It would be shame if I didn’t celebrate today’s theme with my latest blog on the Dark or Deep Web. Here at Trend Micro we like to emphasize a “Deep” naming convention on many of our industry leading products so for our purposes, I will brand it the “Deep Web” going forward. There are several correlations on the day that we can make between St. Patty’s Day and the Deep Web.
First, St. Patty’s Day produces a lot of green in the form of apparel and great Irish sentiment. It also is a cash cow for many drinking establishments across the world allowing them to “Get Lucky” and line their pockets with green cash from all of the good cheer. The Deep Web has a massive underground economy producing a lot of “green” for individuals and organizations that are perfecting their craft and business models. As we mentioned in our blog last week and through detailed analysis via our Deep Web white paper from our Forward-Looking Threat Research group (FTR), this is often a playground for many nefarious activities. Much of this underground and stealth activity is in the form of currency exchange for goods or services. Ultimately, facilitating an underground shadow economy. Several variants of Bitcoin exchanges are coexisting in the Deep Web and are leveraged for anonymous transactions for commodity goods as well as specialized services i.e. murder for hire, etc. These exchanges have taken some massive hits lately and soon the inmates may very well run the asylum. Talk about volatility in currency markets. Shares of the virtual currently have plummeted since their highs in November of 2013. Bitcoin and its brethren are both exciting and potentially atomic in nature all in one virtual bundle.
The curiosity of the Deep Web widens on many fronts even for casual observers looking to learn more about what it is and how to navigate its dangerous caverns. Ultimately, we will continue to see massive violations of privacy, criminal activity and overall abuse of this ecosystem. However, I personally feel like chinks in its armor are starting to show and exploits have and will continue be taken advantage of. Did the massive shake down of Silk Road leverage breadcrumbs and exposure tactics from a recent major child pornography bust? Law enforcement continues to battle relentlessly in this realm and it is a massive problem. Some solid wins are occurring but certainly not at the rate in which the criminals and threat actors are winning. The real question is, has law enforcement realized the secret sauce of the Deep Web and networks like (TOR) The Onion Router? Hence my Green.onion reference. Some significant shakedowns have happened in the past year (via good and bad guys) that might lead us to believe that somebody knows something about how to circumvent the rules of engagement in the Deep Web. The Deep Web is a shape-shifter. It will ultimately evolve without question. The next generation of Keyser Söze inhabits the Deep Web. Let’s be careful out there. “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist…”
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