The Dark Web is part of the world wide web that cannot be accessed using your regular web browser.
The people who operate on it are buying and selling just about anything, and not much of it is legal.
If cybercriminals have hacked your corporate network, the chances are that the information pulled from your servers, if it is perceived to have value, is up for sale to anyone who wants to buy it. What information might nefarious people want to buy? How about passwords so that people can access your network and find important documents, financials, or credit card details
Decades ago, it was not uncommon for people to break into business premises to steal data, perhaps to look at proposals for huge contracts.
Today, it is not necessary to put on a balaclava and sneak into an office. People have the skillset and technology to access the information that ‘customers’ want. They will sell access to a company’s network, often for a hefty fee.
As in the real world of business, some people hack into systems and collect data. They often sell access to this data to other people. You might think of them as brokers. Others might do work like sabotage a network for a fee, for a ‘client’ who wants to damage that company, or perhaps to earn a ransom by locking down the computer network so that it can’t be accessed until they have paid a ransom.
Ransom attacks are becoming common today and have proven successful in a variety of businesses including banking, airlines, law firms, and hospitals, where the victims have paid to get their systems back up and running, because of the potential consequences of their systems being down.
Often companies do not know they have been attacked, until long after the event. Consequently, they also do not know that their information is either being used illegally or offered for sale.
Advantage can check your IT infrastructure to see if it has been infected by malware, which allows hackers to access the information on your network. They also have tools which enable them to identify whether information from your servers is for sale on the Dark Web. It would be prudent for companies to consider using this service from time to time, especially those in business and government sectors that are at risk.
Steve Smith, Regional Executive at Advantage, offers “We have provided this service for many large clients, who have been horrified with not only that their data was for sale on the Dark Web. They were also shocked at how quickly we were able to find it. Having found this evidence, we are better able to help companies protect themselves from further attacks.”
“Accessing the Dark Web is not something you should do without experience and the proper protections in place,” says Smith. “This is best left for security experts.