Accessing the Dark Web on Linux is Easy, Right?

yum-install-polipo

It may seem silly to even write this, as most of the Linux users I know are very familiar with Tor (and other darknets as well).

Still, I thought it would be interesting to write about.

So, how do you install Tor on a Linux system? Well, that largely depends on what kind of Linux distribution you have, but there are similarities across the different ones.

The easiest part, of course, is downloading Tor. Use this link: Tor Browser for Linux (64-bit).

Ah, but wait! This isn’t the best way to download Tor on a Unix-like system; it’s better to use the shell.

linux_shell

 

Well, it just so happens that the Tor Project has specific instructions for Debian/Ubuntu users (of which I happen to be one).

tor_debian_ubuntu

On their main site, they list two options: Tor on Debian Stretch, and Tor on Ubuntu or Debian. If you’re using Debian, just run this command:

apt install tor

as root. They note that this will not always give you the most stable version of Tor, but the upside is that you will receive important security fixes (and that’s essential!). Next, go to this link: Running the Tor client on Linux/BSD/Unix

Alternately, if you’re building from source (the fun way, right?), first install libevent,
and then make sure you have openssl and zlib (including the -devel packages, if possible). After that, run:

tar xzf tor-0.3.1.9.tar.gz; cd tor-0.3.1.9
./configure && make

Once that’s done, you can run Tor as src/or/tor, or you can run make install (as root, if need be), which will install it to /usr/local.

EDIT: As one of my readers pointed out, I forgot to mention that once the daemon is running, you must set the proxy configurations on your browser this way: localhost (127.0.0.1) as host, and the same port number that’s set in your tor config file (/etc/tor/tor.conf).

It could then take several minutes after the daemon execution to connect to Tor. To verify this, check your log file: (/var/log/tor/tor.log). If the daemon did connect properly, it will be recorded as such on the last line of the log file.

Assuming that all these conditions are met, you can then run Tor!

Please note: I’m paraphrasing some of this from the Tor Project’s website, so I want to give them due credit! If you read the documentation, they’ll elaborate further on “Torifying” your applications, as well as configuring a relay or setting up your own Tor hidden service.

Sound like fun? I hope it is! Now enjoy accessing the Shadow Web – on me.

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Tor vs. I2P vs. Freenet: Difference?

GMpeM

When people think of the “dark web,” usually what comes to mind, if anything, is Tor. After all, it’s the one that’s been in the news most often, and the terms are inextricably linked.

If you’re new here, I should mention that in a couple of my previous posts, such as How to Access the Dark Web with I2P! and Exploring the Dark Web on Freenet (Part 3!), I elaborated on I2P and Freenet a little bit. These two are other popular anonymity networks that, like Tor, attempt to preserve users’ privacy. For the curious, I will sum up the three of them.

Tor

tor_linux

Tor, as I’ve mentioned on some earlier posts, is both a network and a browser. The browser is available at Tor Project. (Speaking of which, they just released a new version of the browser, which you should download if you want to use it!)

The network attempts to keep you anonymous while browsing online by directing your web traffic through a worldwide system of relays and nodes (a.k.a. the Tor network).

The browser, on the other hand, is a fork of Firefox, which is optimized for privacy. It includes plugins such as HTTPS Everywhere, which encrypts communications on a number of major sites. It also includes NoScript, which helps prevent exploits via plugins like JavaScript, Java, and Flash, and protects against attacks like cross-site scripting (XSS)and clickjacking.

Here’s one of the confusing parts: the sites that people often refer to as the “deep web” or “dark web” are technically called “Tor hidden services” (.onion sites). One of the other features of Tor is that you can host websites on it anonymously – thus why it’s so popular. I’ve listed quite a few onion sites on previous posts, but if it’s your first time here, these are a few examples:

Fresh Onions

Ahmia Search Engine

Daniel’s Hosting

Contrary to popular belief, not all onion sites have illegal or disturbing material on them. In fact, some are very bare bones and, dare I say, boring. That’s probably because the point wasn’t for them to be scary.  A good majority of onion sites are more technically oriented, although there are a plethora of scams too.

I2P

I2P_router_console_0.7.7

I2P, like Tor, is an anonymous overlay network. However, there are a number of differences between the two:

  • I2P is message-based. Communications are end-to-end encrypted, and each client application is referred to as a “router,” so to speak. The client has their router build several inbound and outbound tunnels, i.e. a pathway to another machine on the network. Each user on the network chooses the “length” of these tunnels, and finds a happy medium between anonymity and speed, depending on what he values. This is referred to as “garlic routing” (as opposed to onion routing).
  • I2P has its own interactive services, like web browsing (using any traditional browser like Firefox or Chrome), plus email, chat, file-sharing, messaging, blogging, and a distributed datastore (like that of Freenet). See more about this at I2P Services.
  • Unlike Tor, I2P can be used for torrenting, using applications like I2P Snark or the Bittorrent network: Bittorrent over I2P. While you technically can torrent over Tor, there’s a great chance that it will break your anonymity.

This is only a very basic summary – if you want to know more, click the links there and you can read some of the technical documentation.

Freenet

freenet_scifi

Freenet is a peer-to-peer (P2P) network which allows you to anonymously share files, send messages, and publish websites that are, in theory, resistant to censorship. It also uses what’s called a “distributed datastore” for the purpose of filesharing. In other words, users “donate” a portion of their hard drive so that other users can share files (the datastore is encrypted, however).

When you first join the network, you are given a cryptographic identifier (key), which, in essence, becomes your “name.” (Think of it like James Bond’s 007 name.) The key looks something like this: http://localhost:8888/freenet:USK@ZVtoHFm~Lm5FctbjloVYwQ0b5KaAae6TeQGk8fswJs4,kRR5rHBQuNpaiFqZE-v3Rtv0e~LWFFbxbh9tAt44UEM,AQACAAE/ffffff/12/  And you thought onion links were hard to remember!

One major difference between Tor and Freenet is that all of the Freenet sites are listed in directories that you can find inside the network (which isn’t always the case with Tor). For example, there is one directory called “Nerdageddon,” which lists many (but not all) of the Freenet sites. However, it excludes pornographic sites and other such material:

freenet_nerdageddon

When you click on a site, your computer “downloads” the page from Freenet, and you must wait for it to load before being able to browse it:

freenet_downloading_censored

Although it’s for different reasons, Freenet, like Tor, tends to be slow. Again, it’s a trade-off between anonymity and speed, so it depends on which you value most. As opposed to Tor, if you want to join social networks or forums on Freenet, you need to download various plugins, such as Sone (a Facebook-like social network) or WebofTrust.

The upside of this is that you aren’t downloading programs from some random onion site  that you happened across, which may or may not have malicious intent. Plus, Freenet has the option of operating in either “opennet” or “darknet” modes. In opennet mode, you connect to anyone on the network, whereas in darknet mode, you connect only to friends.

Summing it Up

In any case, I find all of these networks to be interesting, and if you’re curious, I say explore them. Just know what you’re getting into, and if you don’t understand something, read the documentation or ask.

That’s not a crime, is it?

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Return of the Red Rooms ಠ_ಠ

by Ciphas

redroom2

Ah…I had been itching to return to one of my favorite subjects – red rooms! Let’s face it, most people know that they’re fake, but this doesn’t stop your average scammer. Wait – let me rephrase that – most people who understand how Tor works know that they’re fake.

Anyhow, I’m willing to bet that whoever runs these sites have made quite a bit of money on them. Well, there are several sites that look a lot like this one, and they all seem to have the same purpose. Promise a red room show, ask for bitcoin, and then in all likelihood, you’ll never see a bit of it again.

Red-room-1024x576

If you’re new to this whole “red room” thing, the idea is that you can supposedly watch a live murder take place on video over the Tor network. However, because of the constant packet switching, there’s no way that it would actually work. At best, a live video would be extremely slow. Trust me on this.

I brought this up because on one of my first “red room” posts, someone had left a comment, which you can view here: I paid for a red room…

cybermedios-dark-red-room-ejemplo-3

There’s a lot of rambling in there, but if there’s any truth to it, the guy got scammed, big time, and it sounds like he may have downloaded some ransomware (or something along those lines) as well!

So, for those of you who wondered what happens if you actually pay to “enter” one of these sites:

  1. You lose your bitcoin
  2. You contract malware
  3. Possibly something worse, like identity theft
  4. You get killed and become their next episode

Well, probably all except that last one. Aww, how disappointing!! What did you expect? Still, despite this, the morbid nut in me wants to see what other kinds of crazy things are on the dark web. So, just for you, my curious readers, I am going to explore further in the depths, to see if I can find something really insane.

If you have any suggestions, feel free to point me in the right (or wrong) direction…

38648-Creepy-Skull

 

 

 

 

 

PsychoTube: The YouTube of Tor?

ju_on_face

In keeping with the theme of dark web social networks, one of my readers recommended that I check out a site called PsychoTube, which I believe is associated with Psycho Social Network. The site in question is located at http://txhyaef7idw2ved4.onion/.

My immediate assumption was that whoever made the comment probably worked for the Psycho site – shameless self-promotion, eh? No worries; I always like to check out new sites.

Anyhow, I stopped by there yesterday, and boy, was I in for a surprise! The “featured videos” that appeared on the front page were things like real deaths and mutilations, etc. That was mixed in with a few S&M type videos as well.

Those of you who are accustomed to YouTube (and similar sites) would probably be shocked if you saw the type of content featured on PsychoTube, unless you’re a fan of sites like LiveLeak and BestGore. If the latter is true, this site may seem lacking in content.

I had wanted to include a screenshot of the site, but at the same time, I want to be professional-ish on here. (BOOOOOOOOO!!) Yeah, yeah, boo all you want – go click on the site yourself. Well, like I said, if you’ve seen LiveLeak on NSFW mode, the types of videos are very similar.

Anyhow, this may be the kind of stuff that people are expecting when they say, “Where’s all the sick shit on the dark web?” Try this out – I hope you won’t be disappointed.