The dark web is a network of hidden websites that run on the internet in an anonymous fashion. In this video, Mike Chapple explains how the dark web functions.
- [Instructor] The dark web is a collection of websites that operate in a shadowy corner of the Internet, where they can be accessed using secure, anonymized connections. This network of connections is called the Tor network. There are two major benefits to using Tor. First, users can access normal websites in a completely anonymous fashion, and second, website owners can build hidden sites that they can host anonymously. At a basic level, dark websites run just like any other website on the Internet. The creator of the site builds a web server, either using physical hardware or a cloud hosting service. This server runs a normal operating system, such as Windows or Linux, and also has web server software running on it that allows it to answer user requests for webpages. This is the same thing you do build a website for your business or organization on the normal Internet. When the user wants to access a normal website, they simply connect to that website over the Internet. Their computer looks up the IP address of the website they'd like to access, and then opens a connection to the site's server. The site then sends back webpages at the user's request. The user knows where the website is located from that IP address information, and the website also knows the IP address of the user and can store that IP address information in a log file for later analysis. When you use the dark web, you replace the Internet in this diagram with the Tor network. The Tor network actually runs over the regular Internet, but it replaces the direct connection between a user and a web server with a maze of encrypted connections between the two that provides anonymity. A Tor user can access any website on the regular Internet using the Tor Browser. For example, let's say that the user wants to access LinkedIn. Here she can simply type LinkedIn.com into the Tor Browser's address bar. This request is then routed through the Tor network to LinkedIn servers. When LinkedIn receives it, LinkedIn doesn't know the real IP address of the end-user. Instead, LinkedIn simply knows the return address on the Tor network. The LinkedIn server can then respond to the user with that Tor address and the traffic is then routed back through the Tor network. LinkedIn never learns the identity of the Tor user. In addition to accessing normal Internet sites anonymously, Tor users can also access secret websites that exist only on the dark web. These sites, known as hidden sites, use the Tor network's anonymity in two directions. The website doesn't know the true identity of the user, and at the same time, the user doesn't know the identity of the website. We'll talk more about hidden sites later in this course.
- What is the dark web and who uses it?
- The purpose of the Tor Browser
- Cryptography and perfect forward secrecy
- Installing the Tor Browser
- Accessing the standard internet with the Tor Browser
- Safeguarding privacy on Tor
- The role of hidden servers on the dark web
- Locating and accessing hidden websites
- Vulnerabilities in Tor