Tag Archive for: Dark Web

Staying Secure: Proactively Monitoring the Dark Side of the Web

Welcome back to part two of our blog series on the dark web. In part one, we explored what is the dark web and the risks it poses. Now, in part two, we will examine some of the challenges associated with monitoring and policing the dark web, and what you can do to stay protected. By understanding these complex issues, we hope to equip you with the knowledge and tools necessary to stay safe and secure in an increasingly connected world. So, let’s dive in!

Protecting Data on the Dark Web

Protecting data from cyber threats on the dark web is crucial because the data that is traded and sold on this platform is often sensitive and valuable. This can include personal information such as social security numbers, credit card details, and login credentials, as well as business-sensitive information such as trade secrets, customer data, and intellectual property.

With the increasing frequency and complexity of cyber threats, it is more important than ever to stay vigilant and proactive in protecting sensitive information from compromise. If this data falls into the wrong hands, it can lead to a range of negative consequences. For individuals, it can result in identity theft, financial loss, and a tarnished reputation. For businesses, a data breach can result in lost revenue, damage to their brand reputation, and even legal consequences if they are found to have failed to properly protect customer data. Cyber threats on the dark web can also spread to other parts of the internet and affect other systems and networks, such as a malicious actor using stolen data to launch phishing attacks, spread malware, or even engage in cyber espionage. This is why it’s imperative that individuals and organizations take proactive steps to protect their data from cyber threats on the dark web.

Staying Ahead of Cyber Threats

Protecting your critical data and assets from the hands of cybercriminals take a multifaceted approach. This can include implementing robust cybersecurity measures such as firewalls, antivirus software, and encryption, as well as regularly monitoring their systems and networks for any signs of suspicious activity via dark web or cyber exposure monitoring.

Dark web monitoring involves continuously scanning the dark web for sensitive information, such as login credentials, credit card numbers, and other confidential data, that may have been obtained through a data breach or other means. The goal of dark web monitoring is to detect the presence of sensitive information on the dark web and alert the organization before it can be used by cybercriminals.

Cyber exposure monitoring, on the other hand, involves monitoring the entire internet, including public and private networks, for vulnerabilities and potential attack vectors. The goal of cyber exposure monitoring is to identify and assess the risks posed by these vulnerabilities and take appropriate action to mitigate them. Both services bring benefits to organizations but are two cybersecurity services offering two different measures to protect themselves against cyber threats.

The Importance of Cyber Exposure Monitoring

Cyber Exposure Monitoring has become one of the most important aspects of cybersecurity. The service helps to provide visibility into potential risks and threats, as well as enables organizations and individuals to take proactive steps to address them before they become a problem. There are three critical parts of cyber exposure monitoring:

  • The first step is to identify potential vulnerabilities in systems and applications. This can be done through vulnerability scanning, or the process of scanning networks and systems to identify potential weaknesses or vulnerabilities. Once vulnerabilities are identified, organizations and individuals can take proactive steps to address them, such as applying security patches, updating software, or implementing additional security controls.
  • Another important aspect is threat intelligence. This involves monitoring various sources, such as threat feeds, 3rd party intel sites, blogs and forums or adversary markets, for potential threats and attacks; information is gathered about the tactics, techniques, and procedures used by cybercriminals on these measures. This information can be used to develop proactive security measures and to identify potential threats before they become a problem.
  • Log analysis is the third key component of cyber exposure monitoring. Logs are generated by various systems and applications and can provide valuable insight into potential threats and attacks. By analyzing logs, organizations and individuals can identify potential indicators of compromise and take proactive steps to address them before they result in a data breach or other security incident.

One of the biggest benefits of cyber exposure monitoring is early detection of threats. By monitoring for potential threats and vulnerabilities, you can detect and respond to potential attacks before they become a problem. This can help to prevent data breaches, minimize the impact of security incidents, and reduce the risk of financial loss or reputational damage.

In addition to early detection of threats, cyber exposure monitoring can also improve an organization’s or individual’s overall security posture. By identifying weaknesses in security systems and applications, organizations and individuals can take proactive steps to address them, such as implementing additional security controls or training employees on best practices for cybersecurity.

Cyber exposure monitoring can also help organizations and individuals to meet compliance requirements for data security and privacy. Many industries have specific compliance requirements for data security and privacy, and cyber exposure monitoring can help ensure that these requirements are met and avoid potential fines or legal liabilities.


Staying vigilant and taking proactive steps to address potential threats and vulnerabilities, organizations and individuals can reduce the risk of falling victim to cybercrime and protect sensitive information from compromise. With the increasing frequency and complexity of cyber threats, cyber exposure monitoring is great way for organizations to significantly reduce the risk of a successful cyberattack and protect their sensitive information and systems. If your organization needs help staying ahead of cybercriminals, contact Proficio to learn more about our Cyber Exposure Monitoring service.

The Dark Side of The Web: Understanding the Dark Web and the Risks It Poses to Organizations

The internet has come a long way since its inception, with an ever-growing number of people relying on it for personal and professional activities. However, with this increased usage comes an increased risk of cybercrime and data theft. And as cybercriminals become more sophisticated, constantly finding new ways to access and exploit sensitive information, organizations must become more vigilant in how they protect their data.

For many organizations, the dark web – a hidden network of websites that are not accessible through standard web browsers – is a growing concern. It is a place where cybercriminals can buy and sell stolen data, hacking tools, and other illegal products and services. This information can be sold to the highest bidder, putting individuals and organizations at risk of financial loss, reputational damage, and identity theft.

In this two-part series, we will take a deeper look at the dark web, the risks it poses and how you can protect your data from getting into the wrong hands.

What is the Dark Web:

The dark web is a part of the internet that is not indexed by traditional search engines and is characterized by its high level of anonymity, allowing users to communicate and transact without leaving a trace. Anonymity on the dark web is often used by cybercriminals for illegal activities such as trading stolen data, buying and selling illegal goods and services, and facilitating various forms of cybercrime, such as hacking and fraud. The high level of anonymity provided by the dark web makes it difficult for law enforcement to trace the origin of criminal activities and identify the individuals behind them.

Accessing the dark web can only be done using specialized tools like The Onion Router (TOR), a free, open-source software and network that was designed to provide users with anonymity and privacy online. TOR networks work by routing internet traffic through a series of servers, or “nodes,” before it reaches its destination. Each node only knows the previous and next node in the chain, making it difficult to trace the source of the traffic. TOR is widely used for a variety of purposes, including accessing the dark web, bypassing censorship and geo-restrictions, and protecting sensitive communications from government surveillance or cyberattacks.

Another important aspect of the dark web is the use of cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, as the primary mode of payment. Cryptocurrencies have gained popularity in recent years due to their ability to offer fast, low-cost, and borderless transactions, as well as their use of blockchain technology, which provides a secure and transparent ledger of transactions. However, because cryptocurrencies provide a high level of anonymity and make it difficult for authorities to track transactions, it has become very popular to use by cybercriminals.

Finally, the dark web also uses various other encryption technologies to secure its websites and hide the location of its servers. This includes technologies like SSL/TLS certificates and public-key encryption.

Cybercriminals on the dark web use a combination of tools and technologies to achieve anonymity. For example, they may use the TOR network to route their traffic through multiple servers, making it difficult to trace their location. They also use encryption to secure their communications and protect sensitive information.

In addition, many dark web marketplaces require users to use cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, for transactions. These currencies provide a high level of anonymity and make it difficult for authorities to track financial transactions.

It’s important to note that while the dark web provides a high level of anonymity, it’s not completely secure and can still be monitored by law enforcement agencies. Additionally, many of the activities that take place on the dark web are illegal, so it’s best to avoid visiting it unless you have a legitimate reason to do so.

The Risks Posed by the Dark Web:

The dark web is a haven for cybercriminals, who use it to trade stolen data and carry out malicious activities, such as phishing attacks and ransomware attacks. The anonymity of the dark web makes it a popular platform for these activities, and its encrypted networks provide a high level of security, making it difficult for law enforcement agencies to track and prosecute cybercriminals.

In June 2021, T-Mobile confirmed that it had suffered a data breach that affected the personal information of over 50 million customers. According to reports, the data that was stolen included names, addresses, birthdates, social security numbers, and driver’s license information. Shortly after the breach was disclosed, cybercriminals began advertising the stolen data on underground forums on the dark web, offering it for sale to the highest bidder; over six months later, the data from the T-Mobile breach could still be found online.

This incident is just one of many that highlights the importance of implementing robust cybersecurity measures to prevent data breaches and the need to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. It also demonstrates the devastating consequences that can result when sensitive information is traded on the dark web.

Protection from the Dark Web:

The dark web poses a significant risk to the security of personal and sensitive information. Cybercriminals can use the anonymity and untraceability of the dark web to sell stolen data, engage in illegal activities, and conduct cyberattacks. These risks are further compounded by the increasing sophistication of cybercriminals and their ability to access and exploit vulnerabilities in security systems.

Businesses and organizations have a responsibility to protect the personal information of their customers and employees. It is essential to take proactive measures to protect this data and minimize the risk of it being exposed on the dark web. Protecting against the risks posed by the dark web requires vigilance, education, and a commitment to implementing best practices for cybersecurity. Click here for part two of our blog series to learn more about protecting yourself from the dark web.

TARGET: Technical Documents for U.S. Air Force Drone Leaked through Router Vulnerability

July 11th – In June 2018, Recorded Future observed a hacker on the Dark Web selling the technical plans and training manual of the MQ-9 Reaper UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) for $150 to $200. The MQ-9 Reaper was introduced in 2001 by General Atomics and is currently in use by the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, the CIA, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The hacker was English speaking and appeared to disclose the method of how he or she was able to obtain the sensitive documents from a computer of a captain at 432d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Reaper stationed at the Creech Airforce Base in Nevada.

In early 2016, security researchers published findings regarding Netgear routers with remote access capabilities were vulnerable if the default FTP credentials were not changed out. Additionally, NetGear routers have a “ReadySHARE Storage” feature that allows individuals on the router’s network to connect USB storage and share the contents of the USB. If an attacker is able to access certain NetGear routers with this feature remotely via FTP, they can access the data stored on the router via the USB share feature. It was disclosed that the attacker was able to obtain a collection of sensitive files from a U.S. Airforce Captain’s computer via FTP remote access.

Beyond the documents stolen, the hacker also has disclosed that he or she is also able to access footage from U.S. border surveillance and can watch footage of certain predator drones flying over the Gulf of Mexico. The individual also disclosed that he or she was not targeting the U.S. Airforce when obtaining the plans for the Reaper, but rather came across information about the vulnerability through doing a search in Shodan (Shodan is a search engine platform used by hackers to identify vulnerabilities and configurations that are internet facing and susceptible for attack). The identity of the hacker has not been disclosed at this time from the sources researched.

Proficio Threat Intelligence Recommendations:

  • Inspect SOHO equipment that might be at remote sites for vulnerabilities or unsafe configurations.
  • Assess blocking well-known social networks that do not have business use to potentially reduce future channels of command and control.
  • Disable USB storage sharing over Wi-Fi if this feature is currently used in the environment.
  • Put security controls in place to guard against unauthorized access of the organization’s sensitive data.