Shining light on the Dark Web

Dark is often associated with bad, ‘Dark Arts,’ ‘The Dark Side,’ ‘Darkest Hour.’ We frequently hear in the media about the ‘Dark Web’ used to exchange malware, trade stolen information and more. But what exactly is it, how does it work and is everything that goes on there bad? You might think, given the amount of press it receives, that the Dark Web is huge but in fact, compared to the wider internet it’s relatively tiny. If the internet as a whole has millions of sites, the Dark Web is measured in just tens of thousands.

Dark Web technology

A Dark website is really not all that different from any other. It’s built using the same type of HTML code. It can be accessed with an everyday browser like Chrome or Firefox too. The difference is that these sites don’t have a catchy .com or .co.uk address that makes them easy to access. Instead, they’ll have a string of letters and numbers that is accessed via a network routing program that ensures anonymity for both the site publisher and the visitor.

Part of the way this works is through peer-to-peer (P2P) technology. If you misspent your youth downloading music from services such as Napster, you’ll already be familiar with this. It allows data to be distributed across a wide network of computers with no need for a central server. This makes P2P networks very hard to close down because there can be thousands of nodes around the world. This anonymising technology has made networks such as Tor gain a following in the everyday web world too with people who don’t want their movement around the web to be tracked.

Dark web morality

Due to its nature, the Dark Web is inevitably home to criminal activity. It hosts things like child abuse images, information stolen in data breaches and more. Most of this is in the form of marketplaces which are also used to sell firearms and drugs. Increasingly, the Dark Web is also host to malware, often available on an as-a-service model so you can, for example, rent a botnet to carry out a DDoS attack. While the spread of terrorist material is often associated with the Dark Web, this also takes place on the normal internet, as does other criminal activity.

Focusing on these things, however, ignores the positive aspects of the Dark Web. It gives a voice to dissidents living under restrictive regimes for example. It allows communication to take place in private and encrypted channels.

As more people become aware of the privacy implications of using the internet and how their data can be used, they become concerned about protecting their privacy. This could lead to some Dark Web technology, including the use of P2P and Tor, becoming more mainstream.

It’s inaccurate to say that the Dark Web is the only place online in which illicit activity occurs. It’s equally inaccurate to say that all activity on the Dark Web is dangerous or criminal. Internet security and privacy increasingly exist in shades of grey rather than black and white. If you need to recruit the best people to ensure your company’s internet activity is properly governed, the team at Clifford Associates can help you find them.

 

  • Tom Salvat, CEO, CONCURED
    "As a fast-growing start up, we need great people with a tough set of skills to find. They need to be hungry, experienced and fit the culture of a business that is always adapting and growing. Finding these people using Linkedin and other job boards is tough, time-consuming and rarely bears fruit. Ross has always been able to uncover gems for us, and we are benefiting greatly from his skills at CONCURED. Ross has a rare ability to really understand the business, the culture and the people that will nail the role. I couldn't recommend him highly enough, and he is the only recruiter we deal with"      
    - Tom Salvat, CEO, CONCURED
    Tom Salvat, CEO, CONCURED
  • Tariq Mahmood, Enterprise Sales, Concured AI Content Marketing
    I am writing to express my gratitude to Ross Clifford & Associates who helped me successfully secure the role of Enterprise Sales Executive at Concured. Ross was extremely professional and understood the specifics of the job I required. I especially appreciated his fast response, transparent communication, and coordination in a timely and efficient manner.
    - Tariq Mahmood, Enterprise Sales, Concured AI Content Marketing
    Tariq Mahmood, Enterprise Sales, Concured AI Content Marketing
  • Jessica Cole, Editor – Redwood London.
    Ross is one of the friendliest recruiters I've dealt with. He was always attentive, quick to respond and ready to help with any questions I had. He's very professional, and not at all superficial like so many other recruiters out there. I would highly recommend him.
    - Jessica Cole, Editor – Redwood London.
    Jessica Cole, Editor – Redwood London.
  • Gareth Lofthouse, Founding Partner, Longitude.
    “We look for commercial people with a rare blend of talents. They need to be able to advise our blue-chip clients on thought leadership strategy. They need to be highly strategic and purposeful in uncovering opportunity. And they need the hunger it takes to thrive in a rapidly evolving business. Ross was quick to understand our need, he only delivered high-quality people for interview, and he succeeded in getting us a winning candidate incredibly fast.”  
    - Gareth Lofthouse, Founding Partner, Longitude.
    Gareth Lofthouse, Founding Partner, Longitude.
  • Johnny Meredith, Senior New Business Manager, The Bio Agency.
    I can't rate or recommend Ross highly enough. He brings a thoughtful, personal approach to the process, carefully matching opportunities with candidates, through a good understanding of their priorities and skills. Throughout, he keeps candidates up to date in an open, honest way. A genuine pleasure to work with.
    - Johnny Meredith, Senior New Business Manager, The Bio Agency.
    Johnny Meredith, Senior New Business Manager, The Bio Agency.
  • Karen Troman, Office Manager & HR Co-ordinator, VoucherCodes.co.uk part of RetailMeNot
    Ross is the best recruitment agent I have worked with, he stayed in contact, kept me informed and was with me every step of the process. He also checked in with me during my first couple of weeks in my new role to make sure I was settling in. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him.
    - Karen Troman, Office Manager & HR Co-ordinator, VoucherCodes.co.uk part of RetailMeNot
    Karen Troman, Office Manager & HR Co-ordinator, VoucherCodes.co.uk part of RetailMeNot
  • Neil Kettleborough, CRO & Co Founder, Chalk Social
    I have worked with Ross over 4 years now and he has always delivered a really high standard of candidate both at senior and junior level. His online knowledge is second to none and all the candidates he has put forward over the years have only good things to say about Ross and his work ethic.
    - Neil Kettleborough, CRO & Co Founder, Chalk Social
    Neil Kettleborough, CRO & Co Founder, Chalk Social
  • Helen Rosemier, Commercial Director, Professional & Financial Services Practice, Longitude
    Ross is a fantastic recruitment consultant -  extremely professional, meticulous, patient and supportive. Throughout the process, I felt he represented me really well and genuinely cared about my career and finding the right role. Thanks to Ross I am now in a role I love, working with a brilliant team. Very highly recommended!
    - Helen Rosemier, Commercial Director, Professional & Financial Services Practice, Longitude
    Helen Rosemier, Commercial Director, Professional & Financial Services Practice, Longitude

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