27 November 2019

Accessing the Dark Web may be legal, but users may expose themselves to online crime such as cryptocurrency theft

The Dark Web is no longer being used by just hackers and drug peddlers. It is increasingly drawing in people from other walks of life — even in Singapore.

In September, a 47-year-old man here was sentenced to five years’ jail, for plotting to murder his former lover’s boyfriend by hiring a hitman on the Dark Web. And The New Paper reported in the same month that three other people in Singapore have been allegedly targeted through websites on the Dark Web that offer assassins for hire, with one of them believed to be a student at a school in Punggol.

While such transactions on the Dark Web are not allowed here in Singapore, accessing the Dark Web — which is a special part of the Internet that peddles illegal products and services — is not illegal.

Anyone with an Internet connection can access it, through the use of The Onion Router, or tor, which is an open-source Internet browser that anonymises its users. Tor encrypts users’ network traffic by routing it through several randomly selected relay nodes all over the world. Originally intended to make sure whistle-blowers stay safe and untraceable, this browser is free to download and anyone with Internet access can install it.

The main reason such browsers are used is because they offer users a substantial level of anonymity while surfing the Web, not revealing who the user is who visited the site, and it makes it hard, for example, for government bodies or Internet service providers to know who is a website visitor.

Shawn Tay

Shawn Tay

Senior Threat Intelligence analyst of Group-IB

The article is available at The Straits Times

Group-IB, with its headquarters in Singapore, is one of the leading providers of solutions dedicated to detecting and preventing cyberattacks, identifying online fraud, investigating high-tech crimes, and protecting intellectual property. The company’s Threat Intelligence and Research Centers are located in the Middle East (Dubai), the Asia-Pacific (Singapore), and Europe (Amsterdam).

Group-IB’s Unified Risk Platform is an ecosystem of solutions that understands each organization’s threat profile and tailors defenses against them in real-time from a single interface. The Unified Risk Platform provides complete coverage of the cyber response chain. Group-IB’s products and services consolidated in Group-IB’s Unified Risk Platform include Group-IB’s Threat Intelligence, Managed XDR, Digital Risk Protection, Fraud Protection, Attack Surface Management, Business Email Protection, Audit & Consulting, Education & Training, Digital ForensicsIncident Response, Managed Detection & Response, and Cyber Investigations.

Group-IB’s technological leadership and R&D capabilities are built on the company’s 19 years of hands-on experience in cybercrime investigations worldwide and more than 70,000 hours of cybersecurity incident response accumulated in our leading DFIR Laboratory, High-Tech Crime Investigations Department, and round-the-clock CERT-GIB.

Group-IB is an active partner in global investigations led by international law enforcement organizations such as Europol and INTERPOL. Group-IB is also a member of the Europol European Cybercrime Centre’s (EC3) Advisory Group on Internet Security, which was created to foster closer cooperation between Europol and its leading non-law enforcement partners.

Group-IB’s experience in threat hunting and cyber intelligence has been fused into an ecosystem of highly sophisticated software and hardware solutions designed to monitor, identify, and prevent cyberattacks. Group-IB’s mission is to protect its clients in cyberspace every day by creating and leveraging innovative solutions and services.

Group-IB’s experience in threat hunting and cyber intelligence has been fused into an ecosystem of highly sophisticated software and hardware solutions designed to monitor, identify, and prevent cyberattacks. Group-IB’s mission is to fight high-tech crime while protecting our clients in cyberspace and helping them achieve their goals. To do so, we analyze cyber threats, develop our infrastructure to monitor them, respond to incidents, investigate complex high-tech crimes, and design unique technologies, solutions, and services to counteract adversaries.

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