The Dark Web is a network that uses the Internet but is hidden from public internet. It can only be accessed with special software, configuration, or authorization. The Dark Web is anonymous and that makes it attractive to criminals to buy and sell stolen identities, compromised credentials, illegal drugs, and more.
The Internet consists of three different layers: the Surface Web, Deep Web, and Dark Web.
Surface Web: The portion of the Internet with which we are familiar. It represents 4% the Internet and has search engines to organize its content. The public has complete access to the Surface Web.
Deep Web: Part of the Internet that is not indexed by traditional search engines and represents the other 96% of the web. Access to the content is controlled and requires authorization. Examples include private company networks in “the cloud”, web mail, online banking, corporate information, and restricted content sites like video streaming, news, and entertainment.
Dark Web: Part of the Deep Web and represents the bottom 6% of the Internet. It is where criminals go to work in the shadows.