very few details.  You had to contact them to get any other information.

Once again, out of curiosity, I contacted the site owner (or whomever) via the email address that was listed, and sent a PGP-encrypted message asking how to sign up.  He sent me back a PGP-encrypted message with details on what I had to do, and how much I had to pay, etc.

Now, here is the creepy part: the person who responded actually knew my real name.  That was enough to freak me out, at least a little bit.  I didn’t ask, but I was also concerned if he had any of my other personal information.

(Later, when he found out I was blogging about him, he spewed out a list of other personal info, like my wife’s name, the city I lived in, and several places that I frequent.  But you could honestly find those just by Googling me.)

It reminded me, at least slightly, of some of the “deep web” stories like the previously mentioned Horrifying Deep Web Stories: Why I Quit Hacking or 3 Disturbing Deep Web Stories by Mr. Nightmare.  And yes, I know that those are just stories,  but it was the possibility of someone finding out my real identity that was reminiscent of some of the stories.

His response to my first question, like most of the others, was that I had to pay 2.0 bitcoin (a.k.a. $1344.80) to gain access, and then to actually be the “master” of the show, I had to win an auction (similar to most of the other supposed red room sites).

Once you paid, supposedly, you would be given a username and password to simply access the site.  (You could only access the landing page without it.)

Invasion of Privacy??

panic-lots-you-just-got-hacked

So my question was – where did the guy get my name from?  Well, without asking directly, I had several theories.

When I had used my PGP key on the message I sent initially, it’s possible that my name was encoded into it somehow.  I actually find that less disturbing than some of the alternatives.

Beyond that, I combed through my system with various anti-malware tools, and came up with a few troubling findings.  One of them was a type of trojan (whose name I forget at the moment) that is specifically designed to steal login credentials and personal information.

I was able to remove it, but the question still remained – was that what gave away my name?  I still don’t know for certain, and I would feel more comfortable if I did.

Moral of the Story…

53865-bigthumbnail

So what have I learned from this?  I need to be more careful about whom I correspond with on the dark web, and when I do so, it’s imperative that I have all privacy and security protocols in place, and don’t do anything idiotic.  (Insert “I told you so” here.)

In the meantime, I’m still finding the process enjoyable, and believe it or not, I have learned a few things from my mistakes.

I hope you can, too.

 

 

Exploring the Dark Web on Freenet (Part 3!)

linkageddon-censored

I’ve noticed on trend on various websites lately.  When people use the words “deep web” or “dark web,” they tend to be thinking of Tor – which is why I thought I should talk about Freenet more often!

I’ve mentioned it on several previous posts (for those of you who are new to the blog…welcome!).

Interview: Arne Babenhauserheide of pyFreenet and Infocalypse

Alternatives to Tor: Freenet

This time around, let’s explore some actual Freenet sites (or freesites, as they’re called). While the interface may not look that exciting, that seems to be a common factor across networks like Tor, I2P, and Freenet.

The above screenshot is of Linkageddon, the “uncensored” link list on Freenet.  It lists every freesite, legal or not.  So I figured I’d start with Nerdageddon, which is similar, but removes most of the “offensive” content (though I’m not one to be easily offended).

Nerds We Are…Cool As Us You Wish You Were

nerdageddon_updated

At the time of this writing, that’s the latest iteration of Nerdageddon.  Some of it, as you may or may not be able to see, consists of FMS Sites, which are generated via the Freenet Messaging System (FMS) and are merely chat logs. I skipped over those for the most part.

One of the first sites I checked out was called The Frugal Dungeon Master (remember, you need to be connected to Freenet to access it).  If the title hasn’t clued you in already, it’s meant for players of Dungeons and Dragons (a.k.a. D&D).

dungeons_and_dragons

The text (which I’m sure looks infinitesimally small on your monitor) reads: “Tired of paging through PDFs? Here is a convenient reference for Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition.  It supports searching, sorting, and filtering.  This version includes the monsters, spells and magic items from the basic rules, the player’s handbook, and the dungeon master’s guide. I’ll add content as time and scan quality permit.

The reference is a Ruby on Rails web application. You can install it on one computer and then access it from any device on your network.”

Ooh, Ruby on Rails!  Now you’ve sparked my interest!  As a burgeoning coder, I plan to eventually learn it, but I’m still working on several other languages at the moment.  As they say:

keep_calm_rubyonrails

This is probably less exciting to those of you who aren’t into RPGs, or don’t code – but there’s more to Freenet, I promise.

P.S. If you don’t code, you may want to get into it – you may like it, you never know!!

Scammers Getting Scammed?

bitcoin_doubler_freesite

I also came across a suspicious looking freesite called Bitcoin Doubler Scripts (pictured above), which made this claim:

“Hi all.  he [sic] last year I was trying to find a good bitcoin doubler but it is not easy because most of the available software is not working.

I found several different versions and remade them to operate [sic] , fully functional software that you can use at any time on Your webpages..

I will soon expand this page which forum board [sic] ,will be good to exchange information about the operation of scripts.

On this moment I have ready four versions.”

He (or she?) then features four download links to the scripts, which I won’t include, because I suspect this is either a scam, or something with malware embedded.  Why do I suspect this?

Well, I’ve seen hundreds of these types of sites on Tor, and I don’t have reason to believe this one’s any different.  Hell, it could be one of the same people who’s offering it on Tor, trying to branch out!

I’ll give you a few examples I’ve seen (I DO NOT SUGGEST USING THESE! YOU WILL GET SCAMMED!!):

100x Your Bitcoins in 24 Hours!

100X_bitcoin_scam

Profit with your coins – and get rich!

10%interest ponzi

20% profit, payed from newer transfers

20%profit ponzi

the hottest dark web ponzi

120%_ponzi

get 5% intrest with your money [sic] 5%interest ponzi

Just the fact that each site looks almost identical (as well as the BTC addresses looking similar) makes me think that it’s the same scammer running all of them.  Plus, the fact that they used the word “ponzi” to describe one of them is very telling.  So I repeat: do not give them your money!

As for the Freenet one, I haven’t tried it so I can’t guarantee anything, but it’s likely just as fake.  Interesting what we discover sometimes, huh?  I hope I was able to prevent a few people from losing their hard-earned bitcoins today.

If you did, then don’t say I didn’t warn you.

As Eddard Stark Would Say…

eddard_stark_meme

For those of you who love Game of Thrones but don’t have HBO or HBO GO, there’s a freesite called TV.Game.of.Thrones that features all of the episodes.

game_of_thrones_site

I’m quite certain you can download them from torrent sites as well, but this was so easy to find, that I just had to throw it out there.  I must confess that I’m way behind in watching this show, but it was a cool find on here.

They also have I2P links in case the Freenet site goes down.

Come on, Where’s the Disturbing Stuff?

lolicon_animated

*Sigh* – I figured this question would come up eventually.  Well, trust me – there are plenty of disturbing and creepy things on Freenet as well.

If you browse through Linkageddon, you may see some sites with the text “Contains underage material.”  If you’re into CP or that sort of thing, that’s probably where you should go.

Now, if it’s something like lolicon, where it’s animated, I find that slightly less disturbing, but I still have to question the motives of someone who finds it sexually arousing.

Well, as you probably know if you visited any of the dark web for some time, there’s child pornography if you’re looking for it.  In my earlier post Dark Web: What Are Candydolls?, I described the phenomenon of “candydolls,” which are essentially underage girls dressed up in adult clothing in a sexual manner.

I have, unfortunately, come across a few sites like that on Freenet – but it’s to be expected if you’re using any kind of anonymity software, so I really wasn’t that surprised by it.

So again – if you really want to see the disturbing shit, just take a look through Linkageddon, and I’m sure you’ll come across it.

Is it For Me?

That being said, I really like Freenet overall, disturbing or not, and I think it has great potential to be a network for all kinds of purposes.  As I have the chance to explore it more, I’ll definitely write some more posts about it.

And yes, I still recommend that you go there – there’s no requirement that you visit the disturbing sites if you don’t want to.

If you see that shit…it’s because you were looking for it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hitmen on the Dark Web? Ooh, I Am Scared!!

hitman_network

Some of you may read that headline and think, “Dude, they’re gonna come after you next!”  Well, maybe if one of them is actually real.

Let me preface this by saying – I know that real contract killers exist.  Just look at the Zetas, Gotti family, etc.  These are not those guys.

What sparked my inspiration for this was one of the YouTube videos by Top15s entitled Top 15 TERRIFYING Deep Web Facts.  The first “fact” featured on the video reads (and you have to read this like you have a cold – watch the video and you’ll know what I mean):

Another key component of what makes up the world of deep web shopping is the hitman services that are offered by several different sites. Much like the Silk Road, transactions are made using the bitcoin currency to maintain as much anonymity as possible. One site, offers an assassination in the US or Canada for 10,000 dollars and one in Europe for 12,000 dollars. Although commonly prices range depending on the person you’re looking to kill…

Had I never experienced the dark web at all prior to watching this video, I would have found this idea terrifying as well.  Notwithstanding, I’ve gained a lot more firsthand experience and done quite a bit more research since watching these “scare tactic” videos.

If you look at the actual “hitman” websites and break down their claims, most if not all of them don’t hold up.  One of the most comical sites is the *cough* notorious Besa Mafia, who had been featured in these articles:

Pirate dot london: Assassination scams, the next generation

Besa Mafia murder-for-hire scam exposed following hack

VICE Motherboard: This Fake Hitman Site Is the Most Elaborate, Twisted Dark Web Scam Yet.

Don’t believe me?  Have a look at them in person! Besa Albanian Mafia: Hire a Killer or Hitman

besa_mafia

Even without hacking into their site, I still find it rather obvious that it’s a fake.

Forget the fact that their spelling and grammar is awful; you see that on many sites, legit or not.

As Deku-shrub a.k.a. Chris Monteiro, the author of Pirate dot London, points out:

That said, on closer inspection many details don’t add up. First of all you can apply to be a killer on the site directly. This seems highly unlikely given the close-knit nature of the mafia organization that supposedly runs it. 

I would tend to agree, Mr. Deku!  Of course, it doesn’t stop there. You have to see their site menu…

wat-300x140

 Oh, well in that case, I’m definitely the “beater” type!

91c37e85dec8d198415e477029cbd8c4

Here’s my resume.

And if you think that’s funny, you should read their FAQ.  (Yeah, the assassins have an FAQ!)

13. Why people claim there are no hitmen on deep web or all are fake?

People who claim this are undercover police who want to scare away newbies from using hitmen. On deep web there are fake drug vendors and real drug vendors, fake credit card providers and real credit card providers, fake gun sellers and real gun sellers, it’s only escrow that can protect you

They also offer a hilarious explanation of how Tor works:

1. If you have not done so already, download the Tor Browser . It’s free and protects your privacy by hiding your IP through 3 Proxies and does not leave any traces on your computer about visited sites. You won’t have investigators coming to your door, but if ever that happens they won’t find anything…

Doesn’t leave any traces??  Does it count if I bookmarked your site on the Tor browser?

bitcoin-blockchain-2

Hey, wait a second!  There’s my hitman transaction on the bitcoin blockchain!  Oooops, I left a trace!

And I think the Besa guys need to re-read this and get their facts straight: Tor Project: Overview

Well, if you aren’t convinced yet, Besa Mafia are not the only group on the dark web who claim to be assassins.  There are quite a few others, and just to plead the fifth, I don’t know with absolute certainty that all of them are fake.  They do, however, have several things in common:

cthulhu_Resume

All of these sites claim to offer killings for hefty sums of bitcoin (or other cryptocurrencies), and most have a list of whom they will or will not kill.  Or, at the very least, they have much higher prices for, say, someone like a president, prime minister, or secretary of state.  There’s some risk involved, you know!!

Out of all of these, Besa Mafia has to be the corniest one I’ve ever read (in my humble opinion, of course).

unfriendly_solution_

Oh crap – Unfriendlysolution says, “Do not talk about my service in real life or in the clear web.”  Am I screwed now or what?  Hey, I’m giving you free advertising!

Actually, I’ve heard on the dark web that the one above is real, but we all know everyone tells the truth on there, right?  It’s likely that that information may have come from the site owner(s) themselves.

For those who still aren’t convinced that any of these are scams, I’d like to direct you to this flowchart (also courtesy of Pirate dot London):

model-1

I’m still waiting for them to answer my “questions and clarifications.”

Speaking of which, has anyone seen this blog? Fighting Besa Mafia – yeah, it’s written by someone who claims to be “fighting against the Besa-Mafia and the criminal activities carried out by them.”  Excuse me while I stifle my laughter.

I would be shocked, if the blog weren’t every bit as ridiculous as the original Besa Mafia site.  In fact, it looks as if it were made by the same people who created the Besa Mafia site:

fighting_besa_mafia

So, why would the same people try to “fight” their own site?  Simple.  It’s an attempt to lend legitimacy to the organization, and make it sound more like a genuine hitman network.

Besides, would a real hitman whistleblower use Blogspot?

I rest my case.

378862

 

Meow: of Course Catcoin Exists!

uXBU-yNgpsedSk1a

I was discussing bitcoin with someone the other day, and I mentioned the fact that Dogecoin also exists.  Then, innocuously, I said, “I wonder if there’s a catcoin?”  Silly question, right?

Of course there is!  Apparently, they’ve been around since December 24, 2013, but I only heard about them this year.  They must not be as popular as some of the others, though, because I had checked one of my new favorite sites, alternativeTo.net, and it wasn’t yet listed as an alternative to Bitcoin.  So I did the honors and submitted Catcoin as an alternative, of course!  (Last I checked, it hadn’t been approved yet.  But that may change.)

Catcoin (CAT) is a Scrypt version of Bitcoin, with a limit of 21 million coins to be mined at 50 coins per 10 minute blocks.  I don’t recall if I explained Scrypt in a previous post.  Scrypt and SHA-256 are the two most often used algorithm systems in use by cryptocurrency miners to validate blocks of transaction data, according to  CoinPursuit™.

Naturally, I don’t have a CAT wallet yet, but maybe that would be something worth investing in!  At the time of this writing, I only have bitcoins and Dogecoins, with a total cryptocurrency of $0.01992843.  I feel like a millionaire!

It’s no big deal – I really didn’t get interested in this with the hope of becoming a catcoin quintillionaire.  What would that look like, anyway?

 aristocat-memes

For those who were hoping to strike it rich by investing in catcoin, According to CoinMarketCap, one CAT is currently worth 0.00000234 BTC, or $0.001011. Yeah, that isn’t much, but if it were to gain some popularity, who knows?  I’m sure bitcoin wasn’t worth that much when it first started either.

Nonetheless, if CAT interests you, head over to their homepage at Catcoin, and check out how to get set up.  They feature wallets for both Windows and Mac systems, as well as a Catcoin SubredditCatcoin Facebook Page, and others.

And for the curious, here’s the Catchain: Catcoin Block Explorer, which is the public ledger of all Catcoin transactions (so apparently, you can buy things with it).

I had been wondering the same thing about Dogecoin, since I actually have a few of those (more than any other cryptocurrency at present).  Actually, now that you mention it, here’s a good link for that: Spend Dogecoins – List of Stores Accepting Dogecoins.

You can really tell that CAT hasn’t taken off yet, because when you try to type “catcoin” into Google, autosuggest says: “Did you mean bitcoin?”

So, readers – if this interests you, then spread the word about it!  Who knows?  If the price takes off, you just might be able to say:

“I knew about Catcoin when it wasn’t worth a fraction of a cent!”

 

Dogecoin: wow such crypto much shibe!

dogecoin

A couple of my readers had asked me recently, “Where have you been?”  Off doing research, honestly!

Well, I’m excited to say that I’ve earned my first five Dogecoins through the Eobot app (which I discussed in the previous post).  Initially, I was rather skeptical about it, because anything that promises to give you money for little to no work is probably a scam…right?  (Just ask all of my dark web buddies.)

Granted, a Dogecoin isn’t worth nearly as much as a bitcoin right now:

1 Bitcoin = $430.94 USD

1 Dogecoin = $0.0002951 USD

Still, it’s exciting to be earning some cryptocurrency at all, since I’m somewhat new to the field, and it can be tricky to break into it. In truth, I wasn’t looking to become a bitcoin billionaire or a Dogecoin decillionaire overnight. My first love was, and still is, writing. Of course, if I can earn some money in the process, that ain’t so bad either!

What I would like to do, in addition, is to learn more about some of the other cryptocurrencies (Ethereum in particular) so that I can gain expertise in that area, and perhaps even make a coin or two!

In the meantime, I shall head back out into the field. It looks as though there’s a lot more waiting to be discovered…and don’t tell me otherwise!!

(Have fun, ladies and gentlemen.)