What’s the dark web?

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The Dark Internet is a portion of the internet that cannot be accessed through conventional search methods, affecting a considerable number of websites. Causes include traffic filtering, misconfiguration, and military sites. The lack of connectivity allows hackers to use unreachable networks for illegal activities, making it urgent to solve the problem.

Dark Internet is a term used to describe that portion of the total population of Internet sites that cannot be accessed through conventional search methods. Also known as dark address space, the phenomenon affects a considerable number of websites, making them unable to connect globally. There are a variety of causes for this phenomenon which include overzealous traffic filtering, misconfiguration, and military sites using archaic Milnet addresses. This situation has obvious negative implications for sites or potential users, but it can also have a more sinister effect on the rest of the Internet community through malicious use of dark address space. This threat arises from the characteristic lack of connectivity between traditional internet users and the dark internet, which allows hackers to hijack unreachable networks to use them as launching pads for their illegal activities.

The Internet community is a group of cyber-presence of staggering proportions. It is widely accepted by many internet users that the entire community is globally connected and available. This is not the case, however, with a huge number of sites partially or completely cut off from the rest of the web. There are a number of common and known causes of this situation, although the lack of connectivity experienced by many broadband modem users is still a mystery.

One of the most common causes of obscured Internet blackouts is overly aggressive traffic filtering instituted by network administrators looking to free up local resources and reduce server loads. While this certainly achieves its intended purpose, it can, if applied too vigorously, cut through the mesh partially or completely. Misconfiguration is another major cause of networks languishing in an obscure address space that can be thrown at the door of long-suffering administrators. An incorrectly set Internet Protocol (IP) address can place individual users or, in the case of routers, entire networks firmly in the unreachable nether regions of the dark Internet. A third group of major contributors to the dark address space phenomenon are the large number of military sites that still occupy the old Milnet address blocks, some dating back to the Arpanet.

The dark internet obviously has a negative effect on its victims and their potential users or customers due to the absence of connectivity. However, it has an even darker side as a potential springboard for the malicious distribution of malware, spyware, viruses, and a source of denial-of-service attacks. The dark and untraceable nature of the dark internet allows hackers to use its latent cloaking features to carry out their illegal activities with little to no chance of any action being taken against them. Overall, solving the dark address space problem is surely one of the most urgent calls to action facing the wider Internet community today.

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