Disclaimer: The information shared here may contain sensitive data or material that may be considered unsuitable for readers of a given country depending on the legal status of their society. In no way I intend with this article to incur in some kind of "illegal activity" and if in your country to enter the deep web (or browse behind a proxy / VPN) in order to skip some kind of blocking/censorship and/or filter imposed by your ISP, government (or the like) is considered a serious offense, what you do with what's going to be shared here is 100% your responsibility. Everything understood in this article it's given as purely didactic material without inciting the knowledge to be practically applied by our readers, I hereby release from liability on what the reader does with the knowledge delivered here.
(Discretion is requested).
Part I: The Deep Web
The other day (some time ago) two friends came to visit, we bought some things, (Among them a heineken six pack, prepared grasshoppers, fried peanuts and to be brief, a mountain of snacks); We prepared "ButterBeer" (Harry Potter style), ordered some pizza, and among many things we did, one of them asked me to prepare the computers to enter the Deep Web (or, in his words "to start DeepWebbing" hahaha).
I prepared the machines and we entered the deep web, what motivated me to write this post that for job reasons I've been delaying a lot. Let's see then:
What is the Deep Web?
Well, the deep web is in simple words the portion of the internet "that is not possible to perceive" a at plain sight. To give you some idea, It has been told that a 85% of all of the information that's stored in the so called "internet" as a whole network it's secured under the deep web.
Just the internet we can see seems a little "infinite" Right? Indeed, but it isn't everything that exists... Even when the part of the internet that you know can harbor entire UNIVERSES of information and users navigating daily and interacting at the unison, it is only really a microspace in the "big multiverse" that the internet is as a network itself.
An interesting analogy about this is the phrase that goes:
In the surface web you navigate, but in the deep web you dive.
Imagine the internet as an ocean. All the internet, absolutely all of it that you access via your normal browser, searching on google and so, is the surface web and entering in it can be compared to the fact of being "driving" (navigating) a ship above the ocean while entering the deep web would be like turning that ship into a submarine and start going deeper and deeper into the abyss.
An interesting pic about the matter:
|Click to enlarge|
There are so many things in the deep web, among them restricted and guarded info about politics, society, religion and more. You can also stumble upon things you might not wanna see, (those which cannot be on the normal web) like pedophile material, bounty hunter lists, links and auctions from the black market, snuff videos, material about "leisure topics" with fundaments (like sci-fi-like stuff going on in the real life, such as extraterrestrial investigations, paranormal affairs, human experimentation and so on); But besides all of that, the interesting part about the deep web (in my point of view) resides in the "special" materials shared by people across the globe like books about really high tech topics or other kind of knowledge you might not be able to get closer to by other means depending on your country or daily social situations. There are also blogs, forums and other kind of websites about computer security, some others about the free access to the information (where the people of censored countries can stay aware about what's really happening in the world) and even some sections and groups of people that use and support the FOSS software among many other things... Hacking/Cracking manuals, server deployment and other interesting stuff about such topics can also be found there.
How to enter the Deep Web?
The precise instructions about how to enter can't be posted here. Why? It's complicated, you'll see: I've heard that sharing this kind of information in some countries it's considered to be an illegal activity, and to be honest (whether it's actually true or not because I'm not certain about that) I don't know what's the current situation at México (where I reside) about this matter and I would not like to pick any kind of trouble just because. However, what I can actually tell you is that when you decide to enter the deep web for the first time, the best way to start the journey it's through the hidden wiki and if you'd like to use a search engine, the best one there is TORCH; However it is also worth to mention that "navigating" inside the deep web it's very different from navigating the normal internet, Even though the hidden wiki it's a good starting point to reach various places inside the Deep Web, the truth is that IF YOU DON'T KNOW what are you looking for, navigating in there will be really tedious and boring. The surface web can be navigated without having an idea of what you're actually looking for because services like Google take us anywhere with a word or two. This doesn't happen inside the Deep Web... Even when there's the search engine I've mentioned earlier, it's not like you could just search "Roswell incident case files" and then you get prompted by a page with the info you requested, nope.
In this part of the post I would like to recommend you not to enter the deep web if it is not permited by your goverment and/or authorities and don't do it either because of "sick curiosity" or to fall into illegal activities. This article has as it's purpose only to inform and deliver information that might become useful later, but (in a very personal way) I ask you to please don't use this knowledge with the wrong motives. The deep web is a diverse and interesting place that might come in handy for you some day, but the main idea here is not to go there because of wrong intentions, instead because only if it's really necesary.
Some precautions (in case you enter...)
It's important to TAKE PRECAUTIONS. Entering the deep web isn't something you can do in a sloppy way and so. Far beyond protecting you with stuff like a VPN, HTTPS connetions, your machine's firewall and others (measures that we'll go through in the second part of this article about security while navigating in general); It's important that you (in my point of view):
- Use a Linux machine to enter
- Turn off your machine's microphones
- Cover the webcam with black tape
- Use an extra user account on your PC instead of your own
- Ensure that your firewall it's on
- Do not share your personal (real) information on the Deep Web (not even an email!)
As an extra safety measure it would be great if your computer's HDD it's encrypted (or at least the part where your important files are stored).
Part II: Browsing without a Trace
Why would you want to browse "whitout leaving a trace"? Well, there are plenty of reasons to do it (Entering the Deep Web is one, because there every domain is an "onion" domain, which can't be accesed without being connected to the TOR Network for example), wanting to do some bank transactions (or other sensitive data manipulations) under public Wi-Fi or something like that, if at any given point in time you suspect that the FBI, another agency, the transformers or maybe the aliens are tracking what you see on the internet etc, all of them are also valid reasons hehe.
Part III: How to do it? & Calyphrox Webproxy
There are many ways of achieving this. it all depends on two things: how long you plan to be protected (or browsing the deep web if that's the case) and how much you actually care about your privacy. I'll explain two methods and the different sceneries where you should use each of them:
Method One: Download the TOR browser bundle and use it;. It has everything you need (in the terms of software) packed so you can navigate anonymously the web and also inside the TOR network/Deep Web. We download the correct one according to our platform, we extract it, execute the binary/script of the browser and voilá! Automatically it will manage to get us a connection through the TOR Network and also will open a browser window that resembles Firefox a lot (Because the TBB it's based upon firefox itself) Everything we do inside this browser it's going to be completely anonymous and the browser even can be used to open ".onion" links.
As mentioned earlier, The TBB browser already includes everything you might need in terms of security to navigaty in a pretty much anonymous fashion across the web, for example very important stuff such as preset Forced HTTPS for all the connections by default. If you add to this bundle a VPN connection you'll be a lot more safer... It's worth mentioning that if you want the maximum security (ej: for the Deep Web) you should configure your setup like this:
Above tips + Tor Browser Bundle + VPN protected Browsing
What's this setup/method good for: This setup is good for heavy anonymous browsing or Deep Web usage as you don't depend on other servers (besides the TOR network) for your browsing/diving. It's less secure by design than the second method I'll explain later, (as in here your machine is the actual final client asking for contents and navigating inside the network no matter how many protections you use at the end of the day) but it is "the price" for heavy and reliably prolonged Deep Web usage.
Method Two: Use Calyphrox Webproxy. We've recently launched a new update for our old webproxy, (Calyphrox) in which we gave it the ability to request and surf contents from inside the deep web. Using calyphrox it's as simple as going to http://calyphrox.net and entering your desired ".onion" (or normal) destination URL in the address bar. A webproxy (such as calyphrox) i's a magnificent tool for anonimity as when you're navigating with it's protection, your machine it's never the final client requesting the info from the web. This means that, (talking about surfing the Deep Web with Calyphrox for example) if an attacker exploits a security leak in the connection used to hand over the requested page to you, he/she would never reach your machine, as the end source for the petition (IP, location, etc) would be one of Calyphroxe's servers. This makes this second method the most secure of the two mentioned here for accesing the Deep Web (or even the normal web, because our proxy can handle both) in an anonymous fashion, but proxied traffic it's never intended for heavy/long usage of resources. So, in simple words:
What's this setup/method good for: This approach it's good if you plan to navigate anonymously (or dive into the deep web) in an infrequent/not very prolonged (medium usage) fashion across the day, because doing otherwise might get the proxy servers saturated.
No matter which method you choose, I hope you've found this post informative and useful. If so, please help us with a tweet:
The #DeepWeb, Browsing without a trace and #Calyphrox Webproxy (vía @xenodesystems) - http://ow.ly/t0SRd