If you use an internet search engine, you're probably finding just about every website you could possibly need. But did you know that 90% of the internet isn't indexed by search engines?
That's because of something called the “deep web,” which refers to any site (or part of a site) that isn't searchable by Google or any other search engine. This includes sites that require a password or are hidden under a paywall.
There's also a smaller subset of the deep web, called the “dark web.” According to Futurism.com, the dark web “allows users to be anonymous while visiting sites, and require browsers that will hide the IP addresses of the servers that run the site.”
Due to its secretive nature, the dark web is home to a lot of shady activity. Most notably, it can be used for drug deals, hiring hit men, and child pornography.
About 20% of the dark web was located on a single hosting service, Freedom Hosting II. However, that changed after the work of a hacker from Anonymous.
The hacker said, “Initially I didn't want to take down FH2, just look through it.” But the hacker's mission changed after discovering that half of the sites on FHII contained child pornography.
So the hacker developed a 21-step process to take down FHII. Once these steps were completed, the hacker had control.
Then the hacker replaced all the content with this message. It began with “Hello Freedom Hosting II, you have been hacked,” and then went into more detail.
The hacker wished to remain anonymous, but was still able to relay their story to Motherboard. The hacker verified their identity by using the same email posted in the FHII message.
Surprisingly, this wasn't some veteran hacker with years and years of experience. “This is in fact my first hack ever,” the hacker said.
The hacker also said they will give a copy of all the data from FHII to a security researcher. Then the data would be passed onto law enforcement to hopefully track down those responsible for the illegal content.
We should mention that the dark web isn't only used for unconscionable activity. It's also a handy tool for whistle blowers who wish to anonymously leave incriminating information.
The hacker said they don't plan on trying to hack more of the dark web. However, “If there is ever going to be a chance like that again, I won't say no to taking them down.”