Dark Web … fertile environment in a world of hacking and fraud

‘Drugs, weapons, human organs sold on site; gangs elusive’

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KUWAIT CITY, May 25: A number of cybersecurity experts have warned about the Dark Web gangs, revealing that they observed a number of citizens entering the Dark Web out of curiosity, reports Al-Rai daily. They said: “Some of those who entered the Dark Web encountered problems, their accounts were hacked and money was demanded from them. Others have fallen victim to the encryption of their files, while the devices of some were hacked and some pictures and video clips were stolen from these devices. They were then subjected to blackmail.

Another group entered and left quickly without encountering problems and went deeper before getting involved in these matters.” They stressed that “there is no clear and official classification of the extent of the spread of the Dark Web among teenagers in Kuwait, but we must not wait for it to spread and be passive. Rather, this phenomenon must be repelled, awareness must be strengthened among teenagers in particular, and the seriousness of this matter must be made clear. The laws of many countries criminalize the act of accessing the Dark Web.”

Through this investigation, the daily sheds light on this parallel world in which “drugs, weapons, and even human organs are sold, in addition the sale of stolen credit card data and personal identities. Member of the Board of Directors of Kuwait Information Society Shurooq Al-Sayegh revealed: “A number of risks are associated with the Dark Web. These risks are not limited to illegal transactions, as they include the risk of exposure to viruses, malware and fraud. In 2015, users of the Dark Web discovered a malicious program that stole their financial data. The Dark Web is part of the Deep Internet, which cannot be accessed through traditional search engines. It is accessed through special networks and software, which conceal the identity of users and provide them with a high level of privacy. The Dark Web consists of markets for selling drugs, weapons, and even human organs, and there have been incidents of selling stolen credit card data and personal identities.”

Al-Sayegh enumerated three ways to protect users against the Dark Web:
1. Use security software and update it constantly.
2. Avoid clicking on links of unknown origin or downloading files from unreliable sources.
3. Use common sense and be skeptical of offers that sound too good to be true.

She concluded: “The Dark Web can be beneficial for those seeking privacy, but it also comes with serious risks. Awareness and caution are the keys to the safe use of this complex tool.” Cybersecurity expert Abdulaziz Al-Mutairi told the daily “the incidents that some people publish show the extent of the danger that the Internet can pose, even on the regular network that we use on an almost daily basis. If these things happen on the regular Internet, what would it be like if the activity is on the Dark Web — a fertile, dark and encrypted environment where individuals can easily access illegal content without fear of being penalized. Since the activities on the Dark Web are carried out secretly and anonymously, it is very difficult for the State to track the individuals involved in these illegal activities.

Therefore, it is necessary that we work hard to strengthen cybersecurity and censorship on the Internet, whether it is on the network that we normally use or on the Dark Web and Deep Web, to protect individuals. There is no clear and official classification of the extent of the spread of the Dark Web among teenagers in Kuwait, but we must not wait for it to spread and remain passive. Rather, we must repel this phenomenon, enhance awareness among teenagers in particular, and clarify the seriousness of this matter. Several countries have laws criminalizing the act of accessing the Dark Web.”

Al-Mutairi cited three reasons that push teenagers to enter the Dark Web:
1. Curiosity,
2. Trying to profit from it through fraud,
3. Lack of adult supervision.

He disclosed three methods of protection as follows:
1. Issue a law that criminalizes use of the Dark Web like other countries that know how dangerous it is,
2. Raising public awareness and warning about the dangers of its use,
3. Cooperating with global law enforcement agencies specialized in pursuing Dark Web criminals to prosecute them.

Kuwait Society for Information Security Chairperson Dr. Safaa Zaman clarified that “the Dark Web is an encrypted network, which can be accessed using a browser called ‘Tor’. It is different from traditional browsers. Its contents could be legal or illegal. Nevertheless, it is undesirable, as various confidential commercial transactions are conducted through it. It is possible to move and wander around its sites without the person leaving any traces. This means his identity is hidden. His activities are not recorded on any search engines. He cannot be tracked, so he can complete external transactions anonymously.”

Zaman enumerated 12 Internet activities that violate the law:
1. Purchase credit card number
2. Purchase human organs
3. Dealing in all types of drugs
4. Illegal sale of weapons
5. Trading counterfeit money and currencies
6. Steal subscription credentials
7. Sell hacked company accounts
8. Piracy and hacking programs
9. Fake bank notes
10. Sell counterfeit currencies
11. Hire hackers to attack others
12. Purchase usernames and passwords

She warned that “entering this network is considered dangerous, as it is a fertile environment for hacking and fraud. Whoever wants to enter this world must be careful and know how to protect himself. It is difficult for governments to monitor the Dark Web, or even reach gangs operating therein.”

This news has been read 1159 times!

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