A Shadow Web Request?

shadowweb_3

Oh, Shadow Web – it’s been an interesting few years, hasn’t it? When I first started writing this blog, I wrote a post entitled Is the Shadow Web a Reality? (Updated); at present, it’s still one of my most popular posts!

I received a comment from a reader today asking how to “join” the Shadow Web, and she sounded very genuine about it. I’ll repeat what I said earlier – it’s a scam, definitely. I’m sure of it.

Let’s trace the history of this “shadow web” thing. To my knowledge, it all started with this creepypasta on Reddit: A warning to those thinking about accessing the shadow web. That was published three years ago, and it spawned all kinds of rumors and urban legends!

Eventually, people also started narrating the story on YouTube, which probably added to its intrigue. While it was a very creepy story, and well written, it was not true. If you listen to the technical details, there’s no way something like that would work (on Tor, at least).

Afterward, someone else wrote a “sequel” to the original, entitled 1) The shadow web is real. 2) Stay the hell away from it. I think it was supposed to be from the point-of-view of a cop, which lent some “credence” to it.

Somewhere along the line, a person on Tor picked up on the popularity of the stories, and decided to create some scam sites that claimed to offer “access” to the Shadow Web, and this is where I first got the idea that it might be real – but boy, was I wrong. This was what the original site looked like, I believe:

shadowweb_ss

I was a n00b to Tor back then, and couldn’t tell the difference between scams and non-scams. We’ve all been there.

So I contacted the “admin” of the Shadow Web, and we had a back-and-forth conversation about it – at the time, his email address was shadow-web@sigaint.org. (SIGAINT no longer exists, unfortunately.) It later came to my attention that this had all the features of other scams: pay now, watch later; no information; the details are vague.

The person I talked to claimed that you had to download a “special browser” just for “Shadow Web sites.” I don’t think any such browser exists, to be honest. There are numerous forks of Firefox (the Tor Browser being one of them), and all of them can be used with the clearnet – but sometimes with a proxy of sorts (like Freenet’s FProxy), you can connect to other networks. It would be amusing if the Shadow Web used one called “SProxy.” Someone should make that as a joke.

Anyhow, the admin told me that I had to pay an extravagant amount of bitcoin to gain access to the so-called Shadow Web, which I didn’t have. Ironically, I probably have enough now, but I know better than to pay it. Since then, there have been numerous other “shadow web” sites popping up:

shadow_web I think it’s the same guy creating all of them, and if I were you, I wouldn’t pay him a cent; it’s all bullshit.

Nonetheless, if you want to find sick things on the dark web, I don’t think you have to look very far. It’s just a matter of opinion what you consider “sick.”

Well, that’s the last I’d heard about the Shadow Web, but I’m willing to bet that any new sites going by that name are scams too. If you want my advice, don’t pay them any money – you’ll be out several bitcoins, at the very least.

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OpenNIC Project: DNS Neutrality!

Lately, the subject of internet censorship has been on my mind a lot, and that shouldn’t be surprising, given this whole net neutrality debate.

So, I was intrigued when a friend introduced me to OpenNIC, which aims to be an alternative, decentralized DNS root.

openNIC

OpenNIC is a user-owned and controlled top-level network information center (NIC). Its intention is to offer an alternative to established top-level domain (TLD) registries, like ICANN. The list of servers can be found here: OpenNIC Public Servers

The idea behind it, in a nutshell, is like a decentralized internet, somewhat like ZeroNet or Freenet, although OpenNIC hasn’t quite been developed to that point yet. I’m sure if you get into the technical details, they’re quite different – it’s the “decentralized” concept that they have in common.

Actually, this may interest some of you – I know how people like to access unusual TLD names that aren’t part of the usual registry. Well, you can do that with OpenNIC! Among the top-level domains available through OpenNIC are: .bbs, .chan, .cyb, .dyn, .geek, and .pirate. Just those domain names alone make me want to explore this further!

Here’s a list of the current TLDs available on OpenNIC (see OpenNIC – Wikipedia for more info):

Top Level Domain Names on OpenNIC

Name Intended Use
.bbs Bulletin Board System Servers.
.chan Imageboards and related communities (like 4chan).
.cyb Cyberpunk-related content.
.free Organizations that support non-commercial use of free internet.
.geek Geeky and nerdy stuff.
.gopher Content delivery using the gopher protocol.
.indy Indy media and arts-related sites.
.libre Similar to .free.
.neo General purpose (might include Keanu Reeves – whoa).
.pirate Internet freedom and sharing.

…and a few others, which are listed on the Wikipedia article. If you’re interested in discovering some of these sites, check out their search engine grep.geek; at the moment, you could say it’s the “OpenNIC Google.”

grepgeek

Now, like Tor, it may be hard to navigate at first, but that’s part of the fun I’m having with it, personally – just exploring. I have noticed that, as on Tor, a lot of the sites go down frequently, but that doesn’t really bother me anymore. So, let me guess – you’re wondering if there are any “disturbing” links on it?

I’ve come across very few so far, but if I find others, I’ll let you know. There was an interesting site called url.oz, which featured the art of Alex Milea:

urloz.png

Would you consider that disturbing? There was also a site for an organization called Nationalist Front, which is a white supremacy (or is it “alt-right”?) group.

nationalist_front

That didn’t surprise me all that much, because there are similar sites on Tor, Freenet, etc., that I’ve come across. Complain all you want, but I’m not linking to that one – it’s easy to find if you join the network.

One other site that I found interesting was called Anarplex, which is at shadowlife.bit. It’s a site involving “crypto-tribes, phyles, crypto-anarchy, [and] agorism.” I had been on their onion site (y5fmhyqdr6r7ddws.onion) before as well, and it had always intrigued me.

anarplex_edited

Anyway, as I’m fond of saying, disturbing sites aren’t really the point, and they never were. As with Tor and the other networks, the idea behind OpenNIC is to have an independent “internet” that isn’t controlled by ISPs and large corporations.

Oddly, all the people who are obsessed with things like “Marianas Web” might want to check this out – it’s kind of the same idea, being that it’s not part of “the internet” and is run independently.

Questions? Comments? Feel free to ask.

P.S. Here are a few more OpenNIC links for you to explore:

bortzmeyer.bit

shadowlife.bit

weblionx.geek

vedge.bit/hw/marconi

ogness.bit/og/stats/verbraucherpreisindex/

Give Me Links, Man! L-I-N-K-S!

darkdir_links

When I was on IRC (which I haven’t been for awhile), one of the things that would happen constantly is that people would pop in and ask for onion links all the time. I’m sure that got annoying.

So, because this is such a popular request, I’m going to give you some right now. How’s that? Just be careful – I’m serious.

http://sextzym44iqnjt6v.onion/ – WE are Technical Shadow

http://wikilink77h7lrbi.onion/ – Wiki Link Hidden – Tor .onion URL directory

http://wikilink77h7lrbi.onion/ – Bl@CKn3T

http://executrerbwdkddn.onion/ – Executioner

http://mbrsonlymdkaxfmx.onion/ – Members Only Marketplace

http://nfcnsecaoxyvtfae.onion/ – 96CNSEC

http://kp72b24qdzp5yruk.onion/ – The Switch

http://psmz2pmzjjuhmqmh.onion/ – Sh4do3

http://q6mjh37unod6kvaa.onion/network.onion – Gma1 – social network?

http://hackerc6bovxwqmi.onion/ – Hacker for Hire

http://creepymhpgibsewr.onion/ – Creepy

http://eoro24hiqmf6ig5u.onion/ – Secret Society

Alright – is that enough to get you started? Have fun, and perhaps I’ll post more links later on, if I come across them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flare: A Beta Tor Search Engine

flare_search_engine

Those of you who love “links, links, links!” will be happy to know that there’s a very new search engine on Tor called Flare, which is based on the source code of Candle, another search engine. It’s at this URL: http://dlggj2krbqzm5dru.onion. Honestly, this was the first thing I pictured when I heard the name:

flare surf

Anyhow, Candle, as I mentioned on a previous post, is one of several search engines that indexes Tor hidden services. It’s not quite as popular as not Evil or Grams, but it gets the job done.

Candle_Tor

Flare, in turn, is very similar (in fact it may even be a fork), but because it’s in beta form, it still needs help with its algorithms and speed. One interesting (and somewhat disturbing) feature that it has, at present, is that it lists some previous searches done by other users to the right of the search results.

Being aware that a lot of people on the dark web are looking for CP, you can guess what kinds of search terms may show up there. Well, it’s Tor – what did I expect? I just wouldn’t want to meet any of these people in person.

Anyhow, the more that you use a particular search term, the faster it will come up in the future. I tried out the following searches:

“red room”

“hacking”

“dark”

“market”

“carding”

I believe I tried a few others too, but I don’t recall. Compared to a search engine like not Evil, it doesn’t get as many results, but like Candle, Flare seems more focused on getting relevant results, rather than the largest number.

Interestingly, out of the search terms above, “market” returned the most results, by far. Should I really be surprised by that? The first result was a site called “Counterfeit USD,” at this link: http://qkj4drtgvpm7eecl.onion

counterfeit_money

Seems legit.

I haven’t tried out their services, but my first instinct was that it’s a scam, because other sites like it have turned out to be scams. Speaking of which, Flare also has a “Scam: true or false” label beneath the search results. However, simply because a page is labeled “false” does not necessarily mean that it’s the real thing. I’ve been on the dark web long enough that I’ve started assuming that everything is a scam (or almost everything).

That aside, I like the search engine so far, and I recommend trying it out. Perhaps, if more people start using it, it will improve.

Hey, maybe you could even get your site indexed on it! (Hopefully not the scam version.)

 

Red Room Follow Up, Part II

Previously, on Secrets of the Dark…

We examined the claim that there are, in fact, red rooms on the dark web. Several readers had said that they had either witnessed a red room, or knew someone who had been victimized by one. Well, this is the only red room I’ve seen:

giphy (66).gif

Twin Peaks fans, anyone? But I digress. So, in the last post, I suggested that you could create a red room, if you wanted to – but how?

Assuming that Tor is too slow to stream video, you may be able to use something like a private network for this purpose, or a VPN. A private network is defined under RFC 1918: Address Allocation for Private Internets, if you want the technical details. However, even some VPNs have difficulty streaming video. If you’re curious about this, for further reading: 5 Best VPNs for Streaming 4K Video Online. I would think that a commercial VPN wouldn’t be cool with you streaming live murders over their connection either, however.

ಠ_ಠ

Once you had your network complete, you would still have to advertise your site in some way, and also attract victims (this, in my opinion, would be the most difficult part). Maybe some people assume that it’s like the Taken movies? I don’t know.

OK, so you have your VPN, your potential victims, and then you would have to set up your site somewhere, which would result in hosting costs (and thus, a potential paper trail). Plus, on top of that, if customers are paying in bitcoin, that means that the transactions would appear on the blockchain, which is public:

bitcoin-blockchain-2

I suppose that, in theory, like on the darknet markets, you could use a bitcoin mixer, but then the operators of the mixer would have blood on their hands, so to speak. They might not want to get involved with such a thing. So, to add to the complications, you would have to create your own mixer, or find one that didn’t care about what you were using the bitcoin for (including murder).

Ready to run your red room now? Remember, it still has to get attention, but not the wrong kind of attention!

Contrary to popular belief, Tor (and some other darknets) are monitored by law enforcement, as are potential bitcoin transactions tied to illegal activity. Just look at the AlphaBay/Hansa Market shutdown, or any of several other LE operations that target the dark web.

There are some sites that advertise themselves as red rooms, but these look suspicious at best:

http://redrooaujxcjyohj.onion

http://redroofvxabs3a3o.onion

http://redroocid5rlxm43.onion

Do they look real to you? Well, why don’t you pay the cost and let me know what happens? Don’t die, OK?

All in all, that’s my take on it – did I forget anything? Again, I know the dark web has some terrible stuff on it, but taking all these factors into consideration – would it really be worth it to run something like this as a business?

I leave it to you to answer that question.

red-room_behind-the-scenes_image-3

 

Red Room Follow-Up!

Red-Room-Deep-Web-2

by Ciphas

So, continuing on the subject of red rooms, I received a comment recently on my post Red Rooms Finally Debunked Forever? that said this:

“THANK YOU Bob Saget. Just because red rooms don’t fit under your perfect “criteria”, that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I personally know somebody who has been a part of a red room, but he wasn’t the murderer. He was the victim.”

She was replying to an earlier comment by someone who went by the name of Bob Saget (yes, that was his name), who gave me a hard time for trying to disprove the existence of red rooms, and cited Peter Scully’s videos as an example – in other words, this guy:

peter_scully_2

So here are my thoughts: what I’ve said so far about red rooms has been based partially on my personal experience, and also what I’ve researched about them. While I have not seen such a thing (or at least not one that I believe to be genuine), here is how I would define a red room:

A website (presumably on the dark web or a private network) where you can pay to witness torture and murder.

While I realize that some very sick things exist on Tor and other darknets (most notoriously child pornography),  streaming video over Tor would be incredibly difficult, at least the way it works at present. If you don’t understand how onion routing works, this link explains it quite well: What Is Onion Routing, Exactly?

onion-routing-2

It is possible to watch video on Tor (and I have, in fact). As I mentioned on my recent post PsychoTube: The YouTube of Tor?, there are a few sites on which you can watch uploaded videos, but they certainly aren’t live. It’s very similar to LiveLeak, in that it features videos of murders, executions, and war. By the way, another dark web blog that I like, All Things Vice, has addressed this subject as well: You wanted darker web?

allthingsvice_darkerweb

That being said, how does this square with the above comment? Well, my heart goes out to anyone who’s a victim of torture or murder; nonetheless, as far as that having something to do with red rooms, the burden of proof is on the claimant. One site on the clearnet, Red Room Deep Web Complete Guide, goes into detail about what allegedly happens in a red room, and how to see one (in theory).

redroom_allabout

Without reviewing all the things this site says about it, I think a number of them are wrong – and it looks like they’re using a scam site as their example. But you could, of course, create your own red room.

Ψ(`◇´)Ψ

How would you create a red room, then? Stay tuned for Part 2.

Is Your Revenge Porn Pic on the Dark Web?

 

pinkmeth

Alright, before you say anything – I know this was in the news awhile back, but it appears that there is another mirror of the infamous Pink Meth revenge porn site on Tor again. And I’m not talking about the one that appeared in 2014. I found it on an onion crawler that’s updated frequently, so it appeared to be new.

Mind you, this is not a CP site – it’s a site with suggestive and/or nude pictures of women posted (presumably) by their ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends, in order to get back at them. If you aren’t familiar with it, Wikipedia has links to a few news articles about it: List of Tor hidden services: Pink Meth

However, I don’t know if the site I found is “genuine,” or just a clone site. Likely what happened was that the first site was taken down, and then someone tried to “revive” it. Either way, I thought it may be something of a concern. Even if it is just a clone site, there is still the possibility that your photo (or one of someone you know) could be on there.

There were several domains I came across that used the Pink Meth name, and I hesitate to share them here, because wouldn’t that be promoting them in some way?

Lest you think that this is something I’m in favor of, I’m not. I just wanted to make people aware of it. I know that my “favorite” YouTuber, Takedownman (*cough cough*), did an episode about this, but it bears repeating.

There is another similar site called SlutRadar, which is on the clearnet, but also has a Tor hidden service. I assume that, like Pink Meth, they hosted it on Tor in case the clearnet site was taken down.

It basically has the same purpose – “expose” girls who post nudes or suggestive pictures of themselves. And there are probably others as well. Wikipedia’s article on revenge porn likens it to sexual abuse, and I’m inclined to agree, though I’m sure at least some men would take issue with this – obviously, the ones who posted the pictures would be among them.

Interestingly, there was also a site I came across that was not active yet, but was asking people to send their RP pictures. Presumably, this was in preparation for starting their own site of that nature – so, we may see another one in the near future.

This is a difficult thing to stop, obviously – one site could be taken down, and then another will start right up again in its place. What are your opinions on it, readers? Is this something that should be investigated more?

Or is it impossible to stop?