A Geekster Guide to The Deep Web

Have you ever dreamed that your 90’s cyberpunk movies goes real? Well, we almost there, meet the Deep Web. The Deep Web (also called Deepnet, the invisible Web, DarkNet, Undernet, or the hidden Web) refers to World Wide Web content that is not part of the Surface Web, which is indexed by standard search engines. The term itself has coined many years ago, about late 90’s and 2000 when internet boom takes place, I just lately found this when searching about #OpDarknet.

The Deep Web could refer to any resource on the internet that unlisted by search engine. Any, as in dynamic content, contextual content that could only accessed trough certain conditions, content/file types that couldn’t handled by search engines, or its not on http protocol. It is hidden, because the owner intend to hid it or its the search engine policy to protect their privacy. For the sites owner on the deep web, they need full encrypted network so their personal information could not easily discovered, and that’s where Tor came in. Tor lets anyone who connected to it remain anonymous and encrypted, both end-user and service provider. Tor use pseudo top level domain .onion to hide service provider location. Though I must warn you, deep web is a very dangerous place to browse to. You cannot trust all the sites inside deep web. Some might have virus or trojan or malicious javascript code to steal your private information or hijack your webcam.

So what kind of website that deep web (or in this context, Tor hidden services) has? From usual content like blogs and forums (from normal to revolutionary to blatantly illegal), Tor-enabled instant messaging and chat, anonymous file and image hosting, anonymous financing, anonymous tipping and information exchanges, information on computer security/anonymity, info on warez/cracks/hacking, pdf, music or movies sharing, to illegal things like sports betting and trade information, links to international drug markets, prostitution rings, assassin markets, black market products, and child pornography. Possession of deep web contents could throw you into prison.

The Hidden Wiki, click to view full image

Exactly how big the deep web is? A study in 2000 speculate that the deep web is consist about 91000 terabytes, by comparison to the surface web sizes only about 167 terabytes. Many sites are listed on Tor site listing such as TorDir or The Hidden Wiki, so they would be discoverable. And its just the surface of deep web, to get more you must lurk deeper. Many sites on deep web looks like 90’s geocities site, some site display fake error to make you stay away from them, some even made you wait for minutes to load it. The only accepted currency of the deep web is BTC or bitcoins. Sites on deep web are slow to load, because its the downside of the Tor network and on the other hand, I think some of site admins are self-hosting their web.

An example of a deep web’s website

While many of deep web content is illegal, there’s also good guys that trying to spread information quickly and anonymously to avoid legal or ethical ramification, such things like WikiLeaks has circulated around deep web even before WikiLeaks exist. Because of it, I found this whole anonymity concept is interesting and should be studied further.

Now you think you’re ready to dive in the deep web? Before that there are tips and some preparations you must do first:

  • First, I recommend to turn of javascript and cookies on your browser, enabling this would be very dangerous. Also, you might want to disconnect your webcam, just to make sure its not gonna be hijacked.
  • Don’t go around clicking every links you could see, always proceed carefully.
  • Some understandings of HTML/Javascript/PHP or any knowledge about internet and how it works somehow needed to ensure you are accessing a safe website.
  • If anything happens, DON’T PANIC. Disconnect your internet, clear your session and history, pretend nothing happened :D

And here’s how to connect to deep web. First get Tor bundle on http://torproject.org, you could choose to download the whole browser and Tor bundle, or you could download Tor and Vidalia bundle. Unzip the bundle, start it, and if you download the Vidalia bundle you have to configure your browser’s proxy to localhost port 8118. And that’s it! You are connected to Tor network, to start exploring deep web, start with going to .onion entry point (eqt5g4fuenphqinx.onion), the TorDir (dppmfxaacucguzpc.onion) or The Hidden Wiki (kpvz7ki2v5agwt35.onion). And that’s it, have fun and stay safe.

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7 thoughts on “A Geekster Guide to The Deep Web

  1. The Deep Web is largely boring for most people because it’s a vast database store but if you know where to look and what to look for it is truly amazing. More amazing still are the hidden networks. I knew diddly-squat until someone posted a link to the ebook Deep Web Secrecy and Security which shows you in very simple terms how to use these hidden networks to fend off corporate intrusion and unwanted attention, not to mention how to see banned website and communicate securely.

  2. The Deep Web is a part of the internet that isn’t readily available to you or me in a normal means. You need to go searching to find it and when you do there might be things and places that you wish you didn’t see. The Deep Web is filled with terrible content but there is also some gems if you know where to look. Here you can find what you need: http://deepweb.to

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