What is the Dark Web?
The Dark Web is a hidden universe contained with the ‘Deep Web’ which is the portion of the internet that is hidden from conventional search engines, Government surveillance and regulatory oversight. The ‘Deep Web’ is estimated to be at least 550 times larger than the traditional internet, and it is growing every day.
What is driving this growth? A key feature of the Dark Web is the ability to operate anonymously – which is invaluable to citizens who are unduly subject to Government internet censorship and control. There is however a dark side – the levels of anonymity afforded to users has led to a wealth of illegal and illicit activity; drugs, weapons, corporate espionage and the trafficking of stolen personal information and company passwords (acquired through hacking and data breeches).
Why does it matter?
The easiest way for a cyber-attacker to gain access to sensitive company data is by compromising a user’s identity and credentials.
Once exposed, compromised credentials can be traded and change hands time and time again, especially if the information is deemed valuable. This information may facilitate identity theft, financial fraud or access to company IT infrastructure.
Dark Web Monitoring acts like an early warning system helping to protect against cyber-attacks.
How can my credentials be exploited?
Just some of the ways in which stolen company credentials can be used to exploite companies and individuals:
- Send spam out from compromised e-mail accounts
- Deface web properties and host malicious content
- Install malware on compromised systems
- Compromise other accounts using the same credentials
- Exfiltrate sensitive data (data breaches)
- Identity theft