For the average internet user, the dark web is little more than a mysterious fool. This is something they hear about in creepy commercials asking them to purchase credit monitoring services or something that pops up on their Facebook feed from time to time if a criminal gets caught buying illegal firearms online. For most, it's a nebulous concept and something that can easily be dismissed as a problem for others.
For this reason, most people don't realize how dangerous and downright strange the dark web can be. After all, it's not just drugs and stolen user passwords that trade with your hands - there's a lot more in the game, and it only gets worse. Many recent trends are taking shape in the dark web and will (badly) become public awareness shortly. When it happens, nobody can be surprised.
Is There a Doctor in the House?
The first alarming dark web trend that is currently coming to the fore has something to do with the massive and growing opioid crisis that is taking place in cities in the United States. This crisis has forced a response that is slowly tightening controls over who can get opiate-based drugs and under what circumstances. However, as history has shown, a black market is sure to emerge to meet demand if you struggle to get an addictive product. That seems to be what happens on the dark web.
According to an investigation by the Internet security company Carbon Black, health organizations are now exposed to almost constant cyberattacks - and doctors' data is sold online like hotcakes. That said, the next chapter of the opioid crisis is likely to include fake prescriptions and a booming market for the resulting pills. Contrary to the legitimate regulations that triggered the onset of the crisis, the chances are that these fraudulent regulations will be much more difficult to control and lead to more misery for the addicted masses.
A Looming Threat to the Enterprise
Another major trend on the road to the dark web is the sharp increase in the availability of malware specially developed to attack individual businesses. According to the latest findings, cybercriminals have recognized that it is more profitable to create your own company-specific malware using stolen company credentials. Instead of selling coin passwords, they can sell pre-planned cyber-attacks for a small fortune. This is not just an issue for crosshair companies. Key goals include large banks, e-commerce companies, and educational institutions. Therefore, when working in any of these areas (basically all), you need to be prepared for the worst.
The Robocallers Strike Back
If you have a phone (who doesn't have one), you may have noticed that you can only get 10 minutes a day without getting an annoying Robocall. Even Ajit Pai, the chairman of the FCC (An American lawyer who serves as the Chairman of the United States Federal Communications), has become so terrible that it has finally been forced to implement regulations to keep the tide under control. Still, the scammers behind the RoboCall torrent are not closing their stores and trying to get home. Instead, they already appear to be turning to the dark web for ways to undermine the methods used against them.
The most obvious sign was the sale of user data obtained from the Caller ID app Truecaller in May this year. This is followed by reports that caller ID spoofing tools have grown on the dark web, and automated social engineering has become a hot item. In short, when it's time for the telephone company to deal with the robocall scourge, responsible scammers may have all the ammunition needed to avoid new measures, even if they are taken.
A Light in the Dark Web
The good news is that authorities around the world, if any, are stepping up efforts to crack down on the dark web, which continues to pose threats in multiple ways. The latest big shock was the closure of the dark web information site DeepDotWeb. This was the gateway from the regular Internet to the deepest corner of the dark web. The problem, however, is that the dark web is like a hydra. There is already evidence that the effects of such coercion can be ignored at best.
The bottom line is that the dark web causes problems that don't seem to end. Even those whose exposure has previously been limited to some bold headlines and some vague marketing fear tactics may soon see the effect. But, as they say, being warned in advance is training in advance.