Deep web vs. dark web: What businesses should know about both – 2023-03-16 02:36:18 – Source link

The everyday internet presents a variety of risks for businesses and consumers. Identity theft and unauthorized purchases incite the greatest concern, but they aren’t the only—or even most expensive—types of fraud that impact online commerce. And while the dark web consists of websites that can’t be accessed via normal browsers, it remains a popular source of fraud fears. Getting in requires a direct URL, in addition to an anonymizing web browser (e.g., the Tor Browser) and a virtual private network (VPN). Its potential to cause damage requires its residents to crawl up to the internet’s surface and attack. 

The deep web, on the other hand, is massive. It makes up most of the internet, and refers to any sites that are not indexed by search engines. Anyone with the right links can find them, and quickly commit fraud through the sites that enable them to do so. 

The growing threat to businesses and consumers isn’t limited to how fraudsters attack these two groups together during online transactions and transfers. It’s that dark web operators regularly leverage unprotected deep web pages to advertise their services, test stolen information, prove vulnerabilities, and recruit new fraudsters into the fold.   

The dark web fuels the global Fraud Economy

The dark web is tiny compared to the deep web, and nearly impossible to stumble across by accident. A user ends up there by intentionally bypassing common browser encryption and security measures, and leveraging multiple layers of connections to keep their actions hidden. 

Those actions can include purchasing pre-verified lists of hacked credentials or credit card numbers; syncing up with fellow fraudsters to commit large-scale attacks; or, buying digital tools that can be used to mine servers and user accounts for resellable data. Some dark web merchants even offer malware-infested templates that can be used to create fake online storefronts used for capturing buyer data. 

These activities, and the people participating in them, power the Fraud Economy—the worldwide network of abuse vectors and cybercriminals that brings risk to e-commerce every day through payment fraud, account takeovers, spam, scams, chargeback fraud, first-party fraud, and multiple other types of digital abuse. The combined force of attacks that are increasingly automated, sophisticated, and scalable forced businesses to get smarter, faster, and more agile with trust and safety. 

In response, fraudsters adopted e-commerce best practices and flipped them, turning stolen data and proven attack methods into profitable, marketable fraud inventory that’s promoted, purchased, and deployed on the broader deep web, with costly repercussions for legitimate businesses and consumers. 

The deep web is where fraudsters go phishing 

The deep web includes hidden or de-indexed parts of the internet that aren’t accessible via traditional search engines. Making up over 96% of the internet, the deep web includes email, databases, archives, password-protected sites, and private intranets—and most of them are perfectly safe, operating legally, and hard to find for the sake of security alone.  

Fraud is now more prevalent and accessible thanks to the deep web. As it gets easier for anyone with internet access to buy and sell stolen payment information, we’re seeing fraud become more democratized and rampant. Similar to how software providers work to give more users in a business access to the platform, fraudsters have made their methods easy to find and easy to use for anyone with internet access. Sift data shows just that, with nearly one-fifth of consumers admitting to committing or knowing someone who has committed payment fraud.

Cybercriminals are monetizing this opportunity by turning their fraud skills into commodities for sale, making it easier for amateur fraudsters to cash in. The deep web now features a growing number of tools and services that individuals can purchase in order to steal from businesses and consumers. This trend, known as fraud-as-a-service (FaaS), is a spectrum of how-to fraud tools, technology, and tactics that are packaged up for sale to other fraudsters, positioned to trick consumers, or used to lure in criminal recruits. 

Typically found on easily-accessible deep web forums like Telegram, these schemes operate similarly to online marketplaces. Seasoned fraudsters sell on-demand services to other, sometimes first-time, culprits—a new wave of greedy bad actors determined to siphon funds and data from vulnerable merchants and their customers. 

While most of what’s associated with the deep and dark web has to do with underground marketplaces, forums, and the unsavory exchanges that take place on them, it’s worth noting that the deep web also provides online spaces where internet users can take full advantage of their rights to privacy and data protection.

Watch A Dive into the Dark Web with Sift and The Dark Web, Account Takeovers, and You for more on this topic.

The post Deep web vs. dark web: What businesses should know about both appeared first on Sift Blog.

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Sift Blog authored by Arwen Heredia. Read the original post at:

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