The Opportunities of the Dark Web

What I learned from the first-ever dark web event.

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Yesterday, we held the world’s first Dark Web conference called Inside Dark Web – with partners Bob Miko and Alan Meckler. When we first decided to launch the event we discussed the business opportunities the dark web presents. After the event, there are a few observations I’ve made that I think are worth sharing.

First off – even though there are some who think there should be no dark web, there are many solid reasons why it is necessary:

1)      Man-in-the middle attacks allow hackers or nation-states to access all traffic flowing between parties on a web session. The dark web/browsing with Tor prevents this from happening.

2)      Workers quite often are targets – perhaps most often when they leave their home country. For example, Pentagon workers are advised to not wear any identifying clothing because a malicious person may follow and harm them. Yet, when this user checks into their hotel room and starts browsing, they go to sites associated with their company or government agency which identifies where they work. In other words, malicious people can find out a person works for the CIA, Navy intelligence, Apple, Facebook or wherever. The ISP providing internet service can’t be trusted with your security. Most of the time, hotel users don’t even know who the provider is.

3)      Political dissidents – users in countries where the web is blocked, censored, etc.

In terms of opportunity, there are medical companies which are deploying dark web sites to minimize the ability for hackers to steal medical information – an area of cyber-theft which is growing rapidly. There is also the opportunity to mine the dark web for stolen data – there were numerous companies at the show discussing how they do this as well as at least one which is able to track bitcoin transactions.

This last area shouldn’t be underestimated in its importance or market size if you consider how much money is being made organizing the lit web’s information.

The amount of press coverage has been encouraging as well. So far, the stories we’ve seen are as follows (special shout out to Jeremy Seth Davis):

Some of the biggest names in news were at the show – we hope they have more coverage in the following days.

There will be more events so stay tuned and watch our website for updates. We really hope this space continues to grow and the positive stories about the dark or deep web continue to proliferate. We’d also like to hear your feedback. I live blogged part of the event as well if you want to check out some more details.

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