Deep Web Investigation

The Dark Web is a part of the Internet that cannot be searched by traditional search engines. It is accessed through the Tor network, which was originally designed to hide spy communications.


Cybercriminals use the darknet to sell stolen information, hacking tools and counterfeit goods. Investigators need to be aware of these illegal marketplaces when performing deep web investigation.

What is the Deep Web?

The Deep Web is all of the internet content that is not indexed by search engine bots. This includes everything from password-protected pages like webmail inboxes and private account pages on social media sites to fee-for-service websites such as Netflix, as well as confidential company data. In total, it is estimated to make up 99% of the internet.

The deep web also contains a range of illegal activity, from black market sales of stolen credit card and personal information to firearms, drugs and malware. Websites that facilitate these activities, such as the now-infamous Silk Road, operate within the deep web and require a specialized browser to access.

These sites are difficult to locate, even for IT professionals who rely on the web to conduct their day-to-day business. This is because the deep web sites use obscuring technologies to keep their identity and location hidden, which makes it impossible for big-name search engines to find them.

IT admins should have a good understanding of the deep web to help protect their organization. While it is used for a wide range of reasons, the deep web can also be used to evade government censorship and promote cybercrime. For example, dark web marketplaces such as Empire Market and Dream Market allow criminals to sell stolen credit card information, drugs and firearms.

What is the Dark Web?

The dark web is a part of the internet that contains password-protected sites, private intranets and academic content. It’s accessed through special networks like Tor that hide users’ identities and locations from third parties, as well as the cookies and data collection used by websites on the’surface web’ (mainstream public internet).

The most common reason to use the dark web is criminal activity, such as buying and selling stolen personal information or hacking tools. Cyberattackers can exploit victims by stealing sensitive data and using it to gain a competitive advantage, damaging a company’s reputation or making them pay hefty ransoms. Criminals can also disrupt an organization by targeting key employees, compromising infrastructure or infecting devices with malware.

Dark marketplaces offer everything from stolen credit card numbers and prepaid debit cards to drugs, weapons, counterfeit money and even software that allows you to break into other people’s computers. One of the most notorious dark web marketplaces was Silk Road, which at its peak sold cocaine and a variety of other illegal substances, as well as hacking tools, computer viruses and explicit child exploitation materials.

To access the dark web, you must use a browser that supports Tor (The Onion Routing Project) or I2P. These networks encrypt your traffic and route it through a series of servers around the world to prevent law enforcement agencies from detecting your online activities. However, neither of these networks can guarantee complete anonymity. Your browsing can still leave breadcrumbs behind if you’re not careful, so it’s important to use a VPN and secure browser and to ensure your antimalware and antivirus programs are up-to-date.

How Can I Conduct a Deep Web Search?

To conduct a deep web search, you will need to use specialized software and tools designed for this type of research. The most commonly used tool is Tor, which provides users with a cloak of anonymity as they browse through the deep internet. This makes it much easier to access sites that would otherwise be blocked or inaccessible to the average Internet user. The deep web is home to academic resources behind paywalls, specialized databases that contain guarded data and private discussion forums. It also contains government portals and elements of our personal email inboxes that can be accessed with the right tools.

Using a regular search engine to navigate the deep web can be challenging, and many search engines do not have an extensive index of this information. Instead, a deep web search can be done by using a special software or tools such as Tor, Ahmia, Haystack and DuckDuckGo, which are all designed to access this hidden information.

The deep web is often a place where sensitive information that could be harmful to an individual is inadvertently posted. Whether it is a lawsuit, divorce or criminal record, personal information can resurface in public searches and cause damage to a person’s reputation, both professionally and personally. The deep web is also where whistleblowing, bitcoin exchanges and political discussions take place away from the public eye.

What Are the Benefits of a Deep Web Search?

A deep web search offers a powerful look into a realm that is often out of reach for the average internet user. Using this tool can help you identify and rectify inaccurate information about your digital footprint, as well as protect yourself from cybercriminals who are looking to profit from stolen data.

The deep web includes sites that require a login, subscription content (like Netflix), online banking, specialized databases with guarded information and private discussion forums. It can also include internal company networks, and other websites that require a custom tool to access.

While browsing the deep web is not for the faint of heart, it does provide a wealth of information for anyone with the skills to navigate it. Specialized browsers, like TOR, offer anonymity and security measures to explore this hidden layer of the internet without risking privacy.

Aside from a specialized browser, some other tools you can use when conducting a deep web search include filters, such as file type or domain, and advanced search techniques. For example, combining keywords with boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) and other parameters will help narrow your results and eliminate irrelevant information. Additionally, you can also take advantage of directories and databases that are organized collections of deep web content. Just make sure to cross-reference the information you find and verify it with multiple sources.