Given that there are some disturbing things on the dark web, I could see how it would be easy to believe in the mythological stuff as well – and I know I’ll never convince everyone otherwise.
Still, I thought I’d take another trek onto Tor and see if I could find a few of these sites, in order to analyze their claims. Hopefully, no one else comes after me! (wink)
The Red Rooms of Pain
So, there are a plethora of sites on Tor that claim to be red rooms, as I’ve said on other posts. I’ve received a lot of comments saying that I’m incorrect about this, but if that’s the case, I want you to prove it to me!
The first few of these that I clicked on resulted in the ubiquitous “…connection has timed out” message. You know, like this one:
Well, that’s Tor for you! I have heard the conjecture before that red rooms will stick around briefly, and then the operators will just “close up shop” and move to a different link, but that seems only partially true.
Finally, after exploring a little while, I did find one red room site that “worked,” so to speak:
Of course, I didn’t join, nor did I contact them. All the other ones I’ve come across recently look the same, or similar, which is one of the reasons I believe that these are all fake. They look as though they could’ve been made very quickly and easily, and setting up a Tor hidden service, in the grand scheme of things, is not that difficult. Anyway, if you click “join,” the second page looks like this:
One of the things that makes me curious is that on the second page, it reads:
If you click that, it takes you to a “payment” page where, supposedly, if you pay 0.005 BTC, you can download a video of the previous show. (I’m highly dubious about this.)
If one of you feels comfortable paying this and downloading the video, go ahead – but as I’ve said before, you’re taking a chance of downloading malware or simply losing your bitcoin. I’m not willing to do either, to be honest.
Oh, But Wait a Moment…
On the other hand, someone I talked to recently questioned my belief about the non-existence of red rooms. He also seemed to be someone who was knowledgeable about these sorts of things (e.g. darknets and online crime). The person in question worked for a private security firm doing internet surveillance.
I don’t know this person well, but he asked if I had come across any sites on Tor that looked vague and mysterious, and required a username and password to enter. In fact, I have, many times.
A few of these sites did not even say what they were about; they simply had a login page. Most of these I found by hunting around – they weren’t catalogued in the popular link lists (such as The Hidden Wiki, for instance).
When I visited the sites, they looked somewhat like this:
There were no other details or descriptions, simply a login form like that. Of course, I was very curious as to what these sites could be. The person I was talking to suggested that these sites could be red rooms. He also suggested that streaming video over Tor isn’t as difficult as people make it out to be. (Hmm…)
As I mentioned on PsychoTube: The YouTube of Tor?, it is possible to watch videos over the network, but I haven’t tried streaming anything live. Maybe it would be a good experiment for someone to try (albeit without the murder part). Granted, I don’t have proof that the above sites were red rooms, but I do have to wonder why they were so secretive.
They may also have been similar to Dark0de, which was a former cybercrime forum. I encountered its Tor hidden service early on in my dark web “travels.” Their login page, likewise, looked very vague and nondescript:
So…what’s your take on this, readers? Are some of these “mysterious” sites actually red rooms? Or are they just boring forums and chat rooms?