Beware the dangers of diving into the 'deep web' - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Beware the dangers of diving into the 'deep web'

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Estimates are the so-called deep web makes up 96 percent of the total internet, and it can be a very dangerous place to explore.  (Source: CBS 5 News) Estimates are the so-called deep web makes up 96 percent of the total internet, and it can be a very dangerous place to explore. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Despite all of the dangers of using the deep web, experts said there are benefits. (Source: CBS 5 News) Despite all of the dangers of using the deep web, experts said there are benefits. (Source: CBS 5 News)
"Since you're browsing anonymously, there is a lot of illegal activity that takes place," said W. Scott Cain, a web developer at Epic Web Solutions. (Source: CBS 5 News) "Since you're browsing anonymously, there is a lot of illegal activity that takes place," said W. Scott Cain, a web developer at Epic Web Solutions. (Source: CBS 5 News)
"You have firearm sales, you have child pornography and other illegal activity, as well as hit men for hire," Cain said. (Source: CBS 5 News) "You have firearm sales, you have child pornography and other illegal activity, as well as hit men for hire," Cain said. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Million of people use the internet every day, but what they're using is just the tip of the iceberg.

Estimates are the so-called deep web makes up 96 percent of the total internet, and it can be a very dangerous place to explore.

"Since you're browsing anonymously, there is a lot of illegal activity that takes place," said W. Scott Cain, a web developer at Epic Web Solutions.

"You have firearm sales, you have child pornography and other illegal activity, as well as hit men for hire," he continued. 

When you log onto a website like Google using a browser like Firefox or Internet Explorer, you're searching the surface web. It's where you can find news articles, download music, watch Youtube videos or get restaurant reviews.

But the deep web is what is below the surface. It's much harder to navigate and requires a special web browser.

"(The special browser) is decentralized. It allows you to surf the web completely anonymously," said Chris Robinson, who calls himself a security researcher or ethical hacker.

Robinson used the special software to demonstrate what could be purchased on the deep web.

"You could go from just being online anonymously to creating a new real-life identity with a new passport, ID, Social Security number. (That information) could be from a dead person," said Robinson, after pulling up a website that sold stolen identities.

Another website claimed to offer contract killings in the United States or Europe from $10,000 to $12,000.

"Only rules: no children under 16 and no top 10 politicians," said Robinson, reading from the website's description.

The public started to learn about the deep web after the website Silk Road was closed by the FBI. Silk Road was an underground site where people allegedly could purchase illegal drugs and other goods.

A new report shows a new version of Silk Road is up and running, and so are more than 13,000 new drug listings.

Despite all of the dangers of using the deep web, experts said there are benefits. Universities and local governments can - and do - use the vast space for storage. Old court documents, periodicals and databases can be securely filed away.

"There are a lot of benefits (to using the deep web)," Cain said.

"However most consumers should probably stay with regular browsing unless they're really concerned about security," he continued. 

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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