Hey there, I hope you all are well. You guys might have always wondered if some places on the internet existed where we could find something other than usual, like dodgy, spooky, abnormal, haunting, abusive, and so on. Yes, there is one that goes by the name Dark Web. Errr..., but what is Dark Web?
Firstly, let's break down how many types of internet are there:
Surface Web: The Surface Web is the tip of the iceberg. It is only (or less than) 5% of the entire web (WWW or World Wide Web) content. The Surface Web is also known as the Visible Web, where the portion of the web is generally accessible by people.
Deep Web: Then comes the web, which constitutes around 95% of the web, called the Deep Web. This section of the web is not indexed by Web Crawlers because it is either protected with passwords, newspapers, or cloud storage. It is used in OSINT investigations and is often used to get high-quality information about the target.
Dark Web: It is also known as Dark Net. It officially belongs to Deep Web. But there's a catch. Unlike the Surface and Deep Web, which can be accessed with browsers, Dark Net requires dedicated browsers like TOR (The Onion Router). The Dark Net is amazingly anonymous and contains websites created intentionally to remain hidden. Take a look at this TOR URL: juhanurmihxlp77nkq76byazcldy2hlmovfu2epvl5ankdibsot4csyd[.]onion. This onion URL corresponds to the domain name of the Ahmia search engine that searches hidden services on the Tor network. We cannot remember the .onion link of this search engine, but we can remember its domain name, hxxps[://]ahmia[.]fi because it is impossible to guess, pretty hard to remember, and has less chance of identifying the purpose of the website.
Dark Net has some bright sides as there is a considerable number of websites hosted on the darknet that belong to human rights activists, journalists, and political protests that want to conceal their identity. Dark Net has some of the shadiest, spookiest, and spine-shivering things that one can find. Illegal things like hiring hitmen, hiring hackers, black markets, selling drugs & weapons, child pornography, human trafficking, and many more can be found here.
Enough of the intro, let's go practical!
Spreading Tails on USB like a Butter
Okay, so let's start downloading Tails Linux. Well, Tails...
1. is a portable operating system that protects against surveillance and censorship.
2. avoids surveillance, censorship, advertising, and viruses.
3. makes your secure computer anywhere.
You should take some time to read how it works before thinking to start downloading the Tails. Here is the link to How Tails works.
I hope you all have read how Tails works. Although it is secure, provides anonymity, runs independently & never touches the disk (if you get it on USB!), always starts from clean state (everything disappears after reboot), but, it cannot protect us from everything. It cannot protect us if we foolishly download the free software that does all the job for us, or a cracked game that we were looking since a year, that contains a keylogger which gets installed on the computer's hardware. Read about Tails Warnings.
With that being said, let's get to the download page. Right now, we are interested to download an image file so that we can get it on our USB!
Now, we have the option to download the Tails for USB. Go ahead, and I will wait for you guys once you have finished downloading Tails,
Now, we have to download the Rufus, a utility to make USB sticks bootable!. Then, we will run it, select the device we want to put our Tails on it, provide the .img file, and rename as you wish. Finally, click on START button,
A moment after, it will finish making the USB bootable, and now our Tails is ready to be booted up.
Note: Take backup of your process/data because now we'll shut down the computer/laptop, and boot the Tails separately.
Now, let's do a quick restart by clicking on Win key → Power→ Shift + Restart. Our system will restart with providing us some options to boot. We need to select the booting option. We will be interested in USB booting option, then selecting the desired disk.
After we have booted-up the tails, we will see the window exactly like this. Go ahead, select your desired language, and click on Start Tails,
Connecting to Tor will be successfully completed, and now we can finally click on Start Tor Browser button to launch our THE BROWSER!
To quickly start, click on Hamburger icon on top-left corner, to go to settings, make Tor Browser as a default one,
Now that we're done with the final touches, let's actually start with some real stuffs. Let's start by searching for best darkweb search engines. DuckDuckGo is the default search engines in Firefox for the Tails Linux. The search will bring back some results corresponding to our query,
It is just the matter of fact that we need to research on our own. I don't even know how many of these links will be absolutely working or will they return some error code. Although I will drop some articles that list working TOR URLs, but I can't vouch for 100% availability of these TOR URLs mentioned in the below links.
The below is one of the best search engine to dive into darkweb. It is called Ahmia. It can be found on hxxps[://]ahmia[.]fi, and it's .onion domain is also available. Just like I said before, the .onion link is really random, and have fewer chances to get indexed,
From here, you should learn how to surf darkweb wisely. I personally saw some of the shadiest, sp00kiest things that one shouldn't be seeing, but it is what it is. And, lemme give you my word – please, whatever instance you are in, whatever the condition is, just don't on playing with some downloaded software or tinkering with the websites.
I hope you learned something from this article. Stay safe. Until next time. Bye!