In the Dark and Sinister Web

by Laura Baker, CyberWyoming

In the dark and sinister web sounds like the beginning to a movie where the heroine runs through a giant spider web in a haunted forest in a panic as branches and bushes snag her clothes and impede her progress. SIGH…Why do we keep using words for technology that already have different meanings? I think that is a topic for a different blog.

I’ve been asked so many times “Can I accidentally stumble into the dark web?” The question is usually asked with a lot of nervousness because you can tell that the person asking the question is worried they may have already got tangled in the dark web. The answer is no. It isn’t visible to typical search engines and requires the use of a specific Tor browser. You aren’t going to find it with Google’s Chrome, for instance.

The next question people usually ask is “What is on the dark web?” The answer is mostly illegal or illicit business. For instance, there are sites that look a lot like e-Bay (but ARE NOT e-Bay) that sell credit card numbers, user ids and passwords, ransomware software so anyone could become a hacker, drugs, guns, and more. If your personal information has been breached, this is probably where it has landed. Then, hackers buy lists of ‘fresh user ids and passwords’ on the dark web that were stolen from LinkedIn, for instance. What do they do with these user ids and passwords? Well the hackers start looking for what bank you may use and try to get in to your online bank accounts using the same user id and password that you used with LinkedIn. (This is why all security experts recommend 2 factor authentication for your online financial accounts.)

Wyoming’s Cybersecurity Conference features a session on the Dark Web with Gene Yoo the CEO of Resecurity Inc, James Drever a Certified Ethical Hacker and SBDC Regional Director, Matthew Smith a Managing Partner of Alliance Communications Tech in Casper, and Marjorie Anderson who wrote the grant for Casper College’s new cyber lab so students can learn about the dark web. It is going to be a great morning!

Registration link for Wyoming’s Cybersecurity Conference at https://cyberwyoming.org/conference/

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