The dark web is a cornucopia of all things banned, illegal or prohibited: if you know how to access its innermost layers, you might get plenty of confidential information at really cheap prices.
Like bank details of people. Credit and debit card numbers, CVV, phone numbers, email IDs and all details you need to make an online transaction are available.
At just Rs. 500.
Indians' data on the dark web
A beginner's guide to understanding the dark web
The dark web is a collection of websites which can't be indexed by traditional search engines and browsers like Google or Chrome.
This is because most are hidden using the Tor encryption tool, and can only be accessed using the free-to-use Tor browser.
Tor directs internet traffic through a free, worldwide overlay network through thousands of relays to conceal users' location and internet activity.
How is the dark web used?
Since goods can be transacted anonymously through the dark web's unregulated markets, lots of illegal transactions are carried on through the dark web. It can also be used by people living in closed-off, totalitarian societies to communicate with the outside world.
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How much is data on the dark web worth?
In 2015, Business Insider published a list of items for sale on the dark web in the US: bank credentials were going for $1,000 plus; other people's social media accounts at $50; and counterfeit social security cards and drivers' licenses at $250-400 and $100-150 respectively.
The same year, UK found credit card details of its citizens selling for as little as £1 (Rs. 85).
In India, the prices for confidential information are shockingly low
Such crimes are also being unearthed in India. MP Police has busted a Lahore-based ring that sells bank information of Indians at Rs. 500.
It came to light after a customer reported an unauthorized transaction through his card.
The probe led police to Rajkumar Pillai of Mumbai and Ramprasad Nadar.
Cops discovered they used stolen data on international transactions only, where OTP isn't required.
Not the first time in India though
In July'16, ET published a piece detailing how guns, drugs, personal data and even bomb-making guides are being sold on the dark web!
Offline networks take care of the delivery. Drugs, sourced and sold in India, are somewhat easier than guns which have to be brought from abroad. They are disassembled and shipped separately.
Vendors insist on bitcoin payments to beat KYC .
So why isn't the dark web being taken down?
The 'dark web' is misleading: many positive developments take place on it. WikiLeaks started out by using Tor.
Journalists, particularly in the Middle East, often turn to the dark web to connect with whistleblowers.
Even Facebook has its Tor version in countries where it is censored.
There's illegal trade on Facebook and Twitter as well, technology enthusiast Kiran Jonnalagadda explains, but they aren't questioned.