What is the definition of the dark web?
And what is the definition of the deep web?
Is there a difference?
Absolutely there is, and the two terms are often used interchangeably and incorrectly, so let's set the record straight.
Credit for clearing things up goes to former Israeli Intelligence Officer Roy Zur, who is leading an incredible SecureWorld PLUS online training course, "Cyber Crimes, Threat Intelligence, and the Dark Web."
Regular web vs. deep web vs. dark web
Zur shared a single image, created by his company Cybint, to explain and define the world wide web vs. the dark web vs. the deep web.
It may be hard to read the text, so here are the explanations.
World Wide Web explained
This is actually the smallest part of the web, which is shocking considering Google typically finds millions of results with each search. This is the web most of us use and surf every day, where sites and information can be found and often somehow connect to each other. Google and other internet search engines have web crawlers that search, find, and categorize this information so it pops up when you search for it.
Deep web explained
According to Zur, 90% of the web is actually the "deep web," which is just below the surface of the world wide web. Companies, web developers, and websites tell Google not to search or categorize this information, so when you do a web search it does not come up. Much of it, however, can be accessed if you type in a direct web address. This is something you might know, but search engines will not tell anyone about. That is the deep web.
Dark web explained
This is what most people think of when talking about the unknown or hidden web where a lot of illicit activity happens. But as Zur points out, anyone can dive into this dark web with the right tools. "The dark web consists of websites that use the public internet, but require specific software for access, and it is not indexed by search engines to ensure anonymity. The stolen data is traded, sold, and used for financial, political, or personal gain."
The dark web, then, looks something like this:
On the dark web, you can find all kinds of illegal services.
This includes financial fraud sites that are selling stolen account information such as credit card numbers or PayPal account information.
Other sites sell illegal drugs, some sell imitation and stolen pharmaceuticals; you can buy weapons, pornography, and child pornography.
And you can find fake IDs, fake passports, other fake documents of all kinds.
So hopefully these explanations clear things up. And you can still catch "Cyber Crimes, Threat Intelligence, and the Dark Web" on demand.
Beyond an overview of the dark web, Zur used the online threat intelligence course to show how you can search for your information or your company's information on the dark web and then use it to proactively protect what your organization values the most.
And I can tell you this much: The information is not only valuable, it is fascinating.