In terms of cybersecurity threats, when most people think about the Dark Web, there are a few things that come to mind.
You may already know it is the segment of the internet where one goes to find guns, illegal drugs and pornography (okay, so that last one can be found on most search engines in the slightly lighter web) on a Dark Web site. You may have heard about alternate currencies being used, such as Bitcoin online currency, to pay for items without being tracked.
For the most part, for those reasons above, you have probably avoided it. You may have been curious but were mostly (and rightly) a bit afraid of what you might find on such a site. However, if you have spent any time looking at Dark Web Sites, there’s a whole other illicit economy going on that is, for businesses, even scarier: the illegal trade of confidential data.
You may have already been (again, rightly) concerned about the integrity of your company’s data. You hear about Dark Web hacks occurring all the time. Billions of records are being breached on an almost daily basis. This can include all manner of sensitive information, from your social security number and credit card numbers through to medical records.
If online criminals get hold of your personal or company data, where does it go? You’ve guessed it: The Dark Web. Cyber criminals who steal your passwords and data are selling these very openly; it’s how they make a profit, and there are many open and collaborative communities of bad actors.
Dark Web intelligence is needed because your data has a value; people are willing to pay money to gain access to it. With online anonymity and special encryptions, Dark Web addresses serve as a platform for marketplaces of stolen or leaked employee or customer credentials. Hacked data available for sale over the Dark Web can also include account login and payment information. By using these credentials, bad actors are able to swerve your security settings and enter your company networks through the front door without being detected.
Cyber criminals and hackers behind the criminal activity share more than passwords and credit information. They also share reconnaissance scripts and the results of penetration tests, which while a normal procedure used by white hat hackers to test the vulnerability of systems, are also used by bad actors.
With this information, cyber criminals share vulnerabilities within a Dark Web system, including IP addresses, open ports, and outdated software with well-known vulnerabilities.
Dark Web Marketplaces mimic legitimate ones
Along with the standard counterfeit goods and services available, cyber criminals also sell voucher codes, loyalty points, discount offers, stolen software license keys, and more. These in themselves become a new market, as these also traded, creating yet another layer of access to your company’s sensitive data.
The uses of this information can be very scary to a user, making it possible for bad actors to share personal information on employees, corporate VIP’s or other public figures for the purpose of doxing, or sharing supposedly secret physical addresses and contact information, social profiles and more for the purpose of harassment, physical attacks, identity theft and more.
The uncomfortable and scary truth is that even if you never visit a hidden Dark Web website yourself, it could be that you are already there in the form of data stolen from your company. If your information has ever been part of a data breach, either at your company or from others you may have done business with who have suffered a breach, there’s a high likelihood that your company’s information is sitting out on a Dark Web forum waiting to be sold to the highest bidder. Regardless of the discomfort this may cause, this is information you need to know as part of security awareness. You also need to take certain precautions, by using security software to counter it.
However, lest you lose sleep over these Dark Web cybersecurity threats - there are security software solutions. By working with Skurio and our powerful Dark Web monitoring software and intelligence solution, you can be assured that any appearance of your data can be discovered and caught so that safety measures can be applied. Get in touch with Skurio to access our Dark Web intelligence and website monitoring, and sleep soundly at night!