We reveal the scary dark web stats that we all need to know. The dark web is the part of the internet that is not indexed by search engines and is accessible only through special browsers like Tor.
The anonymity it provides acts as a magnet for criminals looking to carry out their activities away from the prying eyes of law enforcement
While it has always been associated with illegal activities – it has growing usage amongst journalists, whistleblowers and libertarians.
In recent years, dark web usage has increased exponentially, and this trend has been accompanied by some chilling statistics that show just how dangerous and frightening the dark web can be.
1. Dark Web Usage Has Increased 300% in the Last 3 Years
According to a recent report, dark web activity has spiked over 300% since 2017.
While the report does not specify the exact reasons for the increase, it is believed that the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns have played a significant role in driving people to the dark web.
With people confined to their homes, there has been a surge in online activity, and criminals have taken advantage of this to expand their operations.
2. 25,927,476 Passwords of Fortune 1000 Employees and 24 billion Username/Password Combos Are Available on the Dark Web
In one of the most shocking revelations about the dark web, it was found that over 25 million passwords belonging to employees of Fortune 1000 companies were readily available in dark web markets and data dumps.
This is a significant threat to the security of these companies and their customers, as it puts them at risk of data breaches and cyber-attacks.
Other data shows that 24 billion username and password combinations are available for sale on dark web sites, according to research by Digital Shadows.
3. 90% of Posts on Dark Web Forums are from Buyers Looking to Contract Cybercrime
One of the main purposes of the dark web is to facilitate illegal activities, and it comes as no surprise that the overwhelming majority of posts on dark web forums are from buyers looking to contract someone for cybercrime. This includes hacking, phishing, and other nefarious activities that can cause significant harm to individuals and organizations.
4. 2 to 5% of Global GDP is Laundered on the Dark Web Annually
Money laundering is a major concern for law enforcement agencies around the world, and the dark web has become a hotspot for this illegal activity.
It is estimated that between 2 to 5% of the global GDP is laundered on the dark web in one year, making it a significant threat to the global economy.
5. Firearms Are Popular Items to Purchase
While only 1% of listings on the dark web are for firearms, they are still a popular item. The most commonly listed gun on the dark web is pistols, accounting for 84% of category listings. Rifles and sub-machine guns follow, accounting for 10% and 6%, respectively.
While 60% of firearm products originate from the US, Europe has the largest market for such weapons and generates around 5 times more revenue from them than the US.
6. Illegal Drug Sales Proliferate on its Marketplaces
The sale of illegal drugs makes up around 8.1% of the dark web marketplace. The shutdowns of Silk Road and Alpha Bay have not slowed down the trade, as the big dark web drug marketplaces, such as Vice City, We the North, Empire and Nightmare, still remain.
7. Your Personal Information is Surprisingly Cheap on the Dark Web
Your personal information is valuable to criminals, and on the dark web it can be surprisingly cheap.
On average, a credit card costs $9, while medical records cost $50. A social security number can be obtained for as little as $1.
8. Hitmen Are Available for Hire
Perhaps one of the most chilling statistics about the dark web is that it only costs $20,000 to hire a hitman. While the costs can run as high as $100,000 for a high profile assassination, the fact that such services are readily available is deeply concerning.
9. 50,000 Active Terror Groups Have a Presence There
According to a report by Visual Capitalist, there are an estimated 50,000 active terror groups with a presence on the Dark Web.
For years, terrorist organizations like ISIS have been using the Dark Web as both a propaganda, recruiting, and fundraising tool. This makes it easier for these groups to operate under the radar and find new members and supporters.
10. Child Spirits Sold on the Dark Web
It’s hard to believe that even child spirits are sold on the Dark Web. In countries like Thailand, people believe that voodoo masters can capture the spirits of babies that have been aborted or miscarried and make them do their bidding.
These spirits are then sold on the Dark Web to people who want them to do their bidding or make their lives better. It’s a sickening trade that is difficult to comprehend.
11. Torture Red Rooms Do In Fact Exist
In the much darker parts of the Dark Web, there are places called “Red Rooms.” These are video feeds of people being tortured in a room.
It’s said that people will pay to watch these streams. While there hasn’t been much evidence to prove that Red Rooms exist, a few cases have cropped up. It’s a disturbing thought that such a thing could exist.
12. The US Government Funds the Tor Project
Finally, it’s important to note that the US government funds the Tor Project. As of 2012, 80% of the Tor Project’s $2 million annual budget came from the United States government.
The US State Department, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, and the National Science Foundation were major contributors.
The Swedish government and other organizations provided the other 20%, including NGOs and thousands of individual sponsors. The funding was intended to aid democracy advocates in authoritarian states.
It can sometimes be a tool for good
While the dark web has gained notoriety for being a hub of illegal activities, it can also be used for good.
For instance, it can be a platform for whistleblowers to share information anonymously without fear of retribution.
Journalists and human rights activists in oppressive regimes can also use it to communicate and access information that is otherwise censored.
Moreover, the anonymity of the dark web can be beneficial for those in need of privacy, such as individuals seeking mental health support or those living in countries with strict internet censorship.
It is essential to remember that the technology itself is not inherently evil; it’s the way people choose to use it that determines whether it’s for good or bad.
How to stay safe on the dark web
Staying safe requires a combination of caution, awareness, and technical measures. Here are some tips:
- Use a VPN: A virtual private network (VPN) can help protect your online activity by encrypting your data and masking your IP address.
- Use Tor: Tor is a browser that allows users to access the dark web anonymously. It provides additional layers of encryption and helps protect against surveillance.
- Use caution when browsing: it is a hub for illegal activities, so use caution when browsing and avoid clicking on links that seem suspicious or too good to be true.
- Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication: Strong passwords and two-factor authentication can help prevent unauthorized access to your accounts.
- Keep your software up-to-date: Regularly updating your software can help protect against known vulnerabilities and exploits. Use anti-virus software and keep it up to date.
Never share personal information: Avoid sharing personal information on the dark web, including your real name, address, and financial information.
By following these tips, you can help protect yourself while exploring the dark web. Remember to use caution and common sense at all times.
In conclusion, the Dark Web is a place that we all need to be aware of. While it’s not inherently evil, it’s important to understand the dark side of the internet and take steps to protect ourselves.
The stats above are just a few examples of the kind of activity that takes place on the Dark Web, and it’s up to us to stay informed and vigilant.
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